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Flawed with a glimmer of hope
We go back to St. Lucia this time for an 11 Year aged Coffey Column still rum from Saint Lucia Distillers. This rum is a Master’s Selection from Chairman’s Reserve for B.C. Bros purchased here in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a molasses based rum that was distilled entirely on a Coffey column still from the bottom plates and then tropically aged for 11 Years before being bottled at a post Angels share cask strength of 57.9% ABV.
Thus far I have loved the two distillates that I have had from Saint Lucia and I waited several months for this Masters Selection to arrive. Both of the rums I have had from St. Lucia thus far were predominately pot still rums (Chairman’s Reserve Legacy, which is a blend of column and pot still and was much better than I expected; and Hamilton St. Lucia Pot Still 9 Year which is a pure pot still and which absolutely blew me away). The reviews I have read of this distillate compare favorably to the Foursquare ECS series, which has me a little excited. So how does this pure Coffey column still rum from St. Lucia measure up to the pot still stuff?
The nose from the bottle is quite tame but once it is in the glass it opens up quite nicely. Nosing the Glencairn I get Caramel, Toffee, Coffee, Cherry Cola, Caramelized berries and a dark earthiness. It smells nice and has an interesting combination but it is not near as pungent or pronounced as I imagined it would be. I was anticipating something akin to a Foursquare ECS on the nose, but this is more Privateer Queens Share than Foursquare ECS. It is pleasant enough on the nose though.
The palate is very, very different from the nose. Taking a sip I immediately catch a mouthful of Lemon Pepper seasoning, ok I was not expecting that at all. After the Lemon Pepper it turns to Brine with light notes of Star Anise and Kiwi. This is the first time I have had a kiwi note on a rum palate. The Kiwi is then followed by Scotch, salt water taffy and a mouthful of charred wood. Eventually caramel and sea salt come out to play. This is a very briny aged rum with a lot of salty notes, it’s interesting but not really in a way I enjoy very much. Subsequent mouthfuls reveal more sea water and charred wood notes.
At first there was no finish to remark on. Eventually, I started getting some faint notes: caramel and woodsmoke. After a while I get something like salted wood chips followed by a light chlorinated pool water note. It’s very faint, and while interesting it just isn’t something I really enjoy.
Overall, while this is a novel experience with a new rum and my first experience with a St. Lucia long aged column distillate, I can’t say it’s something I really enjoyed. It has a few fascinating notes like kiwi and lemon pepper. Beyond that though this is a super briny and saltiness driven rum, and those notes are just a bit too overpowering to my liking. It does get a little better with time and added water, but overall it just isn’t a rum I enjoy. I see what they are going for but it just isn’t for me.
I had read that this rum was intense and fruit driven much like a Foursquare ECS but I just don’t see the similarities, at all. This is almost closer in profile to an aged Agricole with a ton of salt like influence (maybe like a variant of aged Trois Rivieres?)
I will see what cocktails this plays with but for now I am fairly disappointed. Maybe some rummies would dig this profile, but it’s not something I see myself turning to for an evening sip. Thankfully, I still have a whole bottle of Hamilton St. Lucia Pot Still 9 Year to make me forget about this one until I can figure out where it might shine (Mai Tais maybe?)
Nose: Caramel, Toffee, Coffee, Cherry Cola, Caramelized Berries, Dark earthiness
Palate: Lemon pepper, Brine, Star Anise, Kiwi, Whiskey, Saltwater taffy, charred wood, salted caramel. Overall very salt themed.
Finish: (faint, very short ) Caramel, wood smoke, Salted Wood Chips, long after light pool water.
Country of Origin: St. Lucia
Distillery: Saint Lucia Distillers
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