Wednesday, November 16, 2011

St. Lucia and the St. Lucia Distillery

     Today we visited St. Lucia Distillers where Laurie Barnard, the Managing Director, gave us a personal tour of the facility.     Mr. Barnard enlightened us about the history and the operation of the distillery.      The stills at St. Lucia Distillers are very unique, both the pot stills and the column still.    With three pot stills they have the capability to great a great number of heavy, flavorful distillates from which to blend and create bold new rums.     St. Lucia distillery boasts some 17 brands and types of rum.

     After a fire at the distillery in 2006, many casks of Chairman’s Reserve were missing in the ruble and disorder.    Inadvertently, this rum aged an additional 5 years and once sampled, the flavor was so wonderful, it was bottled.   Chairman’s Reserve – the Forgotten Casks is bottled in limited amounts… available to a few lucky individuals fortunate enough to locate it…I got mine at the Distillery.

     There are many not-for-export rums produced by the St. Lucia Distillers, some of which will soon be available in the United States…among these are:  Admiral Rodney, an bold navy style rum;  1931, a new rum made to celebrate 80 years of rum making at St. Lucia Distillers; and Chairman’s  Reserve  - The Forgotten Casks.

     We were afforded an opportunity to sample some of the distillates as they came off the stills and the same distillates after they were aged.     They also let us taste their agricole style distillates both as they came off of the still and after a short period of aging.    The skills of the blenders and the still operators give this distillery tools to provide very fine rums as a finished product.

     The trip to and from St. Lucia Distillers gave all of us a chance to take in the beautiful island of St. Lucia and see many breath taking sights.     We arrived back at our Celebrity Summit Ship in time to prepare for our trip overnight to Antigua.    Tomorrow, if it can be arranged, we are taking a scooter trip around the island.     Antigua is one of the Caribbean islands that has always fascinated me, so I’m really excited about tomorrow’s visit.     ;o)