Chairman's Reserve, 'The Forgotten Casks' Rum, St. Lucia Distillers
Sugarcane first arrived in St Lucia in the 1700s, with the thriving rum trade close on its heels. By the 1950s, however, most Caribbean rum producing islands had slowed their pace, and St Lucia was no exception. The last operating distillery now remains in Roseau, uniting the island’s rums under one banner: St Lucia Distillers Group.
Chairman’s Reserve was first blended in 1999, overseen by then-Chairman Laurie Barnard. A blend of column and pot distilled rums, the line features some of St Lucia’s most beloved spirits.
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On May 2, 2007, St. Lucia Distillers was struck by a major fire; most of the distillery was spared but much of their storage space for aging casks was lost. In the melee that followed, their cellar master, Cyril Mangal, was forced to find space for aging casks in the most unusual places. Some of these were tucked away and subsequently forgotten about, only to be rediscovered – and then offered as a limited release. While those unique, surviving barrels have long since been bottled, the blend was so uniquely delicious that it’s been recreated and honored with Chairman’s Reserve: The Forgotten Casks.
A blend of Coffey (column) and pot stills, the rum is a blend of juice aged from 7 – 10 years in used American oak barrels. Individual casks (aged 2-5) were blended together and aged as a blend for an additional 5 years to create the final product. Wonderfully intense nose of sweet raisin, sultana and hints of tobacco and vanilla from the oak. Intense palate with sweet honeyed fruit and spices, yielding a delightfully complex rum.