Manchester Rum Festival

*Press Release*

RUM AT THE READY FOR MANCHESTER’S FIRST

mrfl

Manchester’s first ever rum festival is coming to town this year, thanks to freelance drinks curator Dave Marsland, aka the Drinks Enthusiast.

Located at Revolución De Cuba, the festival will be held on Saturday 3rd June, and will boast over 40 types of rum including Bacardi, Chairman’s Reserve, Diplomático, Sailor Jerry and Mezan. Brunches, afterparties and shenanigans galore will mean it’ll be a Caribbean affair from dusk ’til dawn.

Tickets cost £15 for the festival (brunches and afterparties not included) which runs from 12pm-5pm, and include a welcome drink by sponsor Coco Re’al, along with a taster from each of the 15 stalls as you work your way round exploring the top brands.

And if that’s not enough booze for you, a team of mixologists and brand ambassadors will be on hand at the cocktail bar serving up a selection of rum cocktail favourites.*

Dave Marsland said “Rum is a staple within the Manchester bar scene, especially with the popularity of venues such as Revolución De Cuba, so I wanted to celebrate it! There’s so many incredible rum brands I felt the best way to celebrate them would be with a festival.

The festival will host entertainment, themed food and drinks offers and gifts, so we really are going all out, plus there’ll be events running throughout the day to get everyone in Manchester involved. I’m just looking forward to meeting guests on the day and seeing how popular the already much-loved brands become.”

Details for brunches and after parties and further rum promotions will be announced soon, but here’s how to purchase your ticket to the main festival – http://www.manchesterrumfestival.com/whats-on

I’ve also been able to get a few images of the cocktails on offer at the festival….these include a Bacardi Mojito, Banks Swedish Rum Punch, Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai and Pusser’s & Re’al Painkiller.

Mojito using Bacardi

Mojito using Bacardi

Swedish Rum Punch using Banks 5 Island

Swedish Rum Punch using Banks 5 Island

Mai Tai using Chairmans Reserve

Mai Tai using Chairmans Reserve

Painkiller using Pussers

Painkiller using Pussers

*End*

So there we are…the venue has been announced. The list of exhibitors is growing and there is something in the line up for those new to the category and for those growing tired of the additive laden side of the market seeking something pure and refined. This coupled with cocktails and a host of other events in the city, it looks set to be pretty amazing. Being so close to us, we’d be foolish not to attend. See you there?

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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St Lucia Distillers Individual Distillates

Distillers-Final-LogoThis will be kind of a unique post because it’s maybe a little self-indulgent, as you can’t actually purchase the Rums individually….they are a choice few individual aged and unaged distillates that I was lucky enough to try during the St Lucia Distillers On Tour event in April. I was fortunately able to sweet talk Dave Marsland enough for him to allow me to decant a few samples to try at my leisure…..well I have finally found that leisure time.

What I hope that this post of quick fire notes will do is give some sort of insight into my thoughts on some of the individual marques that are produced at St Lucia Distillers which could also link into how these are used in the excellent 1931 series of releases that have seen success of late.

I have covered the various output at St Lucia Distillers in the article on 1931 linked above and in the following articles based upon the Chairman’s Reserve Range and Admiral Rodney.

Up for tasting within this article are a 5 year aged Coffey Column Distillate, a 5 year aged John Dore (assumed I) Pot Distillate, a 5 year aged Vendome Pot  Distillate, a 4 year aged Sugarcane Juice Pot Distillate (could be Vendome or John Dore I), an unaged John Dore (assumed I) Pot Distillate and an unaged Sugarcane Juice Pot Distillate (could be Vendome or John Dore I)….there were a couple more available but sadly not enough sample bottles on my part. Anyhow without further ado, we’ll head straight into it…..

I have obtained a few images of the pot stills at St Lucia Distillers straight from Michael Speakman and they give a wonderful insight into the arrangement at the distillery…the column still shot is stolen from a SLD presentation document that was made available to me….

John Dore I

John Dore Pot Still – 1500 litre capacity

John Dore II Pot Still

John Dore II Pot Still – 6000 litre capacity

Vendom Pot Still

Vendome Pot Still – 2000 litre capacity

column-still-shot-1

Coffey Twin Column Continuous Still

Tasting Notes

Sample of Unaged Sugarcane Juice Pot Distillate – 40% (Pure Single Rhum)

unaged-sugarcane-distillateGlass: It is crystal clear in the glass and not too clingy. Beautifully pungent. Initial notes are of brine and a sprinkling of salt on a stick of celery. Its grassy and vegetal whilst having a deeper sweetness. Lightly fragrant, with an almost floral note. There is also the lightest whiff of public swimming baths over here in the UK…..a deep rooted smell from my childhood.

