St. Lucia 13 years (Compagnie des Indes)

Review 2017-055 «Specifics» Rum • Vintage 2002 • Bottled in 2015 • Distilled from molasses using two pot stills  • 43.0% Alcohol • Matured in the tropics and partially in France for a total of 13 years in a single oak cask (#SLD41) • Chill filtered? • Natural coloured? • Unsweetened • Sourced from Saint Lucia Distillers (Castries, Saint Lucia) • Compagnie des Indes • Bletterans • France • Limited availability (304 bottles) • Difficult to find (price ±€70-110)

STORY. Saint Lucia Distillery was founded in 1932, but rebuilt in 2009 because of a fire. They use molasses that are imported from Guyana which are then fermented for 24 to 30 hours. For distillation they make use of both pot stills and continuous column stills. The spirit for this rum was distilled using two pot stills. According to Margaret Monplaisir, director from St Lucia Distillers, they are a small innovative, quality-driven rum producer. The reviews that I have read about the rum I will review today have been mixed, some like it very much, other totally dislike it. Normally this is a at least a good ingredient for an interesting experience.


APPEARANCE. Authentic and casual design, colour of the contents is light golden yellow and appears to have retained its natural colour.

NOSE. A fire is lurking in the glass… Some notes appear of hot paraffin, burning oil lamps, smoked olive oil-infused banana leaves, and burned vanilla pods. This is explosive stuff you know! Then walking into a freshly plastered room, refilling the engine oil of your car while the it is still hot from riding, or walking onto a porch with burning candles where a Italian appetiser of olive oil, mozzarella and tomatoes is waiting for you. I like this! (water) The bourbon cask starts to appear in the background with yellow fruits, sunflower oil, and cape gooseberries, which clashes with the smoky side. The appear almost ripe bananas on the barbecue, smoked pineapples, more smoked olives, paraffin, and fresh leather.

TASTE. Yeah, this appears to be some liquid explosive! Powerful with banana concentrate, hot tar, burned molasses, the crust of a good barbecued ribeye, and smoked olives. Although the alcohol percentage is only 43%, this needs a drop of water. (water) I now get some barbecued shrimps! Moreover, the crust of of fried fish, sardines, coals, and many black olives. Good quality olive oil, plasticine, a hint of brine, and beach sand are there, while it becomes more nutty, with sunflower seeds and roasted nuts, and earthy herbal, with rosemary, thyme.

VERDICT. Rums can be really smoky and this is a very fine example of that. It is so nice to see that rum can be this diverse, from very sweet and smooth to distinctive smoky and oily. People who like Islay single malts are especially recommended to try this type of rums. I would surely like to explore more of them.

Recommended for admirers of Islay single malts like Caol Ila, Lagavulin or Ardbeg.

Thanks very much to Norbert for the sample!

«What others say»

  • @Rumratings: Mean score of 6.5/10 (2 votes)
  • Serge @Whiskyfun: “A flabbergasting dryness. I loudly applaud that, and I start to believe that I ought to pay more attention to St. Lucia. We all should” Score: 88/100
  • @Eyeforspirits: “Dennoch ist dieser Tropfen eine Bereicherung für den Rum-Markt, zeigt er doch eindrucksvoll, wie unglaublich vielseitig diese Spirituose sein kann” Score: 8/10
  • @Thefatrumpirate: “It is full flavoured – it won’t be for everyone” Score: 3/5
  • @Rumshopboy: “This tastes more like eau-de-vie than rum” Score: 45/100
  • @Rumdiariesblog: “It may be a little one dimensional to keep my interest over an evening and the whole medicinal thing is a real turn off for some people, but fortunately not for me” Score: 3/5
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