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!


Coconut Cartel Enters Liquor Industry With Launch of ‘World’s First Premium Coconut Rum’

coconutcartelbottleonlyCoconut Cartel (Miami, Florida) has announced that it is officially expanding its brand with the launch of its first premium rum, Coconut Cartel Special.

After making a name for themselves with Fresh Branded Coconuts that ended up in the hands of celebrities such as Salma Hayek, Drake and Martha Stewart, the people behind Coconut Cartel are taking the next step in their journey by fully embracing their original inspiration – “a fresh cold coconut spiked with a shot of Central American aged rum” – and bottling it.

The “refreshing, delicious and naturally just a little sweet” Coconut Cartel Special accurately represents that inspiration by infusing “a unique blend of Central American dark rum . . . with real coconut water to proof. The natural minerality in the coconut water makes this blend uniquely smooth, with notes of vanilla at first and a touch of coconut as the finish.”  Coconut Cartel Special is 40% ABV/80 PROOF.

“Premium Rum is finally having its moment in the sun, and the timing couldn’t be better to launch a fresh new face in somewhat a dull space. We are excited to change people’s perception of what they think rum is (hint: it’s not just what you chugged in college).”


– Mike Zig, founder of Coconut Cartel

Coconut Cartel Special is available now in 750ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $36.99.  You can expect to find this premium spirit in Florida, California and New York and available to ship to 42 states online through Coconut Cartel’s website. Prost!


Don Q Introduces Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum

DonQDBVermouthBottleDestilería Serrallés Inc. (Ponce, Puerto Rico), the producers of Don Q Rum, recently announced the release of Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum as the distillery’s latest Special Edition offering.

With the intention to expand upon Don Q’s “focus on unique barrel-aged expressions”, Jaiker Soto – the distillery’s Master Blender – developed Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum by first carefully blending “rare rums” that have aged for five to eight years in American white oak casks.  Soto then sent that blend to “rest for 4 to 6 weeks in Mancino Vermouth Vecchio barrels” so that the rum could pick up “the distinct aromatics of the fortified wine [the casks] once carried, as well as the botanical flavors synonymous with vermouth.”  Now infused with “a dynamic mix of flavors and a rich, aromatic essence”, the completed Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum emerges straight from the bottle with an “expression . . . reminiscent of a classic Manhattan, with the sweet vermouth-soaked wood barrel creating hints of cherry and raisins that interact nicely with the rare aged rum blend’s natural honey, dark chocolate and vanilla flavors.”  That being the case, Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum is at its best when served neat or on the rocks.

“Blending innovation, art and science has always been characteristic in the way we have been crafting exceptional spirits for the last 153 years. This new expression has allowed us to collaborate with other high-quality artisans in the industry,” says Roberto Serrallés, Sixth-generation rum maker and Business Development Vice President. “We’ve been excited with the idea of creating unique spirits from unexpected pairings through barrel-aging in recent years, and felt it was the perfect time to enter the category. Our team had been planning this expression for several years, and are grateful to our friends at Mancino Vermouth for helping us bring this dream to fruition with their barrels.”

Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum is available now in 750ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $49.99 each.  You can find this Special Release offering at select liquor stores located in Florida and all other states that normally see offerings from Don Q Rum.  Prost!

Vital Information for Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum from Don Q Rum

Release – Special Edition, debuts February 2018
Style – Rum (blended)
ABV – 40% (80 Proof)
Treatment – “A blend of rare rums first aged for 5 to 8 years in American White oak casks, followed by 4 to 6 weeks in Mancino Vermouth Vecchio casks, crafted from Italian white oak”
Availability – 750ml bottles
Rum Finder – https://donq.com/where-to-buy/