Mouth: There is an initial very apparent sweetness along with a peppery celery.  It is a little herbal and does for me, display the characteristics of some of the more established agricole brands on the market. In particular the J. Bally Blanc. It is all very light and drinkable with a slight savoury, herbal butter sign off on the finish. Needs more oomph….but that’s not the point if this distillate.

Sample of 4 Year Aged Sugarcane Juice Pot Distillate – 40% (Pure Single Rhum)

four-year-sugarcane-distillateGlass: Light toffee colour and what appears to be a slight cloudiness which could be temperature related. This is very light with no real up front punch. I have to wait a while before I get a little light oaken vanilla. This is backed up with a slightly sour cherry note. Faint pear drop like astringency pokes its nose through. On the surface it appears to have lost the majority of its agricole like character during maturation. Additional notes are of a mild, herbal grassiness.

Mouth: Light sweetness leads with an immediate cut into drying oak. Black pepper and a fennel seed note hit the mid palate. It does show itself as a little more agricole like on the palate as the grassy, vegetal spine is there albeit somewhat subdued. It has a relatively short grassy finish with a hint of oak. It is again, very drinkable stuff and whilst its no slouch, it doesn’t posses the complexity of any of the French West Indies offerings……you can see where the influence of the more mature agricole comes in on the 4th Edition of the 1931 series….for me it is a welcome addition to that blend.

Sample of 5 Year Aged Coffey Column Distillate – 40% (Traditional Rum)

five year aged column distillateGlass: Light gold in appearance and also quite light on the nose. Coconut, milk chocolate and pencil shavings are the first discernible aromas. Vanilla and a touch of nutmeg round the nose out along with light floral notes.

Mouth: The Rum has a light body in the mouth with a very dry, oaken entry. The milk chocolate is there still along with vanilla, and a hit of white pepper. The finish is dry and of a medium length and is dominated by the light vanilla and oak.

Sample of Unaged John Dore Pot Distillate – 40% (Pure Single Rum)

unaged john dore distillateGlass: Clear with what appears to be a light blue hue. Clean, fresh pot still aromas abound. Pear drops, an unmistakable salty freshness of black olives and brine. That medicinal, almost iodine note that I expect from this still is abundant. Its vegetal and there is a creamy liquorice to round things out.

Mouth: It has a lighter mouthfeel than expected given the olive heavy nose. A mild banana like sweetness brings in the savoury / sweet note of biting into a ripe pear. Varnish powers through the mid palate with black pepper and the medicinal iodine note is very clear. The medium length finish is full of liquorice with the mildest hint of peaches.

Sample of 5 year Aged John Dore Pot Distillate – 40% (Pure Single Rum)

five year aged john dore distillateGlass: Light gold. Punchy. Very punchy. Straight up front, uncompromising medicinal iodine notes and light smoke. Oak is very apparent along with a delicate sweet / sour note. Raisins and a peppery tingle accompany acetone and another whiff of smoke. Prune juice rounds things out with something reminiscent of apple and mango juice.

Mouth: An initial sweetness of Pontefract Cakes (liquorice) leads with some antiseptic. Heavy on the medicinal notes. There is a peppery mid palate laden with drying oak, Bramley apple sauce and mango puree. A light toffee and herbal note follows. Quite savoury. The medium to long finish is where the magic happens. A very spice led dry oak and pepper develops into a leathery note with the smoke and iodine sticking around until the bitter end. This has remarkable complexity for its 5 years of maturation. Yes it needs more abv punch (I have an indie bottle that rectifies this) but you can tell that in a blend, a little John Dore goes a long way.  I can see how this could be considered out of balance for some, but with the medicinal notes, obvious barrel influence and a hint of fruit, this is totally my thing.

Sample of 5 year Aged Vendome Pot Distillate – 40% (Pure Single Rum)

five year aged vendome distillateGlass: A darker, reddish gold. This is not as punchy as the John Dore. It feels like there is more astringency on the nose. Rubber is apparent but it is more like balloons. Oaken, creosote notes hit home with pencil shavings and a mild medicinal note. Caramel and light treacle bitterness round it out with a floral honey.

