Winners Announced At The Chairman’s Reserve Cocktail Competition At The Northern Restaurant and Bar Show

Chairman's Reserve Final

Wednesday the 19th saw the final of the Chairman’s Reserve Cocktail Competition, staged at the Drinks Live Theatre in the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show in Manchester which, with over 250 exhibitors and 50 tastings and events, has become the largest food and drink trade exhibition in the North.

With an expert judging panel in Mark Ludmon, Editor of Bar Magazine, Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club, Manchester and Scott Wallace of Emporia Brands, each judge looked for knowledge on the Chairman’s Reserve brand, the appearance and presentation of the drink, the aromas of the cocktail and finally how it tasted.

Six bartenders were invited down to the main stage to recreate their drink, after being selected from the initial entries by Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack, and Steven James of Rum Diaries.

Impressing the three judges, and winning himself a trip to St Lucia as the guest of St Lucia Distillers, was Adam Binnersley of Corridor #UnderNewManagement, Salford. His recipe, ‘Chairman’s Moo’, utilising Chairman’s Reserve Finest, Briottet fig, honey and pistachio syrup, Angostura Bitters and buttermilk fought off stiff competition from his fellow competitors. His presentation also made headlines, utilising a ‘cow’ to help serve his drink.

Thom Hetherington, MD of Northern Restaurant & Bar, said “This show is all about celebrating the best of the Northern food and drink world, and in Adam I think we have an absolute star. I don’t doubt he’ll hold his own in St Lucia!” Hetherington added “Needless to say I’ll be in to see him at Corridor #UnderNewManagement and put the Chairman’s Moo to the test for myself very soon”.

Despite only advertising the one opportunity to win a trip to St Lucia, the judges mentioned that it was an incredibly close call between first and second, so it was decided by James Rackham, Chairman of Emporia Brands, the UK Distributor of St Lucia Distillers, that second placed Tom Higham of Kosmonaut would also be joining Adam to St Lucia. His ‘Luciana Helena’ had a mix of Chairman’s Reserve Finest, pineapple and sage syrup, smoked paprika syrup, lime, egg white and Peychaud bitters.

Host and organiser of the competition Dave Marsland, aka Drinks Enthusiast and Northern Representative of Emporia Brands, mentioned “It’s great to see that the entries were so close that we are able to take two winners to St Lucia. They both join me for what will be an incredible experience, and we look forward to representing Manchester!”

A huge congratulations to both Adam and Tom, who will be visiting St Lucia later in the year and experience rum training at the distinguished distillery, and the chance to share expertise with the island’s enthusiastic bartenders, as well as plenty of opportunity to find out why the beautiful island of St Lucia is one of the world’s favourite Caribbean destinations.

Finalists Included:

Emma Andrew – 99 Hanover Street Bar, Edinburgh
Amir Javaid – Epernay, Manchester
Adrian Calderbank – The Church Green, Lymm
Adam Binnersley – Corridor, Salford
Adam Day – The Violet Hour, Didsbury
Tom Higham – Kosmonaut, Manchester

Chairman’s Moo – created by Adam Binnersley, Corridor #UnderNewManagment

40 ml Chairman’s Reserve
10 ml Briottet Fig
15 ml Honey and Pistachio Syrup
Angostura Bitters
50 ml Buttermilk

Luciana Helena – created by Tom Higham, Kosmonaut

50 ml Chairman’s Reserve Finest
30 ml Pineapple and sage shrub
15 ml Smoke paprika syrup
25 ml Lime
Dash of Egg white
Dash Peychauds Bitters

Finalists Announced For The Chairman’s Reserve Cocktail Competition At Northern Restaurant and Bar

Chairmans Reserve

The five recipes have been chosen to go through to the final of the Chairman’s Reserve Cocktail Competition, to be staged at The Northern Restaurant and Bar Show in Manchester on Wednesday 19th March at 3:15pm.

With expert opinions by Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack, and Steven James of Rum Diaries, the five have been selected, with Steven commenting “I like ‘rum forward’ drinks that play to the strengths of the base spirit…..and whether I myself would order the drink in a bar. I know Chairman’s Gold as a rum and think that the flavours and presentation of the chosen entries will highlight the Rum”.

