1931 80th Anniversary Edition (First Release - Beige Label)

1931 B&B 3H-USE

Product of: St. Lucia 
Aged: blend of rums aged 7 & 12 years
Alcohol: 43% 
Price: $US41.50 / $EC110 on St. Lucia
Context: Premium Aged Rum 
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
1931 (beige label) shows a medium dark mahogany brown color picked up from years of aging in a variety of used oak casks.  Sniffing brings wonderfully heavy heritage aromas I normally associate with pot still distillation, including mild molasses dunder, then a complex variety of oak cask aging influences, such as phenolic, smoldering wood, vanilla, caramel, hints of toasted coconut and nuts.  The initial taste welcomes some fruit and raisin flavor and chocolate not recognized in the aromas, and a coppery, oak and mild vanilla flavor.  A medium weight body conducts the rum’s flavors relatively slowly over your tongue and palate, enhancing the buildup to a pleasantly warm old-world pot still finish.

Dennery from Bar Overlook 2

Anecdotes 
Released in 2011, 1931 commemorates 80 years of producing rum at a distillery founded by Denis Barnard in the Mabouya Valley near the small fishing village of Dennery.  That distillery ceased operations in 1972 after merging with a distillery located in in the Roseau Valley, and together they formed St. Lucia Distillers, which continue operations in Roseau.  Today, there is a picturesque scenic overlook above Dennery (see photo), with several roadside bars featuring St. Lucia Distillery’s fine rums plus local overproof herbal spiced rums that glaze your gaze on the beautiful valley and coastline below. 

1931 Beige, Magenta & Teal Labels DNA Chart-RG1

1931 is a blend of rums distilled in three copper pot stills and a coffey (column) still in 2004 and 1999.  The chart pictured at right explains the rums complex DNA. Aging is incredibly varied, with nine different types of oak casks used, including seven American white oak barrels once used for aging bourbon (Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace) and two casks previously used for aging Port.  Rums from those barrels were blended and further allowed to marry in American white oak for another three months before a light filtering and bottling.  Each year St. Lucia Distillers Ltd produces another unique edition. 

1931 Coin 2-USE

1931‘s packaging had to compliment the special rum.  St. Lucia’s finest is showcased brilliantly in a hefty clear slender & wide oval section decanter with a massively thick bottom and topped with a distinctive wood cap and natural cork stopper.  The distiller plans to change the box and bottle label’s color yearly, along with the dated metal coin indented into the classy wooden cap.  The annual updates will celebrate sequential (81, 82…etc) years of St. Lucian rum making.  Each bottle is serialized and dated.  This review is written after sampling bottle 1773 from batch 01, bottled on 17 May 2011. 

Opinion 
Every island has it’s own unique style and flavor of rum.  Get to know the styles well, and you can narrow down a rum to it’s country of origin in a blind tasting.  The inspiringly beautiful mountainous and beachy island of St. Lucia has its own characteristic rum style.  Most everyone is awestruck at the sight of the famous Pitons rising majestically out of the Caribbean sea.  The top-end 1931 is the pinnacle of St. Lucia’s many traditionally crafted, delicious rums that include collectible Admiral Rodney, Chairman’s Reserve, it's Spiced cousin, and the versatile, affordable Bounty.  If you like finely aged, complex blends of pot and column still rums, you’re going to love 1931.

Reviewed:  May 2012 while sailing around St. Lucia, and again in June 2012 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017