Mouth: Lighter than the nose dictates. Spikey black pepper leads with a slightly sweet herbal character. Mango and a light honey note fight through before a slight bittersweet taste appears. Medicinal iodine notes are there, albeit subdued they do come to the surface as the bittersweet kicks in. A drying bitterness develops on the medium long finish that leaves my mouth full of oak and fennel seeds. This component is massively apparent in the new Elements 8 Vendome (replacement for the Gold). Yes I know that its noted on the label but its more apparent than on the older Gold bottling.

A little self indulgent perhaps given the lack of opportunities to obtain most of these distillates. There are some of the pot still bottlings available within the Secret Treasures range. On a personal level I have found this run through of the various distillates very entertaining. You start to pick out differing components within the blends more accurately based on their attributes when tried as individual distillates. The John Dore I & II and Vendome Pot Stills are fast becoming my must seek out pot still bottlings. They have their own signature in the way that the mythical Rockley (Style) Still does and it’s that medicinal, slightly smoke driven note (more so in the John Dore I) that adds so much to the blends that they are used in.

With such a huge range of marques available from their excellent array of stills, coupled with new French investment, what I would love to see in the future….and I believe wholeheartedly that the market is there for it…is a range similar to the recent Mount Gay Origins releases and the Habitation Velier range. A rare opportunity to try (at a decent +45% abv, full bottles, maybe 200ml bottles or 90ml tube container) these individual components along with a little background, still history and in-situ images of the stills. Fingers crossed.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Emporia Christmas Cocktails

*Press Release*

Emporia

Emporia Brands HQ asked a number of their award-winning brands to send across their festive recipes, perfect to impress your friends and family with.

Ron Prohibido – ‘the forbidden rum’ – is a unique premium Latino rum from Mexico. Made in a traditional 12 year solera with a unique combination of column still rums, Ron Prohibido was, in the 17th century, shipped in used sweet wine barrels to Spain where the distinctive sweet and bitter taste it acquired during the voyage was much appreciated…so much so that local producers in Spain persuaded King Felipe V to ban it – hence “prohibido”, the forbidden rum. Now, over 300 years later, this delicious rum is available in the UK for the first time.

Try their simple ‘Prohibido’:

Glass: Mug

Ingredients:

60 ml Ron Prohibido

2 tsp caster sugar

½ cup hot fresh coffee

1 cinnamon stick

Orange zest

Method:

Stir the coffee and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in Ron Prohibido and add the cinnamon and the strip of orange zest. Garnish with whipped cream, grated chocolate and grated orange zest.

Prohibido

Osborne is one of the oldest and most prestigious wine and spirit producers in Spain. Founded in 1772 by Thomas Osborne Mann to supply sherry to the UK, it remains 100% family owned, and is now run by the seventh generation.

The brightest vinous jewels in Osborne’s considerable crown are the very old rare sherries (vors). these are exceptional sherries from very special soleras, all of which were established nearly two centuries ago, and the solera for Sibarita is in fact the oldest in Jerez, dating back well over 200 years to 1792. These precious sherries have found worldwide acclaim, and are found on the lists of top restaurants around the world.

Try out their ‘PX Reserve’ recipe:

Glass: Coupette

Ingredients:

40 ml Chairman’s Reserve

10 ml Osborne PX

2 dash Angostura

Method:

Stir all the ingredients within a mixing glass over ice, then strain into a coupette.

PX Reserve

*End*

Both cocktails look pretty tasty! Now we don’t have the Osborne PX here at Rum Diaries HQ but we do another bottle of PX and of course we have Chairman’s Reserve so we are odds on to fire one of those up at some point over the Christmas period!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chairman’s Reserve Rum

Chairmans LogoThis article will be the first of a mini series covering the Rums produced by St Lucia Distillers. Seemingly you can’t talk about St Lucia Distillers without talking about Chairman’s Reserve Rum, perhaps their most well know brand, which is why that is where I will start. But to truly understand the origins of Chairman’s Reserve Rum, you need to understand the capabilities that exist within the set up at St Lucia Distillers to produce a wide range of Rums utilising their four individual stills. A little background first then……

Saint Lucia is one of the Windward Islands. The Windward Islands are the South Eastern, generally larger Islands of the Lesser Antilles within the West Indies. The Windward Islands are Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Grenada. I have never visited but I am more than aware of the Pitons. The Pitons are two mountainous volcanic spires, Gross Piton and Petit Piton that grace the Chairman’s Reserve labels.

