At Drinkmonger, we have always been big fans of the tropical spirit that is rum, and fascinated by Plantation as they have a unique approach. So when Alison from Plantation suggested a tasting, we leapt at the opportunity.
As guests arrived, Alison was busy prepping our first drink; a Daiquiri. Alison explained that each product in the range had been specifically designed for a purpose, and that the Plantation 3 Star was best in a Daiquiri (lime juice, sugar syrup and rum). The 3 Star is a blend of rums from Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados, which is matured for 3 months in the Cognac region of France giving a hefty, full Jamaican element powered through on the nose, but the palate is more balanced and refreshing.
While we were enjoying our perfect after work cocktail, Alison explained a bit about Plantation. Plantation was founded by Cognac producer Maison Ferrand. They would sell their ex Cognac casks to mature rum. Through these cask trades, Alexandre Gabriel from Maison Ferrand was able to try some of the most fantastic aged rums from the Caribbean, but realised most of them were unavailable outside of the Caribbean; Plantation was born. Maison Ferrand produce brilliant Cognac, and wanted to bring their expertise to other spirits. Some of these techniques include:
- Transporting these rums to the Cognac region, and maturing them in French Oak. This gives them a more steady, controlled maturation than the hotter warehouses in the Caribbean.
- Adding a small percentage of Dosage: A rum based sugar liqueur, much in the same way they would add small amounts of sugar to Cognac. The aim with this is that adding a dash of sugar brings out more flavour (adding sugar is quite a hot topic in rum)
- Elivage: The process of treating each barrel uniquely. If this means toasting the oak staves in a pizza oven to give it the correct level of toasting, that’s what they do.
We moved on to the Plantation Original Dark, which is a rum from Trinidad matured in bourbon casks. Perfect with ginger ale. I tried it with coke and lime juice, which worked equally well.
Lime juice is important in the rum story, as it helped sailors stave off scurvy in the form of their daily grog ration.
Alison encouraged us to use the mixers and freshly squeezed lime juice, as rum should be fun with no rules. In this regard, it almost makes some whisky tastings feel a little stuffy.
From there we moved on to a blend of rum from Guatemala and Belize, which had lovely fruity notes, big spicy notes and a good kick. The whisky drinkers in the room appreciated this kick. It was more of a sipping rum, but could be used in an Old Fashioned for example.
We then tried their Barbados 5 year old, which was dangerously drinkable, with fruity notes, syrupy notes and toasted honeycomb notes. If some found the Guatemala/Belize a little spiky, everyone in the tasting appreciated the easy drinking nature of this rum.
The finishing dram was the well priced 20th Anniversary Plantation, which was fuller bodied, and richer than the others. We found it had lots of chocolate and coconut notes. It contains some of Plantation’s oldest stocks, which are brought from the Caribbean and then re-casked for 12-18 months in small French oak casks. At £46.95 it is a bit of a steal.
In this tasting we also got to try a Jamaican rum cask sample, the dosage (like the finest molasses sugar spiced rum you have ever tasted) and Curacao (Cognac mixed with oranges and spices; divine).
Big thanks to Alison from Plantation who totally epitomised what we look for in our Drinkmonger tastings: a fun evening, great drinks and entertaining education.
PS: The rumours are true, Plantation Pineapple will be a Scottish retail exclusive to Drinkmonger. It sounds amazing.