Chairman's Reserve Spiced

Chairman's Reserve Spiced rum

Product of:  St. Lucia
Aged:  about 5 years
Price: $20
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context: Flavored/Spiced Rum
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes
Chairman’s Reserve displays an attractive red/brown color similar to cinnamon bark, with caramel added.  Sugary orange is the most prevalent aroma, though not quite as forward as you smell in an orange liqueur.  Perhaps a dose of bitter orange peel tempers the sweet fruitiness, whereas cinnamon and clove add some spicy heat.  Vanilla is subdued, slightly softening the more immediate aromas, but it doesn’t overwhelm as it does in so many spiced rums.  Popular Caribbean spices like nutmeg and allspice are evident, albeit in lesser measure.  You can taste the similarity to Chairman’s Reserve in the Spiced version.  Beyond that, sweet orange and Caribbean spices are readily tasted, and the flavors are more well-balanced than the aromas lead you to expect.  Thankfully, the blenders decided to tone down the usually astringent flavor of bois bandé with mild coconut flavor, and spared us from the trend to dose heavily with vanilla.  The medium weight body carries the spice flavors well before disappearing in a smooth and moderately short finish. 

St. Lucia distillers starts with a quality base rum, using Chairman’s Reserve as the foundation for their new Spiced version. The rum is produced in copper alembic pot and continuous column stills, then aged in used Kentucky bourbon barrels.  Bois bandé is allowed to sit for a year or two infusing the rum with it’s unique flavor and aroma.  Natural and artificial flavors are added periodically, some not until the final blending. 

Pitons-Gorgeous copy

Anecdotes 
With Chairman’s Reserve Spiced rum, the Rum Gallery has come full circle.  First tasted five years before this writing while relaxing on a tall ship in the Windward Islands, I shared my first taste of Chairman’s Reserve with my former website partner, Roger Patteson.  Shortly after enjoying our first sips, we decided to establish a website dedicated to reviewing great rum, and RnD Rum Reviews was born.  Five year later, I’m writing about the new Spiced version of Chairman’s Reserve while sitting on a boat moored between St. Lucia’s iconic Piton mountains, waiting for the full moon to rise between them.  The sun set only a few moments ago, and I couldn’t ask for a more appropriate rum.   It's delicious combination of ten spices are working their magic.

Opinion
St. Lucia Distillers suggests mixing Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum with ginger beer on ice and adding fresh grated nutmeg.  I tried it, and they are correct but selling themselves short - it’s thoroughly enjoyable for sipping neat or on the rocks.  I’m confident it will find home in many rum cocktails. 

Reviewed:  February 19, 2011 on a sailboat moored in the lee of the Pitons of St. Lucia, and again at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017