St Lucia Distillers emerged from a long tradition of on site, rustic rum production that was a common feature of the West Indies sugar plantations. The molasses (a by-product of the sugar industry) was fermented and distilled into Rum which was always in high demand, despite the fluctuations in the economy of the West Indian plantations. By the late 1950’s, only two distilleries remained on Saint Lucia. One in Dennery on the East coast, established in 1931 which was the site of the Barnard family plantation and the other in the Roseau valley which was owned and operated by Geest, a Dutch banana company. The St Lucia Distillers Group was formed in 1972 when due to the rise in European sugar beet, sugar production on Saint Lucia ended forcing the Barnard family to enter into a joint venture with the Geest owned Distillery moving their operations from the Dennery Distillery to the Roseau Bay Distillery in the Roseau Valley. This is the current location of St Lucia Distillers. In 1992, the Barnard family, who had been planters and Rum distillers for over a century, purchased the Geest shares. In 1997, the Barnard family sold some of their shares to Angostura Ltd before in 2005 selling their remaining shares to Clico Barbados Holdings with third generation rum maker Laurie Barnard staying on as Managing Director. In 2012 Laurie Barnard passed away and in 2013, Mrs Margaret Monplaisir was appointed his replacement.

Since its inception in 1972, St Lucia Distillers have grown from producers of single label mass market Rum to producers of well-regarded Rums and Rum based products. Not surprising given their capabilities.

Production

Given the lack of large-scale sugar industry on Saint Lucia, to make their molasses based Rums, St Lucia Distillers import their molasses from Guyana. It has a unique method of getting the molasses inland too. The Molasses tanker ships its contents into a jetty in Roseau Bay where it pumps its contents into an underground molasses pipeline which follows the Roseau River for a distance of just shy of 2 kilometres until it arrives at St Lucia Distillers where it is stored in their molasses storage tanks. The distillery accepts for or five shipments of molasses per year. Recently, the distillery planted five acres of sugarcane to experiment in the distillation of sugar cane juice and I believe that we need to watch a later release of St Lucia Distillers 1931 to experience it. The sugarcane comprises four varieties sourced from the West Indies Breeding Station in Barbados.

Prior to fermentation the molasses is diluted with 75% water to create the ‘raw wash’. Fermentation takes place using one of two proprietary yeast strains dependent upon the intentions for the final product. The first yeast strain is specific to the Rums that will not be aged. It is utilised to give the purest spirit possible and is used in conjunction with their two column Coffey Still. The second yeast strain is a Caribbean yeast cultured from the natural yeasts found near the base of the sugarcane. This is said to create a higher level of congeners making flavourful Rums for aging. Congeners are substances produced during fermentation. These include a small amount of chemicals such as other alcohols (known as fusel alcohols), acetone, acetaldehyde, esters and aldehydes such as propanol, glycols and ethyl acetate. Congeners are responsible for a lot of the tastes and aromas of Rum. For the first 24 hours, fermentation takes place in the ‘Propagation Area’ which comprises a Propagator Tank where the Raw Wash and Yeast are first introduced to each other and two other vessels. Mother Vessel 1 and Mother Vessel 2 which are next in line to receive the fermenting brew. The final 24 hours of fermentation takes place in open tanks. The wash once fermented is about 7% abv, is maintained at a temperature of 32 degrees C and is ready for distillation.

Distillation – Coffey Still

The two column (continuous) Coffey Still at St Lucia Distillers was commissioned in 1985. Three coded spirit types are produced in this particular still, all over 93% abv. Within the still there are 40 plates with distillate taken off at plates 40, 35 and 30. The first spirit type is coded RS 201 (Roseau Spirit 201) and is the cleanest spirit produced. Yeast strain 1 is used and the spirit is taken of at plate 40. This spirit is never aged. The second spirit type is coded RS 203 and has increased levels of congeners. Yeast strain 2 is used and the spirit is taken off at plate 35. This spirit is used for aging. The third spirit type is coded RS 204 and has the most congeners. Yeast strain 2 is used and the spirit is taken off at plate 30. This spirit is also used for aging.

Distillation – Pot Still

There are three different pot stills operating at St Lucia Distillers but common to all is the fact that the first distillation takes the spirit to around 70% abv with the second distillation taking it up to 80% abv.

  • John Dore 1

This pot still distills both molasses and sugarcane juice Rums, has a 1500 litre capacity and was commissioned in 1998. Spirits from this still are always aged.

  • John Dore 2

This pot still distills only molasses Rum, has a 6000 litre capacity and was commissioned in 2004. Spirits from this still are always aged.

  • Vendome

This pot still distills both molasses and sugarcane juice Rums, has a 2000 litre capacity and was commissioned in 2003. Spirits from this still are always aged.

