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In the market for a bottle of white rum? Read our expert review of this St Lucian spirit that's perfect for making piña coladas.
This is a St Lucian delight from an adored distillery. The rum is aged like the rest of the Chairman’s Reserve line, but it's filtered to remove the colour, resulting in a white rum packed with bold citrus and punchy pepper notes. Marry those citrus flavours with creamy coconut in an ice-cold piña colada.
The Roseau Valley is home to the island’s largest banana plantation, land that was previously used for growing sugarcane. Now, the last remaining major operation in the valley is St Lucia Distillers.
Distilling on the island began when sugar plantations made rum in-house, fermenting the molasses produced when processing sugarcane. Over the years, the sugar crops were replaced by banana plantations after the rise of European sugar beet, and distilling in St Lucia took a hit.
The Barnard family has been making rum since the 1930s, but by the 50s, they were one of two operations left on the island. They merged with the Geest family distillery in the Roseau Valley in 1972 to form St Lucia Distillers.
Now, the distillery sources its molasses from Guyana. Due to the expense of importing it (and the small capacity of the distillery), there's an emphasis placed on craftsmanship. There isn’t much room for getting it wrong – each batch is precious, and that is reflected in the final product.
The Chairman’s Reserve White Label is a mix of column and pot still distillates. Column stills are much more efficient as they can be operated continuously (whereas pot stills require cleaning after each batch). But, pot stills give a more flavoursome distillate. Combining the two gives the distillery the best of both. The spirits used in this blend have been aged for up to four years before being filtered to remove colour.
This rum is made with mixing in mind. It's dry and clean, and packed with citrus and sweet raisins. Vanilla hovers in the background, threatening to come to the fore. The finish is full of zest and white pepper.
Given that this was distilled for cocktails, it's ideal in a piña colada. Tip 120ml pineapple juice, 60ml Chairman’s Reserve White Label rum and 60ml coconut cream into a blender with a handful of ice. Blitz together and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.
This review was last updated in February 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.