Taking into account the high calibre of recipes, and the feedback by Peter and Steven, organiser Dave Marsland, aka Drinks Enthusiast, and Emporia Brands, the distributors for the St Lucia Distillers based rum here in the UK, have decided to open an extra slot, making it six competitors overall.

The selected finalists are:

Emma Andrew – 99 Hanover Street Bar, Edinburgh
Amir Javaid – Epernay, Manchester
Adrian Calderbank – The Church Green, Lymm
Adam Binnersley – Corridor, Salford
Adam Day – The Violet Hour, Didsbury
Tom Higham – Kosmonaut, Manchester

All 6 are invited down to the main stage at the Northern Restaurant and Bar, and have the chance to recreate their drink to the judging panel. This year, they will each need to impress Mark Ludmon, Editor of Bar Magazine, Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club, Manchester and Scott Wallace of Emporia Brands. Each judge will be looking for knowledge on the Chairman’s Reserve brand, the appearance and presentation of the drink, the aromas of the cocktail and finally how it tastes.

The winner will visit St Lucia as the guest of St Lucia Distillers, who beat off the challenge from the world’s finest malt whisky and cognac distilleries to take the trophy for Individual Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge 2013. The visit will include rum training at this distinguished distillery, and the chance to share expertise with the island’s enthusiastic bartenders, as well as plenty of opportunity to find out why the beautiful island of St Lucia is one of the world’s favourite Caribbean destinations.

CHAIRMAN’S RESERVE OFFER THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME AT THE NORTHERN RESTAURANT AND BAR SHOW

Chairman's Reserve

A visit to St Lucia is the prize for the winner of the Chairman’s Reserve Cocktail Competition, to be staged at The Northern Restaurant and Bar Show in Manchester on Wednesday 19th March at 3:15pm.

Bartenders should register their recipe by Friday 28th February, with the organiser Dave Marsland aka Drinks Enthusiast, who is working alongside Emporia Brands, the distributors for the St Lucia Distillers based rum here in the UK.

Competitors will be asked to submit to Dave one drink. The recipe must contain at least 25 ml of Chairman’s Reserve Finest St Lucia rum, with thereafter a free-reign to create a unique cocktail worthy of the grand prize. You will have a maximum time limit of 5 minutes on stage in which to re-create your cocktail for the judging panel.

The winner will visit St Lucia as the guest of St Lucia Distillers, who beat off the challenge from the world’s finest malt whisky and cognac distilleries to take the trophy for Individual Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge 2013. The visit will include rum training at this distinguished distillery, and the chance to share expertise with the island’s enthusiastic bartenders, as well as plenty of opportunity to find out why the beautiful island of St Lucia is one of the world’s favourite Caribbean destinations.

A member of the judging panel this year will be rum Captain, Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club, Manchester, who enjoyed the last trip over to St Lucia. “The last time I judged a Chairman’s Reserve Cocktail Competition, the weather was a bit warmer than Manchester in March, and the entrants were so enthusiastic following training sessions with us.  I am already envious of the winner, who will enjoy the Chairman’s XI experience in St Lucia later this year, visiting a world class distillery and meeting some great people.”

Entrants should email Dave Marsland at drinks_enthusiast@yahoo.co.uk with their recipe by midnight on Friday 28th February. Judges will pick their 5 favourites and their creators will be invited to demonstrate them at the Drinks Live stage at the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show. The following information is required within your submission:

Your name
Name and location of your work
Email address
Contact phone number
Cocktail name
Glassware
Ingredients in ml
Garnish

Chairman’s Reserve Finest St Lucia rum and basic bar equipment will be supplied at the final, with all other ingredients, garnishes and glassware to be provided by the competitor.

Judges will be scoring for knowledge on the Chairman’s Reserve brand, the appearance and presentation of the drink, the aromas of your cocktail and finally how it tastes.

The top 5 entrants will be contacted on March 5th and invited down to the final on March 19th.