Maturation

For all distillates apart from RS 201 (unaged), the abv of the distillate is reduced to 63% abv. St Lucia Distillers used mainly first fill Bourbon Barrels for initial aging and believe that the perfect Rum is dependent upon the skill of the Master Blender to discover the perfect marriage of age and distillate. They see age statements as meaningless and misleading. The St Lucia Distillers Master Blender, Evanus Harris believes that there is no improvement in the quality of a Rum beyond 10 years, in fact their belief is that the Rum begins to lose quality. In addition to the Bourbon Barrels, St Lucia Distillers are also experimenting with Hermitage and Chilean Wine Barrels; Sherry, Madeira and Sauternes Barrels alongside using Port Pipes for products such as the 1931.

Chairman’s Reserve Range

Now that you are aware of the numerous styles of Rum available for use by the Master Blender, we can look at the Chairman’s Reserve range and their components.

Chairman’s Reserve White Label – 40% abv

CR WhiteChairman’s Reserve White is an aged Rum mostly comprising 5 different column still Rums that have been aged for up to 3 years in previously used Bourbon Barrels. The colour gained during the aging process is gently filtered (at just 15 psi of pressure) to retain as much character as possible.

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is crystal clear and displays some reluctant droplets on the side of the glass. The initial aromas are of a light, sweet vanilla custard and raisins. It smells crisp with citrus oils and a little pot still element.

In the mouth: What first strikes you is the medium-heavy body of this Rum. It immediately coats your mouth in a creamy vanilla sweetness. There is a little pepperiness to the Rum on the tip of your tongue. The finish is short to medium length and is full of custard, pepper, vanilla and a little citrus.

This Rum can stand up for itself in a mixed drink and does make a really meaty Daiquiri with the citrus assisting in lifting the lime and the body of the Rum ensuring that if you dilute the drink too much, you won’t have completely ruined it.

Chairman’s Reserve Finest – 40% abv

CR FinestChairman’s Reserve Finest is a blend of molasses based column and pot still Rum. The Rums are initially rested in new oak for 9 to 12 months before being aged in a combination of used Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace barrels. There is no age statement provided on the label but it comprises both younger and more mature Rums and has an average age of 5 years. Post blending the Rum is returned to the barrel for a further 6 months to allow the blend to marry prior to bottling.

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is a brilliant gold in the glass and the pot still elements come billowing out of the glass. Honey, vanilla, toffee, mango and banana notes are all evident and carried on a creamy caramel.

In the mouth: The Rum has a medium body and leads with caramel and a dried mango. There is a peppery tingle on the tongue and once again, the pot still is evident, but is calmed by the slight oakiness. It adds a real depth to the Rum and for me, makes it very drinkable, despite not being the easiest Rum to enjoy neat. There is quite a bit of heat on the medium length finish with that pot still carrying a buttery vanilla caramel and a peppery kick.

Chairman’s Reserve Finest is a Rum that gets heavy use here at Rum Diaries HQ. It is mainly used in Cuba Libres here in rotation with the usual pot still influenced Jamaican classics. I also have my own play on a White Russian that uses this Rum and a nice dry Rum based coffee liqueur topped off with a dash of black walnut bitters.

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced – 40% abv

CR SpicedChairman’s Reserve Spiced utilises the Chairman’s Reserve Finest blend as it’s base. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, lemon, orange, almond are used to spice the Rum along with a local tree bark known as Bois Bande. This is traditionally used in Rum Shacks to infuse into high strength unaged Rum to create what is said locally to be a powerful aphrodisiac! Certain of these spices are left in a tank to macerate in aged Rum for in excess of 12 months to further increase the intensity of flavour.

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is a mahogany colour with deep red where it thins at the edges of the glass. There is an instant hit of cloves which I happen to love in a spiced Rum. Nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, ginger and cola are present by the bucket load. The orange is a bitter orange, a little like an orange liqueur, and doesn’t smell overly sweet. I can also pick up allspice berries.

In the mouth: This Rum is a lot sweeter than it smells. It again leads with a mouthful of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, cola, allspice berries and a little coconut. There is also a good dose of black peppercorns. For me it needs to dial back the sweetness a little but it is hugely drinkable. The finish is of a medium length and is all cloves and ginger with citrus elements and a slight marzipan.

Again this is a Spiced Rum that has seen multiple bottles used in quick succession here. It makes for a really good Spiced Daiquiri and when mixed with lime, cinnamon syrup, apple juice and ginger beer it’ like a liquid strudel.

