We picked up this bottle in St Maarten at the hotel we were staying at whilst at the Rum and Beer Festival in Nov 2015. It came highly recommended to us by a fellow rum fan that had travelled from Pennsylvania (Hi Don!).
This brand was created to celebrate the inauguration of a new distillery built in St Lucia in February 1931. Each year the packaging changes and celebrates a year further along and the next edition of this rum. This, as the label suggests, celebrates 80 years of St Lucian Rum, making it a first edition. Each bottle is individually numbered and this one is: Batch 1, bottle 3762, bottled on the 17th May 2011.
The bottle as you can see looks very premium. It’s a beautiful shape, thick based and feels solid in your hands. The rum itself has a lovely golden colour to it. Similar to honey. The cork also has a metal top and is substantial and solid. When eventually popped you can feel the quality of the cork and the smell of the rum comes straight through.
The first smell once in the glass is orange like and slightly zesty. Then immediately it turns earthy and oak like. Slightly sweet notes are also resent. Possibly raisin. It seems quite rich and has complex notes on the nose increasing my excitement on the imminent tasting.
On the initial taste, we get a fruity start with strong notes of oak and whiskey/bourbon to follow. This makes sense as the rum is aged in bourbon casks before being blended together to maturation. The rums used are from 1999 till 2005. After that initial strong taste of the whiskey/bourbon notes we end with a toffee and spicy finish which lingers long after the rum has been swallowed. The finish is smooth in the throat and has little to no burn.
After letting the rum sit for a few minutes and warm up slightly it seems to change to becoming slightly sweeter. The strong whiskey and bourbon notes are now replaced with notably sweeter notes especially vanilla. The spicy finish is also less evident and as a result feels smoother on the finish.
Overall we do like this rum. Its well balanced and quite drinkable after sitting for a few minutes. However, it maybe difficult for the non rum enthusiasts to enjoy. It’s a rum which tells you immediately it’s a rum. A strong smoke/oak flavour and a sweet spicy finish are exactly what the rum community seem to enjoy. But from our experiences with those who don’t have much familiarity with the rum world, we feel it maybe too much too soon for them.