In the mid-19th century, the Barnard family settled on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia as respected merchants. The third generation, Denis Barnard took over his father’s sugar plantation at the age of 21 and founded the distillery “St. Lucia Distillers” in 1932. Barnard was a pioneer in rum blending and began experimenting with molasses, which was a waste product from sugar production at his own sugar mill. Over time, his philosophy and technique of blending different distillates together resulted in unique and fascinating rums. In 1972, the distilleries of Barnard and the Geest family merged. Since then, the “St. Lucia Distillers Group of Companies” has been the only distillery on St. Lucia and was acquired by the SPIRIBAM company in 2006.
The brand “CHAIRMAN’S RESERVE” was founded by Denis Barnard’s son Laurie. Inspired by his father, Laurie first started experiments with blending rums from different types of barrels, as well as pot still and column still rums. These he returned to oak barrels to blend. He created smooth, complex and balanced spirits that are now considered the benchmark for St. Lucia rums.
The production is still very traditional, despite all this, the distillery has fully arrived in the modern age in terms of environmental protection (eg bottle recycling, wastewater management). Thus, it contributes to preserving the beauty of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. All Chairman’s Reserve rums are produced with pot and column stills.