The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2017

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Page 105 of 116

june 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  105 june 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  105 W hen a company has been producing rum for close to 90 years, it's clear that they know what they're doing, and St. Lucia Distillers is no exception. Located on its namesake island in the Caribbean, the distillery is responsible for four primary rum brands, three of which are exported. St. Lucia Distillers was purchased by the owners of Rhum Clément a year and a half ago, with Chairman's Reserve as the crown jewel of the portfolio. "Contrary to Martinique rhum agricole made with sugarcane juice, welcoming an iconic traditional rum, such as Chairman's Reserve, into our portfolio has been exciting and makes tremendous sense for our strategy moving forward," expresses North American Regional Director Benjamin Jones. "Being Martinique's close neighbor to the south, we have long admired Chairman's Reserve and the other distinctive rums coming out of St. Lucia." The magic of Chairman's Reserve comes from the unique blend of pot still and column still aged rums masterfully crafted into rum with distinctive character and personality. Chairman's Reserve perfectly exempli- fies St. Lucian rum, and the island's culture of enjoying a finer life. High-grade molasses is deliv- ered direct to the distillery's shores by boat from Guyana. Chairman's Reserve is a unique blend of batches of copper pot still and a Coffey (continuous) still rum aged in bourbon casks. The assembly of these diverse rums is then aged together for another six months in bourbon casks for a well-balanced marriage. "The blend of various aged rums allows for a versatile, balanced rum that has its own personality," Jones adds. Chairman's Reserve has relaunched in the United States with three expressions: Chairman's Reserve Rum ($27.99), Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum ($27.99), which is infused with local traditional spices from St. Lucia and Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Casks ($49.99). Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Casks came after a fire at the distillery in 2007. Jones recalls, "As the distillery was re-built, they found dozens of barrels of rum that had been aging in their blending casks for an unintentional three years rather than the normal six months. It was decided to release this rare expression as the Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Casks, which stylistically has remained the same since the original release." Chairman's Reserve has been re-released through- out the United States and Canada with a "fresh new look to its bottles," adds Jones, "and in 2018 is welcoming a white rum as well as a rare limited reserve to be released as Chairman's Reserve 1931. There had been a St. Lucia Distillers' brand—a very highly sought after blend of bespoke rums bottled under the name 1931, named after the year the distillery was originally founded." The 1931 rum will continue to be a limited release under the Chairman's Reserve brand as a high-end sipping rum consisting of a unique blend of rums aged from six to 13 years. —Jesse Hom-Dawson Island Rum w Chairman's Reserve Saint Lucia Distillers Chairman's Reserve Rum It defines the spirits' sensual nature. The amber-honey hue leads to heady aromas of dried flowers, orange rind and toffee. On the palate, a biscuit flavor embellishes fruity tones such as ripe pear, while the texture is rich, with a hint of caraway and apricot. The composed finish has no trace of heat or bite and leads to a warm tangerine sweetness. 96 —Meridith May Tasng Notes Saint Lucia Distillers Chairman's Reserve Finest "The Forgotten Casks" Rum An extra-aged version of Chairman's Reserve, aged up to 10 years. Stunning deep orange- amber-tea color with an assertive nose of dried figs and dates and toasted wheat bread spread with orange marmalade. The flavors combine a brine as well as honeyed oak with an Armagnac character throughout. A fine astringency hits mid-palate—with a walnut dryness and a caramel candied note. The finish combines Pekoe tea, tannin and a graceful spice. 95 —M. M. RHUM CLÉMENT

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