Review: Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection – Pennyroyal

Last night (Tuesday 20th of December) Pennyroyal Cardiff had a takeover at London’s rum capital, Trailer Happiness and it was a really good event – I should know, I was there shaking drinks alongside them. They did the takeover in order to promote their new collaboration with Saint Lucia Distillers, the Chairman’s Pennyroyal.

Pennyroyal Cardiff is a venue with a great reputation, it’s even part of the Top 50 Cocktail Bars and its owner, Alexander Taylor, is a huge rum head who actively engages with my blog posts on social media so it was great to finally meet him in person. After trying their takeover cocktails (absolutely delicious) I was treated to a sample their Master’s Selection which was so good I had to share it here. Luckily, Alexander was kind enough to provide me with a bottle – talk about a merry Christmas, eh? – and, while I have a mild hungover, I can’t wait to have another tipple of this.

The Master’s Selection from Chairman’s is a series of collaborations between Saint Lucia Distillers and various other entities such as bars, retailers or even Facebook groups – I have previously reviewed the ones from The Whisky Exchange and The UK Rum Club. The Master’s Selection are released in the form of single cask bottled at barrel strength, so they are always limited editions and also something to look forward to.

The Pennyroyal’s Master’s Selection was handpicked by Alexander and his team and is a lovely 50/50 blend of coffey column still and John Dore 1 pot still distillates that have been barreled in 2011 and bottled in 2021.

Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection Pennyroyal is molasses based, a blend of pot and column stills and aged for 10 years in an ex-Bourbon barrel. Bottled at 58.6% ABV without any additives with a limited number of 278 bottles – mine being number 75.

On the nose it has that intense sharpness and spice particular to Chairman’s. Moth balls. unripe stone fruits, ripe bananas and blackberries. Allspice, black pepper and old cardboard. It’s intense, but in an inviting way rather than scary-high-ester. Prunes, dried fruits and nuts – almonds and walnuts. Some red wine and dry sherry as well.

On the palate it has a lot of layers. Canned prunes, wasabi, stone fruits and sultanas. Maple syrup, caramel, Earl Grey tea, After Eights and allspice. It starts sharp and spicy and then goes into more mellow, creamy flavours. Marmalade, coconut, sandalwood and vanilla. The finish is long with toffee and acidic notes.

This is more than interesting, you can tell apart the pot still and column distillates, they layer nicely and balance each other. This is spicy, fruity and creamy, a great sip at any time. Also I can attest it makes an outstanding Daiquiri.

You can get a bottle for £90 from the Pennyroyal website or you can pick one up in person at their venue – regardless, you shouldn’t miss on this if you’re a fan of Chairman’s.

Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection – Pennyroyal score:
Flavour/taste: 59/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 89/100


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