Review: Chairman’s Reserve Spiced

Saint Lucia is responsible for plenty of quality, high-end sipping rums and today I’m having a look at Chairman’s Reserve Spiced.

Recently Chairman’s launched a competition called Spice Lab where bartenders could submit their own concept for a spiced rum and I got through to the next round along with 12 other UK based bartenders so I bought myself this one to do some research – tough job I’m telling you! I will need all the support I can get for the competition, but more on that later, for now let’s see what we have in the bottle.

The base rum is basically their Chairman’s Reserve Original which is molasses based, a blend of pot and column stills distillates that have been aged separately in ex-Bourbon casks and after blending spent an additional 6 months in casks, bringing it up to an average of 5 years spent in oak.

For the spiced version, the infusion happened in the 6 months period in the casks. One of the spices used for it is a local Caribbean bark known as “bois bande” which apparently has aphrodisiac properties – makes sense as if you translate its name from French – it literally means “erect wood”. Other ingredients include cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, clove, lemon and bitter orange – unfortunately I don’t have the complete recipe but this should be more than enough. Bottled at 40% ABV and with around 21 grams of sugar per liter – may vary as the sugars are resulted during the infusion with the natural ingredients

On the nose it the orange comes through quite a bit. Triple sec, honey, melon, nutmeg, spongecake and some coca-cola. Hints of bubblegum, balsamic vinegar and strawberries. Cloves and cinnamon of course. Smells sweet, warm and inviting.

On the palate it’s not as sweet as expected, there’s a nice gentle bitterness that balances, that might be the bark I spoke about. Cinnamon and orange are the main players. A nice hefty amount of nutmeg. Some walnuts, coca-cola and red grapefruit. A tad too sticky but the balance of the spices is really nice. Cloves as well with a hint of anise. Finish is short to medium with orange, cinnamon and some sticky agave syrup.

As I mentioned a bit too sweet for me, but the spices work very well together. I can see people enjoying this on ice or with some coconut water (you’re welcome!). Works really nicely with coke as well. You can buy it for around £24 from Master of Malt and given what other spiced rums are on the market it’s well worth it if that’s your jam. Also I will actually give points to this for not being under 40% ABV.

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced score:
Flavour/taste: 43/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 14/15
Overall: 72/100


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