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Chairman’s Reserve Rum

Review: Chairman’s Reserve Rum   (86/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on February 12, 2021

St. Lucia Distillers is a joint venture of the last two remaining rum distillers on the Island.

Their flagship rum Chairman’s Reserve was first blended in 1999 with the process overseen by then Chairman Laurie Barnard. The rum is created from a blend of molasses based, aged cane spirit produced on both Coffey and Copper Pot Stills which were matured in  American Oak. After marrying the different rums together they were re-barrelled for final finishing.

Chairman’s Reserve is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume and according to the website information the average age of the blended cane spirits is 5 years.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

The Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Cask arrives in the stubby bottle shown to the left.  The bottle and the label both seem to exude a classy masculinity which I appreciate. The label looks professions with easy to read fonts and colours.The bottle follows the bartender’s creed of being easy to store (the stubbly bottle is stable with a round shape that rests easily on any bartender’s shelf); easy to hold (the round cylindrical bottle is not too wide for the average person’s hand); and easy to pour (the long neck helps us avoid spilling). My only suggestions to improve things would be to increase the depth of glass at the base to give the bottle a little more heft and stability, and to replace the metallic screw cap with a plastic cap or cork.

In The Glass 8.5/10

Colour:  Copper

Legs: Slender legs falling rapidly

Nose:  Fine oak spice, butterscotch, vanilla, almond, leather and burlap, herbal grass and hay, light baking spice

Chariman’s Reserve Rum has a light herbal grassy note which runs through the breezes and is typical of rums which have some pot still distillate within their make up. Over top of this herbal note are classic notes of fine oak spice, butterscotch and molasses, vanilla and almond. The oak note seems almost leathery. Orange peel spices the air combined with softer notes of banana as well as tropical fruit welling up after the glass has had some time to breathe.

In the Mouth 52/60

When I take a sip, the rum has a little heat from the fine oak spices as well as a touch of alcohol bite. Herbal grassy flavours lead out. These are melded with butterscotch, vanilla, oak spice, orange peel and almond. Baking spices and tobacco, fresh leather, canned apricots, hints of raisins and light milk chocolate flavours seem to ooze out as I continue to sip. When I add a bit of ice the rum becomes more leathery and dry. I like the complexity which makes sipping enjoyable; however, the high degree of complexity and herbal grassy flavours which lead out hint to us that the Chairman’s Reserve will be a wonderful cocktail rum as well (see recipe below).

In The Throat: 12.5/15

Chairman’s Reserve Rum is light to medium bodied with an herbal grassy finish. I taste vanilla, baking spice and almond during the swallow with heated oak spice and orange peel lingering afterwards. A light menthol helps ease the heat.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

The Chairman’s Reserve Rum is high on the twin spectrums of complexity and flavour, but their is also some unwanted heat in the delivery and exit which prevents the score from climbing higher. Having said that, as a five year old rum the spirit is impressive. So far I have only sampled a few rums from St. Lucia, but those I have have certainly given me a reason to seek out more.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipe:

The Swift-Turtle

1 3/4 oz Chairman’s Reserve Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash Angostura Cocktail Bitters
orange peel

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of orange peel

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping


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