Like a modern day Jimmy Buffett, country music superstar Kenny Chesney epitomizes the island lifestyle with a home on St. John’s in the U.S. Virgin Islands and hits like “Pirate Flag,” “Beer in Mexico,” “Coconut Tree,” “Island Boy,” “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem” and “Guitars and Tiki Bars.” So unlike some other celebrities that capitalize on their fame by launching spirits brands that they know nothing about, Chesney’s Blue Chair Bay Rum comes from a very honest place.
Since launching the brand in 2013, Chesney has been a genuine rum runner, seeing continuous year-over-year growth for the company, which he owns 100%. He has also extended the brand from three initial versions to ten flavors made using premium juices and real natural ingredients. But as we always ask, “Do they taste any good?” It’s a tough job, but somebody had to do it.
Here’s our take on all ten of Chesney’s products:
Blue Chair Bay White Rum
The first and most basic recipe of all the Blue Chair Bay line, this white rum is distilled in Barbados and then aged in oak barrels. While a year in oak doesn’t add much color to this clear spirit since most distillers filter the color out of their silver rums, it does contribute just a bit of vanilla to the party. The alcohol content is a little hot, so you probably won’t want to sip it straight, but it does make a darned tasty daiquiri or mojito.
Blue Chair Bay Spiced Rum
If you’re a fan of “Breakfast with the Captain,” you might be a fan of this version of a spiced rum that is reminiscent of both Captain Morgan and Sailor Jerry. Using the same distilled molasses as the White Rum at a slightly lower proof, the spiced version of BCB adds a nice bit of cinnamon and vanilla to create the perfect accompaniment to cola in an elevated Cuba Libre.
Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum
This flavor is a little more polarizing than the first two. To quote that old Rupert Holmes song, “Do you love piña coladas?” If the answer is yes, then you’ll love the bold toasted coconut aromas and flavors of this extension of the BCB line. If you don’t like piña coladas, then you’ll probably think it tastes like you imagine suntan lotion would.
Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum
Unlike the White Rum, Blue Chair Bay’s flavored rums feature a lower alcohol level, 26.5% vs. 40% for the clear stuff. This means you might actually want to sip these rums straight or over an ice cube or two. The key word is “might.” Although there’s no doubt this rum contains essence of banana, it smells and tastes pretty close to the spiced rum version, which is a good thing. If you’re a fan of Bananas Foster or looking for something novel, give it a try. Otherwise, stick with the spiced rum instead.
Blue Chair Bay Vanilla Rum
This one is interesting. Blue Chair Bay Vanilla features a double hit of baking spice with vanilla subtly coming through on the nose from the oak barrels and then more overtly from the addition of extract. If you like vanilla cokes or cream soda, this makes for a fantastic mixer.
Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum
At this point, Chesney apparently got into mixing and matching his favorite flavors. Coconut does play well with the nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves that are apparent in the spiced rum, so this would make for an ideal base to a tropical eggnog or custard to make you yearn for the islands during the cold winter months.
Blue Chair Bay Key Lime Rum Cream
Now we’re getting into the sippers! Thanks to an even lower alcohol level of 15%, the cream versions of Blue Chair Bay are a little gentler on your evening, and on the next morning. This is a good thing because they are also delicious and perfect to be enjoyed over ice. Key Limes are more aromatic than the regular limes you usually find in the produce section of your local grocery store, and they are the base of the iconic pie of the Florida Keys. Blue Chair Bay Lime Rum Cream is definitely reminiscent of the pie with a buttery flavor and texture, and somehow they manage to include a hint of graham cracker crust in the mix.
Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum Cream
Speaking of pies, if banana cream pies are your jam, then this spirit will be too. Blue Chair Bay says that it should be the perfect base for tiki-cocktails or daiquiris or you can just drink it on the rocks.
Blue Chair Bay Pineapple Rum Cream
The first pineapple addition to the BCB line would be a great addition to a piña colada. Exhibiting characteristics of an old school upside down cake, be careful not to sip too many of these or you’ll end up upside down under your bar stool.
Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum Cream
Again, your predilection towards coconut will make a big difference in whether you like this flavor or not. This could be an interesting tropical substitute for any recipe that normally calls for Bailey’s or as an addition to a decadent root beer float. Apparently this has been a very popular new addition to the product line, so folks are definitely taking to it.