Updated: Nov 20
Chairman's Reserve Single Batch
My first experience with St. Lucian rums came courtesy of those rowdy, cask strength, 100% pot still releases from Ed Hamilton. They left a big impression: funky, concentrated, plenty of maritime influence. Over the past couple years, the Chairman's Reserve line has been upping the age statements, percentage of pot still distillate, and proof to the applause of rum fans. The Single Batch series comes from batches identified during blending experiments as worthy of standalone releases. Most I've run across seem to be dialed in at 102 proof.
Chairman's Reserve Single Batch - Lost Lake - 15 yr. - 50% John Dore 1 Pot Still, 50% Vendome Pot Still - 12 years in Port Cask - 51% ABV
Notes: Cedar and crisp wood notes. Port influence toward the tail of the nose. Dark chocolate. Tart berries. Mint and expo marker. The distillate is in there, amplifying everything, but there's a lot of wood and port. There's a little rot hanging out under everything. Red fruits lead on the palate. Body is thin. Distillate comes through in the finish delivering more of the brine and seaweed and honeyed nuts I associate with the distillery. Then the tart cherry pops from the port quickly again. Pour is front loaded and flavors ghost in the finish.
Score: 5 (Acceptable) Plays disjointed for me, probably too much port influence and too much dilution for my palate.
Chairman's Reserve Single Batch - Binny's - 14 yr. - 50% John Dore 1 Pot Still, 50% Coffey Still - Ex-Bourbon Cask - 51% ABV
Notes: More rum driven on the nose. Foursquare-esque with the balance between pot and column producing some nice glazed sugar and coconut notes. Light vegetal and savory spice notes. Black tea. Balance is better here. More integrated on the palate as well (though it plays muddled). This could be a medium proof Foursquare. Donut glaze. Coconut. Pot still is definitely not driving. Feels less St. Lucian to me without the heavy pot elements that I associate thanks to Ed Hamilton. Again the finish is short. This time it is also very sweet.
Score: 6 (Solid) Crushable, but unmemorable and generic.
10 - Reevaluate The Budget
9 - Stash Two (If Able)
8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)
7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers
6 - Solid - Above Average
5 - Acceptable For The Situation
4 - Not Vocally Complaining
3 - Anything Else To Drink?
2 - Nothing Nice To Say
1 - Drain Pour