Brand: Holmes Cay

Origin: Diamond Distillery, Diamond, Guyana (picked by Austin Rum Society)

Still: Wooden Pot

Age: 9 years

Finish: ex-Bourbon & ex-Rum

ABV: 60%

Like Jamaica, Guyana has a rich history of sugar cultivation and processing, with many names of rum distilleries or production equipment named after once-operational sugar estates. The Albion sugar estate was established in the mid-1800s, and was eventually merged with the Port Mourant estate in 1953.

These sugar estates often had their own rum distilleries, and therefore their own stills. At Albion, the AW rum marque was produced, which was most likely similar in production to the well-known Port Mourant PM marque– if today's review subject is any indication. This AW marque was transferred around in the dance of closed/merged/migrated Guyana distilleries, until DDL's Diamond Distillery became the sole remnant rum producer in the country.

Holmes Cay Guyana Albion 2014 bears the AW marque, and was distilled in these recent DDL years of the marque's history. The wooden Port Mourant pot still was used to produce this molasses-based rum in 2014, which was aged for 8 years initially in the UK in an ex-Bourbon cask, before being transported to New York and aged an additional year in an ex-Rum cask.

Eric Kaye and company bottled this single cask rum at a strength of 60% ABV, and is exclusive to the Austin Rum Society, who selected this unique expression for their club.


Pale gold, high clarity, medium viscosity


Oranges, freezer-burned ice, almond butter, prunes, dates, model glue, green bell pepper


Prunes, oranges, blueberries, wilting lettuce, vanilla, green grapes, strawberry syrup


Medium-long, fruity, subtle; oranges, candied fruit, oak, vanilla, nutmeg, wilting lettuce, sour grapes

Rating: 7/10


In its own right, Holmes Cay Guyana Albion 2014 is a stellar rum with a strong character one would expect from the storied Port Mourant still. That said, I'd consider the AW marque to be a little brother to the standard PM marque– this Albion holds back on the funk comparatively, and has more sweet and straightforward fruity notes.

The pungent nose provides oranges and prunes, savory almond butter and dates, and less conventional notes like freezer-burned ice and model glue; in some sniffs, I could actually mistake this for a Worthy Park rum. The palate and finish ease off the throttle, giving a wave of fruits and funky notes on the palate, before easing into a more subtle, fruity, and spicy finish.

I'd say this is a good single barrel pick from the ARS folks, and one that could serve as a gateway to Port Mourant and other funky rums. I like the more mellow finish, which acts as an off ramp, allowing ones palate to reset before diving into a different rum (or another sip of the Albion). Holmes Cay continues to impress with the rums they are putting out there, with this being a great example.

Further Reading