Chairman's Reserve Single Cask
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 and industrial 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 Cask series is selected by retailers and private groups, bottled at cask strength, and provides plenty of distillation info. Both of these are 100% pot still, ex-bourbon casks.
2005 Chairman's Reserve Single Cask - Binny's (24012000) - 15 yr. - 60.6%
Notes: Sugar glaze, industrial phenols (gasoline, motor oil), underripe banana. Plate is high toned and aggressive (reminiscent of those Hamiltons). Citrus and underripe tropical fruits. Seaweed. More industrial notes - rubbery plastics that work with the profile. Dips sweet quickly before drying out with oak and rubber. Finish has some heat and medium length with the fruits and industrial notes looping back.
7 (Highly Recommend) Big, bold rum. Very enjoyable. Not sure the extra 5+ years of tropical aging brought much more than the Ed Hamilton bottlings.
2005 Chairman's Reserve Single Cask - Binny's (224001995) - 15 yr. - 61.9%
Notes: Light caramel. Cedar. Cured meat. Rich and concentrated on the nose. Soft and super concentrated on the palate before the cedar starts to unfold - the wood is deeply complex and almost hard to unpack with both fresh and dried forest-y notes. Smoked fish and maritime notes hiding up front.
W/ water (two drops): Nose opens up even further clarifying the above and dropping in some overripe mango. The palate opens up on the front, creating room for honey and baked nuts and more defined smoked fish - touch of tar. The oak does lose some of its depth, but a pleasant sugar glaze emerges in the finish.
Score: 9 (Stash Two) It's an 8 without water, but with water this is elegant, powerful, and complex.
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