Review: Chairman’s Reserve 1931 Rum
At the top of the Saint Lucia-based Chairman’s Reserve rum lineup is this bottling, Chairman’s Reserve 1931, “a tribute to the rum philosophy and craft” of its founder, Denis Barnard, who founded the distillery in 1931. This blend of column and pot distilled rums spend 6 to 11 years in a combination of bourbon and Port casks. The full breakdown of still and cask types is available on Chairman’s website. (Spoiler: it’s 99% aged in bourbon casks and 72% column distilled.)
The pot still rum in the blend is notable here, offering a punchy but not overwhelming hogo note on the nose, alongside notes of baking spice, burnt caramel, and some fresh-poured asphalt. That grittiness translates well to the palate, which comes across as a bit more austere and serious than the typical bottling, but which finds beautiful complements in the form of tropical pineapple and dark chocolate notes, both of which grow more intense as the rum develops in the glass. A lightly smoky character emerges with further time to coalesce, though it finishes with a note of banana and a pinch of spice.