Chairman’s Reserve Tasting Notes

Chairmans Reserve

Everyone loves something that’s award-winning, and there are many out there that can call themselves that. But to win at three of the major award ceremonies in the world, ‘Best in Class’ in the 2008 IWSC awards, Gold in the 2007 Drinks International Rum Challenge and Double Gold at the 2008 San Francisco Worlds Spirits Competition, as well as the distillery itself being recognised as a nominee in the category of ‘Excellence in Craftmanship’, you know your onto a winner (pun fully intended). That’s the story of Chairman’s Reserve. The golden rum that set the bartending world alight when it was introduced back in 1999, but how did it all come about? Well lets take a look –

Chairman’s Reserve hails from St. Lucia in the West Indies and created by the St. Lucia Distillers within the walls of the Roseau Valley Distillery. Crafted using naturally filtered rainforest water, six rums are individually aged in ex bourbon barrels including Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s and Buffalo Trace for 5 years, and then, using artesian distillation techniques, the rum is triple distilled using a Coffey Column Still, John Dore Copper Pot Still and a Kentucky Bourbon Vendome Pot Still. After the final distillation, the individual distilled rums are married together and then reintroduced to oak barrels for a further six to nine months.

So a rather unique craft to create the Chairman’s Reserve, but how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Chairmans ReserveChairman’s Reserve – 40%

A vanilla and honey nose with ripe exotic fruits pushing their way through. On the palate it gives off subtle sweet characteristics of spice with the vanilla being slightly more potent. Slight kick follows, but it leaves a mellow after-taste soon after.

Chairman’s Reserve White Label – 40%

A blend of three to four year rums, gently filtered to remove colour. Subtle citrus and raisin notes on the nose, with a smooth offering that turns into a developing pepper spice on the palate. Sweet notes of vanilla come through, a creamy texture is present and a fresh citrus finish completes. Hints of dry spice lingers.

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced – 40%

Contains local spices and fruits including cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, coconut, all spice, lemon and orange.Also has Richeria Grandis – known locally as “Bois Bande” – a bark renowned in the Caribbean as a potent aphrodisiac to give an added kick to the rum.
Dry spice on the nose, with the orange and nutmeg coming through. Reminds me of rich Christmas pudding. Very smooth on the palate, with a a smooth offering of spice and sweet flavours. Orange dominates to the long finish. A little dry.

Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Casks – 40%

On May 2nd 2007 St. Lucia Distillers was struck by a major fire and suffered great problems with storage space for their casks. In the melee that followed the cellar master, Mr. Cyril Mangal, was forced to find space for ageing casks in the most unusual places. Having done so, the cellar team had a memory lapse and forgot the casks that had been laid down and were only recently discovered. A blend of rums ranging from seven to twelve years in age.
Intense nose of coffee, raisins and vanilla on the nose, blending well. Rich spice on the palate, with sweet honey, toffee, glazed fruits and hints of coffee all present. Well-balanced, with a great finish of raisin.

Some great sipping rums, with instant realisation of why this brand has won awards. Bartenders love it too, creating recipes such as this –

Chairman's Mojito
Chairman’s Mojito

Chairman’s Mojto

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

60 ml Chairman’s Reserve
25 ml Fresh lime juice
25 ml Simple syrup
5/6 Mint leaves
Soda

Method –

Gently muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup and lime juice in the bottom of the glass. Add Chairman’s Reserve rum and ice and top with soda. Stir and garnish with a mint sprig.

Simple and refreshing, two words you wish to hear when it comes to a rum based cocktail. A great addition to any night out, or indeed your own night in. Oh, and it’s award-winning too. Chairman’s Reserve received the Rum Trophy at the International Spirits Challenge this year and, with 4 gold medals out of 6 rums entered, was also awarded the trophy for best individual distillery – ahead of all the malt whiskies, cognacs etc. And to cap it off, at Ian Burrell’s Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2013, Laurie Barnard, the eponymous chairman who sadly passed away last year, was elected to the Hall of Fame. Raise a glass.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Elements 8 Tasting Notes

Elements 8

The spiced rum category has always been dominated by the likes of Sailor Jerry and Morgan’s Spiced, but recently its been added to with Bacardi Oakheart, Kraken and Lambs Spiced all making their case to be the number one. But a major player has come into the reckoning – Elements 8. This unique brand has a three strong range of super premium rums as a result of eight individual elements that add distinct characteristics to each blend. It is also distilled and aged in the oldest distillery in St. Lucia with over 120 years of rum making experience. But what are these eight elements that make this brand stand out?