Chairman’s Reserve: The Forgotten Casks – 40% abv

CR Forgotten CasksOn 2nd May 2007, St Lucia Distillers suffered a major fire. Fortunately the majority of the distillery was undamaged but the areas greatly hit were storage areas. There was a need to find alternative arrangements for a quantity of the barrels and these were placed wherever possible, including some random locations. A ‘memory lapse’ on the part of the cellar team meant that some of the barrels which held Chairman’s Reserve Finest in its marrying stage which had been laid down in 2006 remained unlocated until 2011. By this time the average age of the Rum was 10 years old. Once the barrels were opened and tasted, the resulting extra aging was found to have added a complexity to the Rum. St Lucia Distillers decided to offer the Rum as a limited release calling it Chairman’s Reserve: The Forgotten Casks. Quite how many barrels were ‘lost’ is unknown to me but if this is more than just a marketing tale, there must’ve been a fair few as it is still readily available……

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is a dark reddy gold in the glass. Caramel, pot still elements, and a little alcohol burn are immediately apparent. As the Rum calms itself down, chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, raisins and a nutty element reveal themselves. There is also a mango and pineapple element playing around between the nut brittle and cinder toffee elements.

In the mouth: There is an initial sweetness to the Rum along with some bite and heat before it dries a little. The pot still again is evident along with a heavy dose of milky chocolate. Coffee and creamy vanilla are also carried on the Rums medium body. Further sips reveal oak, more chocolate and peaches on the back of my tongue. The Rum has a medium to long finish that starts sweet with vanilla, raisins, coffee and milk chocolate. This then dries out to reveal a peanut element.

This is a great Rum to drink neat. It has plenty to keep your interest. It also makes a killer Old Fashioned with the chocolate flavours working really well.

The Chairman’s Reserve range of Rums, for me, represent real value. All four are worthy of a place in your collection as they are produced by a credible distillery with a good range of stills enabling them to draw upon a wealth of flavours. The prices are also not extortionate with the White Label available for around £20, the Finest for around £20 (also available in supermarkets), the Spiced for around £22 and the Forgotten Casks for around £32. We are into multiple bottles of each expression now and I cannot see that changing. The availability of the Finest in supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s means that there really is no excuse.

There are other Rums produced by St Lucia Distillers and their Admiral Rodney will be covered in another post. As will their special edition 1931, releases 01, 02 and 03.

As usual, we’d love to get some feedback on your experience with the Rums and we’re more than happy to share.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chairman’s Reserve ‘Rovers X1’

*Press Release*

Chairmans BottlesSt Lucia Distillers has recruited a new Chairman’s Reserve X1 who are currently touring top bars in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield giving mixology demonstrations, cocktail tastings and discounted serves to eager customers who want to taste the rums which have won the “Best Rum” Trophy four times in the last six years.

The tour started at Kosmonaut Bar on Tariff Street, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter where Tom Higham has invented a new cocktail ‘5 Spice Sour’ to accompany their Spice Club evening when they serve a grand home-style 4 course Indian meal (recipe below).

Montpellier’s Café on Back Turner Street, Manchester organised a “Caribbean Calling” evening and informal food-pairing event with Chairman’s White Rum, Chairman’s Spiced and it included a warm goat’s cheese, pine nut and honey salad paired with a Honey and Walnut Rum Manhattan using Chairman’s Reserve Finest Rum.

Tom HighamThe Almost Famous Bar at 100-102 High Street also in Great Northern, Manchester will also be offering individually created cocktails by four of the new Chairman’s Rovers X1: Adam Binnersley, Jonathan Leathley, Brodie Meah and Tom Higham at the new outside terrace area on Tuesday 26th August, when all four join forces to run the Chairman’s Reserve evening pop-up. Also at Almost Famous, a new Chairman’s Reserve Rum cocktail called ‘Custard Reserve’ specially created by mixologist Jonathan Leathley will be on the drinks menu – for the recipe – see below.

On the same evening, Under New Management, the popular bar in Barlows Croft, Salford M3 5DY will host a late-night session with plenty discounted Chairman’s Reserve Rum serves including Brodie Meah’s new rum cocktail ‘Watermelon Punch 1999’ – recipe below.

Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield will also be hosting in the coming weeks master classes of Caribbean rums from St Lucia showing the blends of pot and coffey still rum from one of the world’s most successful distilleries.

*End*

All sounds pretty awesome and I’ll hopefully be able to nip along to Great Northern on the 26th for a drink or two as they sound well worth checking out…………

Cocktail Recipes

‘Watermelon Punch 1999’ – Brodie Meah at Under New Management , Salford.

