St. Lucia Distillers 1931: First Edition
“Single Blended Rum” – A blend of only pot still and traditional column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 43% ABV @ 20°
With an impending Twitter tasting approaching, this would seem like a great time to catch up on some St. Lucia Distilleries bottlings that I have had in my collection for a while but not actually gotten around to writing about.
Peter from Floating Rum Shack has info about the forthcoming tasting, so head over to his web site #SLDTT. The tasting takes place on May 16th, 2017.
So, with that in mind, I will be adding some tasting notes for the St. Lucia Distillers’ (SLD) 1931 series of annual special editions. I previously reviewed the Fifth Edition, celebrating 84 years and today I am reviewing the First Edition, which is from 2011 and that celebrated 80 years of St. Lucia Distillery.
According to St. Lucia Distillers’ web site “the brand celebrates the inauguration of a new distillery in February 1931 in the Mabouya Valley, near Dennery, in St. Lucia. The Distillery was founded by Denis Barnard and produced rum until 1972 when St. Lucia Distillers was formed out of the merging of the Dennery distillery and the Roseau Distillery.”
This First Edition of SLD’s flagship offering, is “a blend of Coffey and copper pot distillates from 1999 and 2004” and contains rums aged “from seven to twelve years. Seven American white oak casks – Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace and two Port casks were used in the maturation process. The rums were then blended and left to marry in American oak for a further three months.” Wow, that sounds like a lot of useful detail and info about just how much has gone into producing this rum.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as a “Single Blended Rum” – a blend of only pot still and traditional column still. When tested with my hydrometers, there were no detectable added sugars.
Presented in an outer rectangular box, the First Edition is a neutral beige-ecru colour, with gold and navy embossed detailing. The rear of the box contains some very useful information including the history of the brand and info about the rum’s blend itself. The bottle is a decanter-style with a beige label and large, bold “1931” written on the front. There is an impressive and substantial natural cork enclosure, completing the decanter-like-premium appearance of the bottle.
There is a batch number (01), bottle number (3530) and date of bottling (17th May, 2011). There are also the signatures of the Managing Director and Master Blender along with stating this rum is 43% ABV.
The initial observation is that the colour is a very deep mahogany, similar to a medium to deep coloured aged Tawny Port.
Swirling the liquid around the sides of the glass reveals medium density legs that slowly slip down the side of the glass.
Aromas of spice, dried fruits and oak dominate. The pot still element is prominent in the initial profile and is quite powerful. Further nosing reveals some sweetness, too…something caramel-esque and slightly smokey.
Taste, Initial-middle 32/40
This is quite punchy initially and bursting with dried fruits and spice. At first it tastes like I am back in the Nassau Valley with a sumptuous glass of Appleton’s finest. This has a nice balance between smoothness and roughness and is not too sweet.
There is just a hint of sweetness, likely influenced from the Port Cask ageing and there is a lovely citrus-like freshness about it.
Taste, Middle/Throat 34/40
It really hits the spot nicely, such are the similarities in style (in my opinion) to blended Jamaican rums that I adore. Notably the pot and column still blend is very reminiscent of an aged Appleton rum. There is a lovely kick to this drink from the pot still influences. The spiced dried fruit flavours develop further and the oak is very evident alongside a development of the fresh citrus notes. There is a little bit of fire, but not such that it spoils or taints the flavours and I think the 43% ABV is just about right here. The rum becomes quite warming with slightly sweet hints of honey or toffee, but this is not sticky. Overall, it lingers in the back of the mouth very nicely.
This has a very nice and quite a long, satisfying finish. As it slips down, some dryness becomes more apparent, almost like after sipping a Manzanilla Sherry. There is further spice and some subtle vanilla, which is a nice end to a very well-rounded rum.
Morning After Aroma
The dried fruits and an oakey-spice are still noticeable.
This is superb rum, both in terms of the flavour and quality.
The tasting is very reminiscent at times of an Appleton rum and the balance between the pot and column still distillate is very well received. There are lots of interesting flavours in this drink, which encourage the taster to return again and again to this product.
As the first of the series of 1931 rums, this sets the bar quite high. Next up will be the Second Edition.
#SLDTT May 16th, 2017.
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7