1. Terroir – The Windward island of St. Lucia with its tropical climate and volcanic formations provides the ideal conditions to transform cane into rum.

2. Cane – After primary selection of premium grade cane, it is ripened to perfection, harvested and milled to extract the rich and sweet molasses.

3. Water – Virgin rainforest provide a natural source of pure and pristine tropical water.

4. Fermentation – Three unique strains of yeast are combined with the molasses and purified water, each yeast strain imparting their own complex flavour characteristics.

5. Distillation – Four stills, including an innovative Kentucky Bourbon Vendome Pot Still, impart complexity and flavour. Only the ‘heart’ of the distillate is ever used.

6. Tropical Aging – Aged in #1 select, lightly charred American oak bourbon barrels. A tropical aged rum shares the characteristics of one aged for at least twice as long in a cooler climate.

7. Blending – The Master Blender expertly combines over ten hand-selected single rums.

8. Filtration – A light filtration process is applied to remove any residual impurities, naturally enhancing the purity and maintaining flavour.

What I have been lucky enough to try is their Elements 8 ‘barrel infused’ rum. This spiced rum is a complex hand blend of pot and column still rums, that have been infused with 10 fruits and spices added to the Bourbon barrel during the tropical ageing process that lasts for two years. The 10 herbs and spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, star anise, vanilla, lemon, orange, coconut and honey) are macerated in the aged rum barrel for 2 weeks. As the spices soak in the rum their flavour is naturally infused and extracted. This process is akin to different barrel finishes seen in the whisky world where blends are finished in sherry, port and Madeira casks for example.

So with an ageing process of two years, how does Elements 8 Spiced fair? Well below I give to you my tasting notes –

Elements 8 Spiced – 40%

Lots of light floral spices on the nose with a slight hit of vanilla and aniseed type flavours mixing in near the end. Rather light on the palate, with a good burst of spice to begin with. A rather long flavour of cinnamon spice and vanilla, with a soft warming sensation to finish.

And how about the rest of the range? –

Elements 8 Gold – 40%

Very floral and smooth on the nose with hints of vanilla and a little spice near the end. Again rather smooth on the palate with no expected kick on the back of the throat. Quite sweet with a dry nut flavour coming through. Long.

Elements 8 Platinum – 40%

Soft, fresh nose with subtle citrus aromas coming through. Dry fruit flavours on the palate with a sharp vanilla and banana mix following. Mellows near the end for a lingering finish that is slightly dry.

Elements 8 Cacao – 40%

Launched in 2013, this is infused with criolo cacao beans. Heavily toasted wood and cocoa bean on the nose with a sweet scent of dark chocolate coming through. Bold flavours of roasted cocoa with lingering smoke and malt dark chocolate on the palate. Smooth with a long finish. Almost as if you’re eating chocolate.

So a fantastic Gold rum, a sipping Platinum to rival some of the best, a unique and surprising Cacao and Spiced that could give the others a run for its money. Especially with a cocktail like this –

Elements Eight – Dark and Spicy

Dark and Spicy

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Elements 8 Spiced
20 ml Fresh lime juice
10 ml Sugar syrup
5 Mint leaves
Top with ginger beer

Method –

Build all ingredients, except ginger beer, over crushed ice and churn. Top with crushed ice and ginger beer. Garnish with mint, cinnamon stick and lemon wedge.

Creator Carl Stephenson is onto a winner here, with Elements 8 Spiced popping up on back bars all over the country alongside its Platinum, Gold and newbie Cacao. It’s also been winning awards too, with the spiced picking up the highest score and voted ‘best tasting spiced rum’ in the UK market by Imbibe in 2010. Its long slender square bottle is an eye catcher, as is the spirit inside, and well worth a try if you fancy something smooth to drink.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.