37.5ml Chairman’s Reserve Finest

25ml Vermouth

15ml Wheat beer & Coriander Seed Reduction

20ml Citrus

Watermelon

 

‘5 Spice Sour’ – Tom Higham, Kosmonaut Bar, Manchester

40ml Chairman’s Reserve Finest

10ml Mandarin Liqueur

25ml Lime Juice

15ml 5 spice syrup

15ml Mango

Splash ginger beer

 

‘Custard Reserve’ – Jonathan Leathley, at the Almost Famous Bar

50ml Chairman’s Reserve Finest

50ml Cocchi Americano

25ml Lemon

25ml Cooked Custard Cordial

25ml Egg White

2 Dashes Jerry Thomas Bitters

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chairman’s Reserve ‘Sprint to the Finish’

*Press Release*

Competition

St Lucia Distillers, as a member of a Commonwealth Country, has organised a cocktail competition with a difference in Scotland. In conjunction with their UK distributors, Emporia Brands Ltd, they have invited a number of leading bartenders from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen to take part, competing for a chance to go to the 100m finals session at Hampden Park on Monday 28th July.

The bartenders have been asked to come up with an original Chairman’s Reserve cocktail, using any of the four expressions available, which have all been posted on the Chairman’s Reserve UK Facebook site.

The challenge is for these bartenders to market their drinks through their bars and social networks for a week & ‘Sprint to the Finish’. The cocktail creation that has manages to attract the largest number of likes at the end of a week, on Thursday 24th July, will be the winner and we will accompanied to the Blue Ribbon event (men’s 100m finals) by the Chairman of Emporia Brands, James Rackham to enjoy prime seats for the event in a corporate box at Hampden Park.

The runners and bartenders in this race to the Games include:

Danny Whelan – Kelvingrove Cafe (Glasgow)

Alex – Amicus Apple (Aberdeen)

Mike McGinty – Treacle (Edinburgh)

Matthew Ronald – Blue Dog (Glasgow)

Jon Hughes – Bramble Bar (Edinburgh)

Adrian Gomes – The Tippling House (Aberdeen)

James Grant – Bond 9 (Edinburgh)

Lewis Thomson – Clouds & Soil (Edinburgh)

Rosie Paterson – The Voodoo Rooms (Edinburgh)

The only requirement regarding the drinks they have been asked to make, is that the base spirit must be one of the four Chairman’s Reserve expressions (Chairman’s Reserve Finest, Chairman’s Reserve White Label, Chairman’s Reserve Spiced or Chairman’s Reserve ‘Forgotten Casks’).  The nature and style of their creations was left entirely to the participants and as a part of their marketing exercise, to decide whether to appeal to bartenders, consumers, St. Lucians or lovers of the Commonwealth Games.

The Bartenders and their Drinks:

Danny Whelan – Kelvingrove Cafe (Glasgow):

Comerette Cooler – named after the white-sand St Lucia beach Anse Comerette

Comerette Cooler

45ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum

25ml Orange Sherbet

20ml Coconut Syrup

Dash Chocolate Bitters

Topped with a float of Root Beer

Add all ingredients except Root Beer to a mixing tin, shake and pour into a highball glass over cracked ice. Float root beer over the top. Garnish with an Orange Twist, with Vanilla ice cream and Coconut Chocolate on the side. Enjoy while picturing yourself on its namesake beach!

Alex  Muir – Amicus Apple (Aberdeen)

Mai Tai XX

45ml Chairman’s Reserve

30ml Chairman’s Blanco

30ml Chairman’s Spiced

30ml Fresh Lime Juice

15ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

10ml Orgeat

10ml Falernum

Hard Shake // Strain // Tiki Glass // Pineapple crisp and Maraschino Cherry

Designed to pay tribute to both the Chairman’s range and the Games by twisting one of the most popular rum cocktails ever created. The spice of the falernum compliments the spiced rum while the orgeat and Pierre Ferrand work to perfectly balance and dry out the drink, leaving you looking forward to more! Finally the big flavours of the rums appropriately lead to a strong and memorable finish

Mike McGinty – Treacle (Edinburgh)

Chairman’s Re-Served

Chairmans Re-served

50ml Chairman’s Reserve

20ml Homemade Falernum

5 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

2 Dash Chocolate Bitters

All put into a metal cup, with a lime cut into a square, covered in Demerara sugar, coffee, chocolate and cinnamon. A light on fire which caramelises the lime and it drips into the drink. Then extinguish the flame with 60ml water. It is a twist on the perfect – rum serve of coffee, lime and sugar, hence the name

