Chairman’s Reserve Single Batch Release – 9 Year John Dore 1 Brandy Cask – Austin Rum Society Pick – 51%
Stats: St Lucia Distillers single batch release, made from fermented molasses, distilled in 2011 on the John Dore 1 pot still, aged 9 years in Brandy casks, and bottled on March 5, 2021 at 51%.
Background: Ania Robbins of Spiribam offered to sample me and Ryan (spirits buyer) from Wiggy’s on several Chairman’s barrels for a limited Texas release. The three of us went through about 8 samples in quick succession, each taking our own notes without discussing any kind of rating system. At the end, I revealed that I put a star next to my three favorites, but two stars next to one in particular. Unbeknownst to me, Ania and Ryan had a star system of their own, and just so happened to put two stars next to that very same expression. The three of us were in full unison on this pick. Just 80 bottles arrived in Texas in early February, being sold exclusively through Wiggy’s. At the time of this writing (less than 1 month later), half the allotment has already sold.
Conditions: Enjoyed neat over several sessions in a combination of Glencairn, NEAT, and “Perfect Whiskey” glasses.
Nose: Earthy. Dank. Pot still funk. Aquarium. Garlic. Prunes. Green apple. Vanilla. Balloons. Slight sneaker. Mild metallic.
Mouth: Pot still funk. Super rich and decadent. Chocolate, powdered cinnamon, laundry detergent, shoe store, cotton candy, ash, copper, wilted lavender, prune, balloon animal. Cardamon and dryer sheets linger.
Final thoughts: This is such a unique, yet approachable rum. The flavors that St Lucia Distillers get from their John Dore pot still are so distinctly funky yet the full 9 year aging in brandy cask really brings it cohesively together. The proof is high enough to show its presence, yet welcoming enough that one pour begets another, and another, and the next thing you know, you’re struggling to restrain yourself. It’s a sensory overload, requiring time to scan all corners of my memory bank and imagination to put proper vocabulary to individual notes I’m detecting. While distinctly SLD and one of several pot still St Lucian rums in my arsenal, I don’t have another one that tastes like this. It’s unique and interesting and odd enough to keep my glass full and my mind in wonder, yet I believe it’s still approachable and appealing enough for imbibers of any ilk.
My Rating: 5
1 – I don’t want this in my mouth ever again
2 – Best used for mixing
3 – Decent sipper
4 – Very enjoyable
5 – I’m buying a back up bottle