Chairman’s Reserve Legacy

Chairman's Reserve Legacy Rum review by the fat rum pirateChairman’s Reserve Legacy. Saint Lucia Distillers (SLD) have been very busy these past few years. Rapidly expanding their rum portfolio, especially in the export market. Building upon the Chairman’s Reserve name in the shape of a continuous 1931 release, they have also released several single casks and limited edition rums under the Chairman’s Reserve banner.

SLD have also introduced further expressions, to the Admiral Rodney range, as well as introducing the Bounty rum brand to Europe. This latest release, Chairman’s Reserve Legacy, sets out to commemorate the pioneering work undertaken by former “Chairman” Laurie Barnard – forever RIP.

In the mid nineties Laurie Barnard set about changing the distilleries outlook.

“If we are to export our rum we need to be different; to have the tools to make great rum the old way. A column still and molasses is one dimensional”

So began work and a Pot Still was commissioned – the distillery now has three. Around the same time the sugar cane fields, which had lain dormant since 1962, were re-planted so the distillery could use estate sugar cane again.

Laurie wanted to see a blender being able to use a variety of different rums from different stills and aged in different types of wood. A palette of rums, if you like. By 1999, Saint Lucia Distillers had such a palette in place and they released a rum which is now enjoyed in over 60 different countries – Chairman’s Reserve Finest Saint Lucia Rum.

Now anyone who has followed this blog will now that I am a big fan (and considerable consumer) of Chairman’s Reserve Finest Saint Lucia Rum. It was effectively the rum which truly set me on my rum journey. It made me realise that true quality rum did exist though I’d have to pay more than £15 a litre for it………..

Chairman’s Reserve Legacy is a blend of rums from the John Dore and Vendome Pot Stills and the Coffey Column Still. The rums vary in age from 7.5 years to 5 years old. The rums used in the blend are set out below.

All have been aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The percentages attached represent their contribution to the overall blend.

Chairman's Reserve Legacy Rum review by the fat rum pirate

John Dore 2 – 7.5 years old – Molasses based (16%)

Pot Still Vendome – 7 years old – Molasses based (4%)

Coffey Column Still RR104 marque – 5.5 years old – Molasses based (72%)

Pot Still John Dore 2 – 5 years old – Sugar Cane Juice based (8%)

 

 

The rum has been bottled at 43% ABV.

Chairman’s Reserve Legacy is presented in a similar stubby rounded bottle to the regular Chairman’s Reserve. However, the neck is slightly shorter and thinner and it is topped with a synthetic cork stopper with a plastic topper with Saint Lucia Distillers in gold on the top. In place of the screw cap on the standard Chairman’s.

The front label has a painting of Laurie Barnard and the rear label lets us know this is a blend of rums created in his honour.

Rather than the cut out style box of the “Masters Selection” rums, we are treated to a “full” box to house the Chairman’s Reserve Legacy. There is a write up about Laurie Barnard and his legacy on the rear of the box as well.

All in all it is a very inviting package. I must say I was a little surprised when I saw the price tag. You can currently get this from Royal Mile Whiskies for £38.95. Now I’ve seen the make up of the blend I understand a little more. I still think they could easily have sold this for around £50 and no one would have complained.

The make up of the blend – bear in mind SLD are one of the few producers that give such details – may disappoint some. Almost 3/4 of this is column still

Chairman's Reserve Legacy Rum review by the fat rum pirate

distillate. Those infatuated with Pot Stills and “More Esters” may turn their noses up at this. Likely they would anyway it being “only” £38.95 and not from an Independent bottler.

In the glass we have a golden brown liquid with flashes of mahogany

and well what I would describe as………sunshine! It’s a lovely vivid liquid.

On the nose it is sweet and slightly floral with notes of pine cone and sweet soft toffee. This moves into wafts of vanilla, just a touch of hazelnut and some oak spice. It’s not a big hefty nose but it’s got a really nice balance to it. It’s approachable and there is nothing which is off putting. Nice notes of toasted pineapple and a bit of passion fruit also come to the fore.

On the sip, it is reminiscent of Chairman’s Reserve Original but it has an extra layer of refinement and complexity. The entry has a spicy, slightly grassy/floral note which again reminds me of pine cones and a touch of pot pourri. The vanilla comes through afterward taking you through to a mid palate which has a note of spearmint. It’s very fresh with a spicy hit of oak and some tobacco notes. The fruity notes come more in the way of coconut and some banana. Baking spices and notes of sweet shortcrust pastry.

It is more complex than the nose and the intial sip might suggest. It is kind of a hybrid between the Admiral Rodney range and the 1931’s. With a bit of Chairman’s Original thrown in for good measure.

Further sips I’m getting some winter berries – Blackcurrants and some raisins and sultanas. There is a sweetness there which I think, is from the sugar cane distillate which definitely lifts this rum to another level.

The finish is better than I was expecting with far more depth and complexity. It’s long and it fades out really nicely with notes of pineapple, banana and a rich vanilla custard with plenty

Chairman's Reserve Legacy Rum review by the fat rum pirate

nutmeg. It is note quite as medicinal as some SLD output. Say a 100% Vendome Pot Still but it carries those notes as well.

I have long thought that Chairman’s Reserve Original was one of the great rum bargains of the world at just £20 a bottle. I honestly think that with this release Saint Lucia Distillers have released their “Doorly’s XO” or “Appleton Estate 12 Year Old”.

This is amazing value for money as an everyday sipper and a fantastic introduction to Saint Lucia Distillers output. I think Laurie Barnard would have absolutely loved this rum.

I dare say you might quite like it as well. At this price and value for money it’s a real no-brainer for me.

 

 

 

 

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