Chairman's Reserve Silver

Chairmna's reserve Silver-RG3-USE

Product of:  St. Lucia
Aged:  blend of rums aged 3-4  years
Price: $25
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar: 0g/L (estimate)
Context: Premium White Rum
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
In my tasting glass, Chairman’s Reserve Silver appears, well silver.  Legs are prolific, multiplying around the entire inside perimeter of my tasting glass, then running quickly and disappearing with nary a trace.  Twist off the screw cap and, What’s this - a white rum with a bouquet?  Subtle for sure, but eaking it’s way out of the tall bottle is the ethereal sweet essence of cane-derived alcohol floating above a darker molasses dunder.  The pot still heritage is more pronounced in the aromas, with telltale fruit (raisin and old bananas) followed by citrusy marzipan sweetness.  Nice entrance, Mr. Chairman.  The initial taste is definitely a pot still reality, exhibiting loads of coppery, sulphur flavor for a white rum, a very mild fruity sweetness and a taste of light, sweet cream.  A medium-heavy body mirrors the flavors, with a creamy texture like soft bananas, before progressing toward a lingering finish of mild marzipan (dry yet sweet), while a nice warmth permeates the tip of your tongue.

Anecdotes
St. Lucia Distiller’s describes Chairman's Reserve White Label* as “…a blend of three to four year old rums distilled in a combination of copper pot stills and a Coffey still and aged in American white oak casks –  Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace – separately by still, then blended and reintroduced to oak for a further six months to marry.  We have tried to make white rum with refreshing citrus notes, complexity, and a balance that allows it to be best used as a base for cocktails and other mixed drinks.”  Judging on the criteria of ‘How well did the distiller accomplish their objective?’ I’d say they nailed it.  

*Chairman’s Reserve Silver is the same rum known as White Label in the UK and Europe.  St. Lucia Distillers was not allowed to use the term “white label” in the USA. By either name, it is a delightful mouthful of pot and column distilled rums that are aged, then filtered to remove color, and blended into one of the more interesting white rums available today. 

Opinion
The number of aged white rums that are blends of pot- and column-distillates is quite small.  Most clear rums are column distilled, aged minimally, and about as similar to tasteless Vodka as a sugarcane spirit can be.  Indeed, many vodkas are actually highly rectified molasses-based neutral spirits, so devoid of personality that you don’t know or care what they are made from.  

Enter the Chairman.  As in; Reserve Silver.  Behold a different kind of white rum.  Dual personalities by virtue of it’s parents:  one a pot still with all the rough edges we appreciate; the other a column still known for producing more socially acceptable rums amongst the dainty types.  After maturing separately for 2-4 years, the two are brought together and married in oak for another half-year or so.  The offspring is Chairman’s Reserve Silver, a St. Lucia patois rum like no other, intended to break down barriers in mixed drinks, but able to stand up for itself neat, in a glass, with ice.  It seems there’s nothing St. Lucia Distillers can’t do with the Chairman’s reserve base.  The original rides the edge of bite and smooth, the older Forgotten Casks matures and mellows with ages, the Spiced cousin turns heads and demands respect, and now the Great White Hope surprises with a truly flavorful clear rum that tastes, well, like rum.  Respect the Chairman in all his versions.

Reviewed:  August 2013 at The Rum Gallery, USA 

© Dave Russell 2017