Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum From Saint Lucia Distillers

ChairmansOriginal2_editedFor this special Spirits Edition of Tasting Notes, we settle into our Christmas break by getting into a pour of Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum from Saint Lucia Distillers (Saint Lucia, West Indies).

First blended in 1999 with the intention to “create a fine quality rum that can represent the iconic style of St. Lucian rum,” Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum “starts with selected aged rums of both Coffey column stills and copper pot stills.”  These selected rums are “aged separately by batch and type of still in ex-Bourbon barrels, then blended and rested in oak vats for an additional six months.”  Clocking in at 40% ABV/80 PROOF, the finished Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum comes together to “become the flagship St. Lucian rum known for its harmonious well-rounded finesse and style with tremendous character for cocktails and sipping experiences.”

Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum is available in 750ml bottles (suggested retail price $27.99 each) at select liquor retailers located throughout the U.S. If you would like to order a bottle directly, you can do so by visiting Spiribam’s website (click here).

Alrighty . . . now that we have covered the story behind the rum, what do you say we crack open this bottle and make merry with some Tasting Notes?

Tasting Notes for Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum from Saint Lucia Distillers

Appearance: Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum is pristine in clarity and presents itself as a caramel-tinged, dark amber in color.  When held to direct light, deep golden yellows push through as the amber tones brighten.  When swirled about, the liquid coats the glass with a wide slick that releases some long, slow-moving legs.

Aroma: The aromatics open with caramelized banana, raisins and dark fruit. A spicy, woodsy, oaken quality then develops alongside a good amount of sweet vanilla.  Notes of honey and tobacco then turn up to round out the profile.

Taste: Rich, boozy tones of caramel and molasses are the first flavors to hit the tongue.  The barrel character then takes over, producing Bourbon-like levels of vanilla, oak and coconut.  Raisin and dried apricot offer a touch of fruity sweetness before the sip closes with a complex mix of tobacco, leather, clove spice, chocolate and floral notes.

Mouthfeel:  Slick and slightly syrupy in texture, this rum coats the palate gently and pleasantly lingers before slowly evaporating into nothingness. Sweet on the palate at first, it eventually balances out nicely thanks to the earthy tobacco and floral notes.  The 40% ABV is actually pretty tame, producing a wonderfully smooth sip that offers just a touch of warmth in the belly.  The aftertaste is all vanilla and oak.

Final Thoughts:  All in all, Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum is incredibly solid and smooth for the price point.  Thanks to its big flavors and lovely aromatics, it boasts more than enough complexity – especially when you consider the Bourbon-like notes it picks up off the barrels – so that it can easily be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.  At the same time, its reasonable price tag makes it so you do not feel guilty about using this wonderfully balanced and well-rounded rum as an ingredient in your favorite rum-based cocktails/mixed drinks.  This level of versatility makes Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum a fantastic go-to option to keep on-hand in your home bar. Be sure to keep an eye out for it the next time you find yourself wandering the aisles at your favorite retailer of fine liquors.  Prost!



Holiday Gift Guide 2019: Select Rums Chosen by Spiribam Fine Rum Specialists

RhumJMVOThe 2019 Holiday Season is upon us and it is time to start thinking about those unique gift ideas. The crew here at Mashing In is well aware that it is often difficult to find that perfect gift, so we have decided to compile a gift guide for anyone in your life that enjoys a well-crafted adult beverage from time to time. This installment of the gift guide is a suggestion for the rum aficionado in your life: a selection of fine rums curated by Spiribam.

Widely known as “America’s fine rum specialists,” Spiribam is a North American company that “represents, markets, and distributes fine Caribbean rums from Martinique, Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe, and Mauritius.”  By utilizing their vast knowledge of rum and the relationships they have established with fine rum makers, Spiribam has proudly assembled a “distinguished portfolio of world-class rums, centered on heritage, legacy, innovation, and creativity.”

In order to help you pick out the perfect bottle of rum this Holiday Season, the kind folks at Spiribam have stepped up to provide us all with the following list of reasonably priced selections – in the $30 to $40 range – from Rhum Clement of Martinique, Rhum JM of Martinique, and Chairman’s Reserve Rum of St. Lucia (descriptions sourced directly from Spiribam’s press release):

  • Rhum Clément VSOP Rhum Agricole Vieux – Established in 1887, Rhum Clement is regarded as the benchmark for Martinique Rhum Agricole. Rhum Agricole is distilled from sugarcane juice instead of molasses as is tradition. Rhum Clement was one of the first available Rhum Agricoles available in the U.S., and if you’re looking for a rhum connoisseurs’ latest obsession, you’ve arrived with Rhum Clément VSOP Rhum Agricole Vieux ($39.99), the flagship AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole and the gold standard of Martinique. Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum Agricole Vieux is aged a minimum of four years in virgin Limousin barriques and re-charred Bourbon casks. The superb alchemy of natural rum from sugarcane juice matured in a unique variety of the world’s finest oak barrels orchestrated by our Cellar Master gives this exceptional aged rum its brilliant mahogany color, roasted cocoa bean aroma and its illustrious smooth mellow character. A true world-class rum experience, and the perfect gift for rum lovers this holiday season.
  • Rhum Clement’s Select Barrel – For something a little different, try Rhum Clement’s Select Barrel ($39.99). Select Barrel is aged in particular oak barrels selected for their rich natural sweetness and intense aromatic qualities under the watchful eyes of our cellar master at Habitation Clément. The imaginative alchemy with this contemporary approach to selected oak results in a magnificent aged Rhum Agricole with well-balanced sweetness. Perfect for cold weather cocktails, such as Amber Ti’Punch.
  • Rhum JM V.O. – The elusive Rhum JM V.O. ($34.99) has been consumed with love in Martinique for decades. The V.O has been aged for a minimum of 3 years and the result is a rich, full-bodied rhum with notes of oak & caramel, balanced with the complex, expressive character unique to Martinique’s sugar cane. Three years of aging qualifies this V.O. as an “Aged Rhum” by appellation law, but the price point suits it perfectly for mixing in cocktails, filling a gap that has long existed in the world of rhum agricole. The richness achieved from the new oak makes it an excellent blending partner, while its age has allowed it to truly turn the corner and stand up as an entry-level sipper.
  • Chairman’s Reserve Rum – One of the best blended rums in the world, Chairman’s Reserve is known by rum nerds as a “single blended” rum as it is a blend of column and pot still rum from the same distillery. Due to their long-standing commitment to only using Guyanese molasses, and the small capacity of the distillery, Chairman’s Reserve is predicated on top quality and distinction. Created by Laurie Barnard, the last founding family member to hold the Chairman’s position at St. Lucia Distillers in 1999, he experimented with blending respective casks of pot still rum and column still rum. By returning the blended rum back into oak barrels for additional aging, Barnard created a soft, well-balanced, and flavorful spirit that has become the benchmark for St. Lucian rum. Try Chairman’s Reserve Original 40% ($27.99) for a taste of this excellency in St. Lucian rum, or Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum 40% ($27.99), the only all-natural and true to its heritage spiced rum on the market.

All the rums listed above are available now at select liquor retailers located throughout the U.S. If you would like to order bottles directly, you can do so by visiting Spiribam’s website (click here).  Prost!