St Lucia Distillers was founded in 1972 and is based in the valley of Roseau on the island of St Lucia. In the 1950s, only two distilleries remained on the island, Dennery on the Barnard family plantation, and the Geest-owned facility at Roseau. These two distilleries combined to form St. Lucia Distillers Group at the location of Roseau in 1972, and it is now the island's only remaining distillery. The Barnard family then bought out the Geest's shares in 1992, and in 2005 they sold their shareholdings to Clico Barbados Holdings, though Laurie Barnard stayed on as Managing Director. In May 2007 the distillery suffered an arson attack, which destroyed the laboratory and blending building, and the brand was forced to work from a converted warehouse for years after.
The distillery now sources its sugar cane from Guyana, as banana plantations have replaced sugar plantations on St Lucia. However, the distillery recently planted five acres of sugar cane on site.
Chairman’s Reserve Legacy
Chairman’s Reserve Legacy is a special bottling from Chairman's Reserve, celebrating the legacy of founder Laurie Bernard! His vision and passion for good rum pushed the St Lucia Distillers to expand their kit and broaden their rum horizons. Pot stills were added to their existing column still set up, dormant sugar cane fields were replanted for their own estate grown sugar and the craft of blending the brand's different rums to achieve greater character and complexity began. And so, the much-revered Chairman's Reserve brand was born! This expression includes column and pot still molasses-based rums blended with estate grown sugar cane rum, creating a true realisation of Laurie Bernard's vision.
The blend is five and six year old rum, tropically aged separately by batch and still type in ex-bourbon barrels before being blended.
Nose: On the nose it feels warm and intense. The signature tobacco note is here along with raw cocoa nibs, Earl Grey tea, pink grapefruit, damp cardboard and ground nutmeg. Ripe pears, cinnamon, passion fruit, mango and overripe bananas. Some caramel, old leather maple syrup and allspice.
Palate: On the palate it’s wood forward and nutty. Delicious tobacco, Thai basil, pencil shavings, raisins and overripe bananas. New furniture, old leather and oak spices. There’s a herbal/minty layer throughout. Pink pepper, juniper, coriander, pink grapefruit, marmalade, charred wood and a touch of wasabi.
Finish: The finish is long with tobacco, ginger and salted caramel.