St. Lucia Distillers 1931: Second 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’ 1931 series of annual special editions. I previously reviewed the First Edition celebrating 80 years and the Fifth Edition celebrating 84 years of St. Lucia Distillery. Today I am reviewing the Second Edition, which is from 2012 and celebrated 81 years.
According to St. Lucia Distillers’ (SLD) 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.”
According to SLD, the Second Edition is made up as follows:
“The casks selected for the second edition of 1931 was [sic] put down in 2004, 2005 and 2006. These include casks containing 100% Coffey Still distillates matured in a combination of American white oak casks and port casks. In addition, we selected casks with 100% Pot Still and 50/50 blends of Pot/Coffey Still aged in American white oak. The blend was assembled and then placed back into American white oak casks for a period of three months for a final marriage before being bottled.”
So, once again, there is a lot going on in this blend and is a true reflection of the art of a master blender’s ability to be able to pull together multiple rums in such a way.
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.
Each 1931 offering has the same packaging, with just the colour varying from one year to the next, which I do think gives the brand a strong identity and easily allows one to identify which year of the 1931 one is tasting.
Presented in an outer rectangular box, the Second Edition’s colouring is a very bold and bright, but slightly garish purple, with gold 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 matching purple 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 (02), bottle number (09576) and date of bottling (23rd July, 2012). 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.
This has a very powerful initial nose. Dried fruits, ripe mango and spicy citrus notes. Further nosings reveal some complex oak aromas, complemented nicely by subtle vanilla and sweet spicy nutmeg. The more I inhale, the more I can detect something sweet, almost sticky, like golden syrup or molasses and a background of dark chocolate. It is a sophisticated cocktail of aromas.
Taste, Initial-middle 34/40
The initial mouth contact is silky smooth, like velvet. As soon as your saliva touches this rum, it harmonises perfectly with your taste-buds. There is no evidence of this being 43%…in fact you could be forgiven for thinking it is about 30%, such is the delicate mouth-feel at this point.
There is a sweetness to this, but not one that is at all sticky. Think more liquid caramel rather than sticky toffee. As you taste more, there is some spicy oak balancing the sweet caramel with a hint of black pepper thrown in for good measure.
Taste, Middle/Throat 36/40
As this passes to the middle and back of your mouth, there is a ‘body’ that develops. The rum becomes a little heavier with more character and presence. The 43% ABV is very much more noticeable and it gives you a nice little spicy zing in your mouth as you sip.
The spicy notes become more prominent and a light nuttiness is noticeable. Some bright citrus notes keep this rum feeling fresh and this balances with the heavier spicy peppery-feel.
Long after swallowing, a dry mouth feel becomes apparent, with some light tannins developing. The longer you wait, the drier this feeling becomes, almost leathery and the lingering flavours become more like a dry Amontillado.
Morning After Aroma
Lots of sweet toffee and caramel remain in the glass.
As with the First Edition of 1931, this is a fine quality rum. The first edition set the bar very high but this one just managed to nudge that bar a little higher, such is the level of complexity in this edition, a tribute to the skills of the blender.
This is the sort of quality rum that you would sip after dinner, relaxing in front of a warm fire. As with many fine rums, this has the character to sit at the top table of sipping spirits and I am sure this would appeal to a drinker of Armagnac or even Bourbon.
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