Plantation Rum has quite the portfolio of rum ranging from a basic white to blended rums that sip more like a cognac. We have featured several of the regional rums, most recently comparing Plantation Barbados to Trinidad. Each of these regional rums has unique characteristics influenced by the weather and soil. This month we found Plantation Original Dark which blends two of these great regions.
In the 1990’s, Alexander Gabriel, President and Owner of Maison Ferrand, a fine cognac house in France, began combing the Caribbean for the best rum. Learning from this extensive search, Gabriel created Plantation featuring artisanal rums from the great territories of the tropics. Dedication to his rum making craft paid off in 2012 when Gabriel won several awards, including the prestigious Golden Barrel Award and was named Distiller of the Year by The American Institute.
Rum producers have often debated which distillation and aging techniques will produce the best rum. Plantation implements many ancient rum producing techniques while allowing for diversity in refining and perfecting throughout the process. Plantation Original Dark benefits from this diversity, with the blending of rums from two regions. The first rum is from Trinidad which is column and pot distilled then aged only one to three years. That rum is blend with a Jamaican rum which is pot distilled then aged 10-15 years. Both are aged in American bourbon casks before, blended, then sent to France to age in French oak barrels.
The nose is very subtle with cherry, vanilla and a slight hint of cloves. The rum is smooth on the palate bringing out apricot and more vanilla with cinnamon coming through on the finish. Unlike with other dark rums, I don’t get a rich molasses taste nor can I detect the wood the rum was aged in. For a dark rum this is very light and simple. Adding an ice cube changes the characteristics, bringing out more vanilla and smoothing out the spice on the finish.
The orange hue of the rum provides very little lacing on the glass. On the nose, I’m reminded of a Caribbean cocktail made with coconut, pineapple, and banana. The liquid coats my palate with rich butterscotch and coconut. The butterscotch also brings in a slight vanilla note. Like Clint, I find no complex wood notes, which is disappointing for a dark rum. Unfortunately, with all the fruit on the nose, the finish is non-existent. It doesn’t even warm the pipes.
Plantation Original Dark does not drink like a dark rum. Rather it leans more to the golden side. It’s far sweeter and lacks the characteristics and complexity we like to ponder in a nice dark. With that said, this is a nice sipping rum and should not be relegated to just a mixer.
3.25 out of 5
Sipping Rum Scale
1 – An expensive mixer
2 – A quick celebratory shot
3 – Wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with friends
4 – Are my friends worthy of a sip
5 – Special moments rum