The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2018

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Page 88 of 100

DEPARTMENT HEADER 88  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2018 Over the years, many Caribbean islands have enjoyed international attention for the rums they produce. Saint Lucia has been a quiet player on the map, but it's consistently earned high acclaim from rum enthusi- asts—more for the characteristic style of rum blends that come out of the only distillery on the island than for a particular brand. That trend is shifting: Saint Lucia is poised to elevate its status among the rum-producing Caribbean islands and has begun to export more brands true rum aficio- nados know and enjoy. While rums like Chairman's Reserve recently made waves in the international rum scene, St. Lucia Distillers Managing Director Margaret Monplaisir proclaims, "It's Bounty time!" St. Lucia Distillers came into being when the last two distilleries remaining on Saint Lucia merged in 1972. To formalize this union, the two families behind these distilleries launched Bounty Rum as their first collaborative release. For nearly 46 years, Bounty Rum has been the distillery's flagship rum brand and is at the heart of the lifestyle and culture of the local Saint Lucian population. Since the island stopped producing sugar, St. Lucia Distillers sources high-grade Guyanese molasses that's double distilled before it ages a minimum of two years in ex-bourbon casks. The Bounty Premium Gold, the core of the Bounty range, is released after a minimum of two years of aging. The Bounty Premium White is created from simply filtering the color from the Bounty Gold along with the Bounty Spiced; the latter is based on the Bounty Gold but macerated with natural vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and the infamous local Bois Bandé, a natural aphrodisiac. Finally, Bounty Premium Dark blends together column-distilled rum aged three years with seven- year-old pot-still rum also matured in ex-bourbon casks. As "The Spirit of Saint Lucia," Bounty's quality and value has made it incredibly popular on the island for the local com- munity and tourists alike; the distillery, however, has held back from exporting its flagship brand. Bounty is joining its ultra-premium peer, Chairman's Reserve, in the U.S. as rum enthu- siasts wait with great anticipation for the stateside re-release of Admiral Rodney by the end of the year. Now that the secret of Bounty Rum is out as it joins these other great varieties of rum, it's high time for Saint Lucia's day in the sun. Rum report A Secret Worth Sharing: Bounty Rum Tasting Notes Bounty Premium White Rum ($18) is proud to call itself "The Spirit of Saint Lucia." The clean scents of orange blossom, pineapple, and vanilla are refreshing. A soft, pillowy texture keeps the flavors mellow. Lilac, white-peppered papaya, and a finish of lime make this a lovely tropical spirit. 93 —M.M. Bounty Premium Gold Rum ($18) is aged in bourbon casks. A delicate perfume of butterscotch and orange peel exudes from the glass as spiced cedar flavors the palate, which alternates between apricot and peach tones with a lilting note of vanilla on the finish. 92 —M.M. Bounty Spiced Rum ($20) is a unique spirit. The aromas and flavors come from an infusion of vanilla and cinnamon with macerated bark of Richeria grandis—a tree species found in the Caribbean. It's reputed for its health benefits, but here it offers a deeply aromatic and earthy tobacco character that's exotic and sensuous. 93 —M.M. Bounty Premium Dark Rum ($20), aged in bourbon casks, is an 86-proof spirit with attention-grabbing aromas of sassafras, clove, mandarin orange, and cedar. The mélange of flavors parade in from start to mid-palate to finish in a well-structured flow. Cinnamon, passionfruit, and spiced pear lead to black tea and toasted oak. 94 —M.M. SPIRIBAM NORTH AMERICA 88  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2018

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