S.B.S Antigua Cask Strength 2015


There has been a handful of high congener Antiguan rums put out over the last few years, among which is this offering from S.B.S. It was distilled from molasses in 2015 using Antigua Distillers’ Savalle column still, aged seven years in ex-bourbon barrels, and bottled at a cask strength of 64.9%.

The exact details which differentiate the production of this rum from Antigua’s usual methods are not made clear by the bottler.* Notably, the bottle itself does not even indicate this to be a high congener rum, despite the fact that it is high congener according to this anecdote from the Lone Caner (and most retailers label it as such anyway). 


On the nose, I get wood shavings, old moss-covered log, allspice, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, fresh pastry, and black tea. Even with the addition of water, it comes across as being a little flat to me.

Thankfully, the palate is more expressive than the nose. I get fruit leather, dried apricot, black licorice, strawberry-flavored candy, SweeTarts, apple turnover, caramel, southern sweet tea, black pepper, allspice, and tobacco. It drinks pretty hot at proof, but it takes water nicely.


This is a great, well balanced rum which demonstrates what the folks over at Antigua Distillers are capable of. Though the high congener description might evoke some resemblance to heavy Trinidadian or high ester Jamaican rums, that’s not what this is going for. In terms of funk, it falls somewhere between a Foursquare ECS and a pot-column blend from St. Lucia. 

Even so, it’s a real treat. If rums like this were more accessible, I suspect we would all be much more interested in Antiguan rum. (7/10)

*The production methods for Antigua’s high congener rums were discussed in a recent Rumcast interview with Calbert Francis, global export manager for Antigua Distillery. According to Calbert, the  style is achieved purely via distillation methods, not through anything related to fermentation. I highly recommend this interview if you want to learn more about Antigua Distillery.