Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection 2011 8 Years Old

Chairman's Reserve Master's Selection 2011 8 Years Old rum review by the fat rum pirateChairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection 2011 8 Years Old. Another The Whisky Exchange exclusive following on from the 2006 – 13 Year Old, released earlier in the year.

These bottlings from Saint Lucia Distillers have been popping up all over the place with a number of retailers buying single casks as well as other rum groups commissioning bottles.

Ultimately a lot of them are very different. Though if you look around you will see a few very similar casks or badged with different groups names. I wouldn’t even try to collect them all at this point! My pockets aren’t deep enough by a long stretch.

As we can see from the numbers, this is a younger rum than the previous effort by 5 years. Price wise that is pretty much reflected. The 13 Year Old rum retails at £69.95. This is going at what I consider once again to be very reasonable £49.95. Unlike the 13 Year however, which was bottled at Cask Strength or near enough this has been reduced down to what some might say a quite pedestrian 46% ABV.

In all honesty I still see 46% ABV as a more than acceptable drinking strength for me. It’s not a huge problem though other people demand Cask Strength.

Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection 2011 8 Years Old is a blend of Pot and Column distilled rum. The Pot element of the rum comes from the 1500 litre capacity John Dore 1 Pot Still and the Column element from the Traditional Coffey still at Saint Lucia Distillers. It has been aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 8 years in Saint Lucia.

As with all these Master’s Selection it comes in the “traditional” stubby rounded Chairman’s Reserve bottle. The colour scheme of white, gold and black works nicely. The rum comes housed in a cut out style brown card box. A chunky synthetic cork stopper seals the rum. As mentioned it is available exclusively at The Whisky Exchange.

John Dore Pot StillIn the glass we have a light to golden brown spirit. The nose is comfortingly familiar. It reminds me of a couple of Berry Bros independent bottlings that I picked up a few years ago. A bit of fresh continental aged feel to it. It doesn’t smell young per se but it has a kind of more mineral like quality. It’s less intense and fruity than certainly the 13 Year Old.

It has the familiar herbal note and burnt rubber I associate with Saint Lucia Distillers. I’ve always struggled to quite pin point a lot of what I nose with SLD’s rums. They are a kind of fusion of Jamaican funk, Caroni tarriness and Barbadian balance and approachability. It just depends on the actual rum which mix of what you get and in what amount. This certainly seems a lighter more Barbadian like profile (but still with a bit funk and tar!)

Vanilla, Burnt Banana, Pineapple, Payapa a touch of liquorice are all present on the nose. Encompassed by those rich herbal pine cone like notes and a slight astringency adding a bit oomph to proceedings.

Sipped Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection 2011 8 Years Old is a strange mix of quite a punchy spirit yet it is very easy to drink. That may be the ABV. Maybe at Cask Strength I may have found this a bit too “boozy”. It may just be and I know some Rum Geeks might find this a horrific statement – sometimes these Master Blenders and bottlers actually know what they are doing reducing the ABV. Maybe but don’t quote me on that.

The initial entry is quite intense with a fair amount of charred oak and some quite spicy woody notes. These fades quite quickly though and is less pronounced the more you sip. The mid palate is where we find the best balance.

Chairman's Reserve Master's Selection 2011 8 Years Old rum review by the fat rum pirateThe vanilla and soft chocolate notes make their appearance once the initial heat of the entry dies down a little. It is a little agricole like at the start – a little grassy but as the mid palate evolves, it definitely mellows out.

There is also an undercurrent of bitter liquorice and some burnt tyres which add a further complexity to this rum.

Finish wise, it fades nicely into some ginger, oak spice and a tiny touch of orange zest.

If you enjoy the standard Chairman’s Reserve range and were looking at something a bit pricier as an upgrade then this is not badly priced at all. I would recommend trying this over the Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Casks. I don’t think that offers as much of a progression as this.






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One comment on “Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection 2011 8 Years Old

  1. This seems to be the same rum as is sold in the Netherlands by Gall & Gall (a large Dutch liquor store chain); cellar master Cyril Mangal/8 years/ bottled at 16-08-2019 and with 50% John Dore 1 still and 50% column still rums at 46% ABV. I haven’t had the chance yet to give it a try but I am curious as I wasn’t too happy with ‘the forgotten casks’; I prefer the standard Chairman’s Reserve over that one.

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