By 1994, Laurie Barnard, St. Lucia Distillers' Chairman, was adamant that it was time for change: "If we are going to export our rum, we need to be different; simple column still rum distilled from molasses is one dimensional." Thus began a journey that saw the commissioning of three pot stills, as well as the replanting of sugarcane, which had ended in 1962.
Ever innovative, never content with mediocrity and possessed with a fierce competitive streak, Laurie drove the idea of having a diversity of rums from different stills and aged in contrasting woods. By 1999, these elements were in place and the launch of a new rum - Chairman's Reserve - heralded the start of exporting St. Lucian rum to the world.
Chairman's Legacy is a blend of rums that honor the contribution of Laurie Barnard to the creation of Chairman's Reserve and showcases the art of blending, which was central to his philosophy. The blend contains rums from two of their pot stills as well as the coffey column still. In addition to molasses based rums, the blend is freshened and balanced by the addition of sugarcane rum made entirely on the estate in Roseau. The resulting blend is the embodiment of the vision that Laurie Barnard had for St. Lucia Distillers.
On the nose, there is sweet raisin and butterscotch alongside tobacco, vanilla, and a subtle grassy scent from the sugarcane rum. A rich hedonistic delight on the palate, with highlights of creme brulee, sultanas, vanilla, and candied ginger. The finish is lingering and complex. Bottled at 43% abv without any added sugar or flavorings.