I’m a bit of a St Lucia Distillers fan. This started about 12 years ago or so (damn I’m getting old) with their standard Chairman’s Reserve expression, which I’ve always found incredible value for money. After that I found Forgotten Casks. Another great rum, but this time a more complex experience. Where I became speechless was when I found a Hamilton St Lucia 7 year in the US and the black label 1931 in Toronto. Oh my, such great rums! When friend Steve Leukanech offered me a sip of an experimental one off cask strength 1931 at Tales of the Cocktail, I was floored. I needed more of this!
Solidifying my love for St Lucian rum happened on another trip across the border into the US. I always go to liquor stores when I travel and on one of these visits I found a bottle of cask strength Hamilton Saint Lucia Pot Still Rum. That sealed the deal!
Ed Hamilton is well known in rum circles. He’s been exploring the rum world for decades, started the Ministry of Rum website, is a rum importer and a writer. The website is from past times somewhat, but the Ministry of Rum Facebook page is alive and kicking with more than 20k members.
The rum he imports comes from various countries like Jamaica, Guyana, Martinique and St Lucia. Most of these are bottled under the Hamilton label, some are under their own brand name, like Neisson. He offers a variety of options from single distillery bottlings to blends like the White Stache we used in The Big Daiquiri Challenge. The website he has for all his products is one that I love. It’s incredibly informative and transparent. You can even enter the batch number of your bottle and it will give you the specific information for it. Click here to check it out.
The two Hamilton rums in this review were produced at St Lucia Distillers Ltd. I’ve reviewed rums from them before and included quite a bit of information about this distillery. Click here to read that article. Their setup is very interesting as they have three different pot stills and a column still. In most cases they blend pot and column rum for their expressions (and use a combination of molasses and cane juice rum). However, in this case it is a pure pot still rum from their Vendome still, bottled at cask strength.
Ed was able to secure 6 casks of 8 year pot still rum. 124 cases (1488 bottles) of this 2006 expression were bottled. This particular one is batch #80115 at 62.1%.
For the 9 year pot still rum he bought 7 casks. 144 cases (1728 bottles) of this 2005 expression were bottled. The one I have is batch #90115 at 67.4%.
These were aged in St Lucia for the entire time and have no added colour, sugar or other flavouring. Sounds like a dream! Let’s see if it tastes like a dream.
Hamilton Saint Lucia Pot Still 8 Year
It’s oaky with eucalyptus, pine, pineapple, furniture wax, honey, cigars and newspapers. It’s very briney, mineraly and meaty, like meat glazed with molasses. There is an underlying sweetness and it has a strong leather note. More herbal than the 9 and definitely heavier on the meat.