What is it? Single Blended Rum (pot and column still rum from a single distillery) produced by the Saint Lucia distillery, in Saint Lucia. SLD have a range of different stills to play with and use both molasses and sugar cane juice to make their rums, this gives them a vast array of profiles to use for their rum brands. One of the brands that SLD produce is Chairman’s Reserve and this bottling, Legacy, is the latest release (at the time of writing) to join the core range. I’m not going to go into the back story on this by just repeating what is available on the SLD website but in short it is named after former Chairman Laurie Barnard who pioneered SLDs current outlook of using multiple still types, barrel types and a proprietary yeast strain to allow the company to produce the wide range of rums for blending, at a time when many other distilleries were just using column stills for high yield output. You can read a bit more about it on the fact sheet here Chairman’s Legacy factsheet.
So what’s in the bottle then? Well:
Chairman’s Reserve Legacy is a blend of rums from the John Dore and Vendome Pot Stills and the Coffey Column Still. The rums vary in age from 5 years old to around 7.5 years old, tropically, and all aged in ex-bourbon casks. The breakdown is thus;
- Pot Still John Dore 1. Rum aged 5 years. Sugar Cane Juice based (8%)
- Pot Still John Dore 2. Rum aged 7.5 years. Molasses based (16%)
- Pot Still Vendome. Rum aged 7 years. Molasses based (4%)
- Coffey Column Still RR104 marque. Rum aged 5.5 years. Molasses based (72%)
The rum is bottled at 43% abv. There are no alterations but I believe that the rum is coloured and chill-filtered.
Nose: Very fragrant at first with lavender, white flowers, pine sap and hay. Things get deeper then with rich tobacco leaves, leather, hazelnuts, pecans, toffee and vanilla. There’s a little spice here too in the form of anise, cardamom, clove, then phenolic camphor and menthol. Flashes of fruit pop up throughout with orange zest, mango, passion fruit sharpness and banana.
Palate: Good weight to the mouth feel. Sweet entry but gets spicy. It starts out with a little toffee and dry cocoa then loads of wood with notes of ginger, clove, allspice, cut planks or a chewed pencil, black peppercorns and a little liquorice. Sweet tobacco smoke billows around, handfuls of roasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate sits with it and then mentholly, minty, camphory notes arrive; really quite herbal in parts. Not massively fruity here but where it is it’s orange, banana and tangy gooseberry.
Finish: Medium. Plenty of nutty toffee and more banana at the end, intermixed with smoke, a little ginger or pepper spice and bags of herbal notes in line with both the nose and the palate as it ends.
Thoughts? Very complex with loads going on to interest, but at the same time very easy to drink. We’ve sweet notes, cask input, herbal spices, it’s really very good indeed. Yet another notch in the post for Saint Lucia showing what they can do with their stills and base type when it’s blended together.
This was released at just under £40, for a real rum of this quality it’s got to be up there as bang-for-buck rum of the year. A cracking price for this and one I’d definitely recommend picking up, especially if you’ve not tried any Saint Lucian rum before.