Matthew Ronald – Blue Dog (Glasgow)

Bolt from the Blue 

Bolt from the Blue25ml Chairman’s spiced

12.5ml Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur

12.5ml GB blueberry

Fresh blueberries

25ml Lemon juice

Lemon syrup

37.5 ml apple juice

Jon Hughes – Bramble Bar (Edinburgh)

DeWitt Cocktail

DeWitt Cocktail

45ml Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Casks

15ml Byrrh Grand Quinquina

15ml raspberry syrup

15ml lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into a chilled coupe or small cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange zest and a cherry

Adrian Gomes – The Tippling House (Aberdeen)

Bodega & the Smoking Gun

Bodega and the Smoking Gun

30ml Chairman’s Reserve White Label

15ml Gabriel Boudier Triple Sec Curaçao

15ml Fino Sherry

House-made Grapefruit Zest Tincture

Stir all ingredients and strain into a chilled coupette. Spray flaming tincture over drink surface

James Grant – Bond 9 (Edinburgh)

Chairman’s Hook

Chairmans Hook

40ml Chairman’s Spiced

20ml Cherry Heering

50ml Colloseo PX sherry

5ml Gomme

Dash Angostura bitters

2 orange wedges,

4 pineapple wedges

3 blackberries

Muddle fruit, add all ingredients, shake. Serve in a red wine balloon with crushed ice. Garnish with  orange & pineapple wedge & blackberry

Lewis Thomson – Clouds & Soil (Edinburgh)

The St Lucian Sprint

St Lucian Sprint

37.5ml Chairman’s Spiced

12.5ml Nardini Rabarbaro

12.5ml Bee pollen Syrup

12.5ml Agave syrup

20ml lime

2 Dashes Rhubarb bitters

10 mint leaves

Serve in a julep tin with crushed ice, garnish with mint sprig and bee pollen

Rosie Paterson – The Voodoo Rooms (Edinburgh)

Party Thyme!

Party Thyme

50ml  Chairman’s Spiced rum

12.5ml triple sec

12.5ml lime juice

10ml gomme

2 dash angostura 2 dash orange bitters

Thyme

Egg white

Serve in a Coupe with a thyme sprig garnish

Chairmans Logo

Again, all of these drinks sound awesome……..keep your eyes peeled on the Chairman’s Reserve Facebook page for proceedings….

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Montpellier’s Presents Chairman’s Reserve ‘Caribbean Calling’

Press Release

MONTPELLIER’S PRESENTS CHAIRMAN’S RESERVE ‘CARIBBEAN CALLING’

Friday 18th July, 5:30 – 9:30pm, sees the first in a monthly series of ‘Montpellier’s Presents . . . ‘ with Chairman’s Reserve rum taking the reigns and kicking off with a St Lucian takeover, honouring the Caribbean islands most famous liquor export.

The evening is a taste of Caribbean culture and a guide through the St Lucian rum, matching with culinary treats. Guests will be treated to a journey through the full range of Chairman’s Reserve, including the rare and exceptional ‘Forgotten Casks’, entwined with a specially prepared three-course food menu and Chairman’s Reserve cocktails, created by the Montpellier’s team.

The evening will be compèred by John West of UK Distributor Emporia Brands and Montpellier’s own Adam Westbrook, together with Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast and Chairman’s Reserve.

Keeping the laid back ambiance of the Caribbean flowing throughout the evening, guests will all benefit from discounted Chairman’s Reserve cocktails after the event within the venue’s newly refurbished bar, while Montpellier’s provide a quintessential sound track to your night!

Tickets are priced at £20.00 per person, and can be purchased at http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/Montpellier%27s/Chairmans-Reserve-Caribbean-Calling/12217376/

For more information, please contact Adam Westbrook on bookings@montpelliers.co.uk or ring 0161 832 3146

 

Montpelliers Poster

 

If the rum alone isn’t enough to entice you, the menu should seal the deal…..

First Course: Warm Goats Cheese, Pine nut and Honey salad paired with a Honey and Walnut Rum Manhattan and Chairman’s Reserve White Label

Second Course: Creole Chicken Rugai paired with a Pickled Ginger & Chilli Daiquiri. A vegetarian option is also available which is a Sweet Potato and Spinach Rugai. Paired with Chairman’s Reserve

Third Course: Poached Pear Flambe in Cointreau with Rum and Vanilla Ice Cream paired with a Raisin and Orange Spiced Rum Frozen Daiquiri. Paired also with Chairman’s Reserve Spiced

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.