1931 St Lucia Distillers – 2nd Edition

1931 St Lucia Distillers (2nd Edition) review by the fat rum pirateThis is the 81st anniversary edition of the 1931.  Following up from 2011’s original edition.  St Lucia Distillers are perhaps most famous for their Chairman’s Reserve and Admiral Rodney rums.

Domestically their Bounty rum is very popular, though strangely not widely available outside the Caribbean.  It is available in the US under the Denros brand.

Despite me liking Chairman’s Reserve and Admiral Rodney I was a little slow in getting these 1931 rum’s.  I wasn’t initially all that sure how different each bottling would be.  By the time I got around to looking seriously at them their third edition was well on the way.  As I write now the 4th edition (or 83) is available.  Fortunately I know have all four in my possession and will be fast tracking the reviews!

My bottling is batch 02 number 09621 and was bottled on the 23 July 2012.  In the UK, if you are still lucky enough to find a bottle of this, it will set you back around £60.  Bottled at 43% ABV.

The presentation is identical in style to the original 1931 apart from the colour scheme.  They opted for purple for this release.  We get the fantastic decanter like bottle and the huge cork stopper along with the still slightly flimsy box and the slightly too large pourer which can make things a bit tricky at times and sadly leads to bigger pours than you intend (yeah, right).

As mentioned earlier I was unsure how different each 1931 expression was.  I was reliably informed prior to buying that each rum is very much diferent.  It isn’t a case of batch variation, the rums used in each blend are very different.  Producing an entirely different rum each year.

The rums in this edition are from 2004,05 and 06 they include 100% Coffey (continuous) still distillates matured in Bourbon casks and Port Pipes alongside 100% Pot still and 50/50 blends.  So there is quite a lot of blending involved in producing this rum.

1931 2nd Edition Rum Review by the fat rum pirateOnce blended the rums are given a further maturation of 3 months in order for them to “marry”.

I was slightly disappointed by the first 1931.  I felt that whilst it had a lot of good points, it just felt a little bit overworked and not everything was working in the blend.  I still rate Admiral Rodney despite it being all continuous still rum as the better overall rum.

From the notes on the blending you can see that this is also quite a busy rum with a lot going on.  Let’s move on and see how it is.

In the glass the 1931 is a rich vibrant reddish brown colour.  It looks nicely aged and the nose is quite striking.  Like the first edition I’m getting quite a lot of the Bourbon cask ageing with this rum.  There is a kind of “sour mash” note to the nose.  It’s quite a full nose with initial hints of vanilla, cocoa and rich fruits – peaches and sweet green apples.  There is also a nice hit of oak ageing in the mix adding an extra layer to the nose.

The full flavourful nose follows through onto the tasting. Sipped, initially the rum is very sweet.  Bitter sweet/sour almost like a good Bourbon.  At first I felt that it might be a bit top heavy with the Pot Still rum, like the first edition but I feel this rum has a slightly better balance.  No one note dominates – initial upfront sweetness gives way to a slightly sour mouthfeel which leads to a nice and warming long lasting finish of oak and some gentle spices.  It is smooth and sweet yet complex enough to challenge the palate. It is a classic sipping rum in that each mouthful gives you something else.  An extra layer, a slight note of tobacco or dark chocolate suddenly appears.  Maybe a liitle pepper in the finish or a sudden note of sweet cherries.

Surprisingly this reminds me in many ways of Appleton 12.  Initially I wasn’t so sure imageabout that rum.  After a few sessions with it, it slowly revealed all its charms.  Until I finally found that it was indeed a very good rum.  I’m finding the same with this.  It’s not a challenging sipper in a sense that it is intense like Smith & Cross or an aged Caroni but it is challenging in that you need to spend some time with it to fully appreciate it.  It’s a grower and has a lot of depth.

I wouldn’t mix this rum, that would be madness.  Especially as St Lucia Distillers produce Chairman’s Reserve which as any regular readers will know is one of my all time favourite mixers.

This is a shade better than the first 1931 – anyone looking for a complex sipper will not be disappointed with this rum.

If you can still find it I would recommend splashing the cash.  Well worth £60.

4.5 stars






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