Hamilton Saint Lucia Series: ’07, ’06, and ’05

Time to remedy another inexcusable omission from my review catalog: Saint Lucia. The island’s only distillery, Saint Lucia Distillers Ltd., makes some delightful and singular rum that I have enjoyed for years yet never reviewed. This week, I’m reviewing every rum I have from SLD.

If there is a cult classic of American rum releases, it has to be the Hamilton Saint Lucia series. I was lucky enough to grab these at my local shop while they were still around, but having been released in 2015, they aren’t easy to come by anymore. These rums were distilled from molasses on SLD’s Vendome pot still, aged in the tropics, and bottled at their respective cask strengths. 

Hamilton Saint Lucia Pot Still 2007 7yr (59.0%)

On the nose, I get rubber, black pepper, charred oak, coffee, banana, underripe tropical fruits like mango and guava, and industrial cleaning product. 

The notes for the palate are similar. It does away with most of the tropical fruits and subs in oatmeal with cooked apples and berries, cinnamon, and allspice. Despite having the lowest ABV of the three, it drinks fairly hot. 

This is good, but it’s my least favorite of the lineup. It comes across as being thin, abrasive, and poorly integrated when compared with its older siblings. The whole family has great genes, but this one’s the awkward middle child (don’t forget about the 2009 5yr). (6/10)

Hamilton Saint Lucia Pot Still 2006 8yr (62.1%)

The nose has plenty of commonalities with the 2007, but it’s noticeably more integrated. The rubber and black pepper notes return, joined by sweet orange essence, caramel latte, sandalwood, and a subtle sulfury quality.

The palate is less industrial and generally more balanced than the 2007. It features a delightful orange marmalade flavor, followed by black licorice, bergamot, and baking spices.

This strikes a nice balance for me in terms of proof, oak influence, and funk. This was the first Saint Lucian rum I tried, and it’s still one of my favorites. If by some miracle you have a choice between this and another member of the series, I’d go for this one. (7/10)

Hamilton Saint Lucia Pot Still 2005 9yr (67.4%)

On the nose, there’s lots of charred wood, black pepper, baking spices, and smoke. Relative to the 2006, it pulls back on the fruit, coffee shop, and industrial aromas. 

On the palate, the wood is now starting to take over. Many of the notes from the other two appear, but they’re hiding beneath a dusty old cabinet, rotting logs, dark chocolate, black licorice, and loads of black pepper. Interestingly, this has the highest proof of any rum in the Hamilton Saint Lucia series, but it’s about the same level of heat as the 2006, maybe even less. 

This reminds me of a more funky Last Ward 2009, and my impressions of both are similar: very good, but a bit heavy on the oak. Though it’s on the lower side of a seven, it’s definitely still a (7/10).