The rum report: Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and St Lucia

16 June, 2014

While these islands are more British by history the rum, led by Angostura, tends to be more Spanish in style.

Iberlicor’s Zaya was once from Guatemala so is made to a sweeter style. Zaya rum master blender Carol Homer says: “Our rum is a marrying of various Caribbean and Latin rum styles, which is symbolic of Trinidad’s cultural diversity and style.”

St Lucia

According to Chairman’s Reserve’s John West, St Lucia changed hands some 14 times before the British claimed it during the Napoleonic war, prizing its deep-water harbour. Skip forward a few hundred years to 1972 and St Lucia Distillers is created, a merger of the island’s Roseau and Dennery distilleries.

Chairman’s Reserve was first blended in 1999, overseen by then chairman Laurie Barnard, who had travelled in Cognac and Scotland and conceived a quality blend of continuous and pot still distillates. 

The distillery’s output is 80% domestic, with Bounty the big local seller, but demand has increased for Chairman’s Reserve, which has been exported since 2008. “In the past 10-15 years people have discovered aged rums in the same way as whisky and Cognac,” says West. “That’s seen a complete transformation for Chairman’s Reserve – a 400% increase in 12 years.” 

Like many of the aforementioned rums, this brand’s story is only just starting.  

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