Molasses from the Dominican Republic is brought in thrice a year on a large tanker boat and pumped to holding tanks at the distillery via a mile-long pipeline.
In true step with the philosophy of Chairman's Reserve and a focus on the art of blending, we add a small percentage of sugarcane juice distillate to some of our Chairman's Reserve expressions, namely 1931 and Legacy. This sugarcane is grown adjacent to the distillery and was brought from Barbados by Laurie Barnard in 2004.
Water from the Roseau River is collected at Beru Pond just over a mile from the facility and used for fermentation and equipment cooling. Yeast loves the minerals that are naturally present in this soft water which helps to develop favorable esters.
Rainwater is harvested off the roofs of our facility and treated at our reverse osmosis plant. Approximately 3.5 mil gallons of water a year is collected and used in blending our rums. This water is perfect for blending due to its lower mineral content.
St. Lucia Distillers uses two different types of yeast but all aged rum is fermented with a proprietary yeast strain that was isolated from the small sugarcane field at the distillery.
Fermentation takes 36 hours in 8 open concrete fermentation tanks. The wash is fermented to an abv of 7% before it’s ready for distillation.
Saint Lucia Distillers has a variety of pot stills used in the distillation process:
The Vendome Still has a 1,364-liter capacity. Installed in 2003, it is a 9 plate hybrid still and utilizes batch distillation.
The John Dore II Still has a 6k liter capacity and was installed in 2005.
The John Dore I Still 450-liter capacity and was installed in 1998.
Coffey Column Still
Commissioned in 1985, this still has a daily output of 4,500 LPA. The 2 column still has a 45 plate rectification column. Three distillates are extracted from:
Plate 40 (95%)
Plate 32 (94%)
Plate 30 (93%)
Chairman’s Reserve is aged mostly in ex-Bourbon barrels though a small percentage of Port cask-aged rum can be found in the 1931.
The warm tropical climate in Saint Lucia is the ideal aging environment, adding maximum extraction to the wood in a minimal amount of time.
The heart of Chairman's Reserve is the emphasis on blending which the late "Chairman" Laurie Barnard instilled in his team and who continue to carry out these techniques today. Laurie believed that the best rum could not be achieved in a single barrel but instead could only be accomplished by blending various components together of different ages, styles, finishes, and raw materials. For this reason, you will find no age statements on our products. Instead, we choose to accentuate the expertise and innovation exemplified by our "Art of Blending."