If you would like to know a bit more about the delicious rum you will be drinking whilst on your Endless Summer Boat Cruise, read on about the history of one of St Lucia’s most famous products. Then while you are relaxing on the deck and enjoying the St Lucia Tour, sipping a refreshing Rum Punch it will mean so much more!
St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies emerged from a tradition of the on-site, house-special rum production that was a common feature of the West Indian sugar plantation. Sugar’s by-product, molasses was fermented and distilled to rum, the demand for which has been a constant through the fluctuations of West Indian plantation economies. By the late 1950s, two distilleries remained, one at Dennery, the site of the Barnard family plantation, and the other Geest-owned at Roseau, the present day location of the St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies.
St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies was formed in 1972 when the two distilleries amalgamated producing a now-discontinued blend of rum whose name reflected the merger, Denros Bounty Rum. The Barnard family bought out the Geest shares in 1992 and in 1997 sold shares to Trinidad-based Angostura Ltd., giving the company a wider regional presence and the capital to pursue the product development philosophy which has since characterised St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies. In 2005 the Barnard family, planters and rum distillers for over a century sold to CLICO, with third generation rum-maker Laurie Barnard staying on as Managing Director.
St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies, in the thirty nine (39) years since its inception, has grown from producing a single-label mass-market rum to a portfolio of premium rums and liqueurs.
Chairman’s Reserve was first blended in 1999 and was overseen by the Chairman, Laurie Barnard who conceived a quality rum which was blended using continuous and pot still rums coming on stream after ageing. Local demand has been phenomenal and the brand has expanded internationally, where the versatility of the rum makes for great cocktails.
Chairman’s Reserve recently won Gold – Best in Class at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and Double Gold at the San Francisco.
Tasting Note: Good dark brown amber colour. The pot still richness comes through on the nose with sweet honeyed fruit and spicy vanilla from the oak. The palate is balanced, with a mellow but complex mix of ripe raisin fruit, tobacco and spice. The rum has a long enjoyable finish. In St. Lucia Chairman’s reserve is best enjoyed with coconut water but can be drunk neat or with a chaser of your choice.