This bottle represents the fourth bottle of Plantation Rum in my collection and was the third one that I picked up. My first bottle was their Guatemala Gran Anejo, my second bottle their Barbados Grande Reserve 5 Year Old and my fourth bottle (a wedding anniversary gift from my wife) was their Gerry’s Exclusive Single Cask Guatemala.
The Plantation Rums are the brainchild of Alexandre Gabriel, President and Owner of Cognac Ferrand. The basic theory is that Plantation Rums are aged in their country of origin for a number of years, generally in young Bourbon Casks. When the desired maturity has been reached, the rums are shipped at their cask strength to Cognac Ferrand’s Chateau de Bonbonnet in France. They are shipped at cask strength to preserve all natural aromas and flavours. Here, the ‘double aging’ process begins whereby the rum is aged for a further time period in small French oak barrels.
Plantation Extra Old
In the case of the Plantation XO, the rum is from a blend of the company’s oldest Bajan Rum reserves. These were aged in the Caribbean ( for 10 years according to the information that I have been able to find ) before beginning their ‘double aging’ process for 18 to 24 months in France in used cognac casks to impart a flavour not normally present in Bajan Rums. The rum is then diluted down to its 40% bottle strength over a period of months using French water
The instant thing that hits you about the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Rum is the presentation…..it is stunning. An attractive case gives way to a clear decanter adorned with text detailing the awards that the Plantation Rums have achieved….and there are many. The bottle has a large synthetic stopper with a gold top. One thing to note ( and it may only be an issue with my bottle ) is that the covering of the synthetic stopper is such that unless the inside of the bottle neck is dry, it has a tendency to not seal the bottle adequately, instead lifting itself away from the bottle slightly.
Plantation Extra Old
In the glass: The rum is a dark copper with lighter bronze flashes. It instantly appears to have a sheen which leaves thick droplets on the sides of the glass. I can smell tropical fruit. Bananas, sweet mango and coconut. There is also a definite vanilla note. This is all rounded off by a slight oakiness that tingles your nose.
In the mouth: There is a tingle from the heat of the rum and a hint of oak but these instantly give way as the rich honeyed sweetness coats your tongue. Sweet molasses is present leading into a taste of mango on your tongue helped along by a little vanilla. There is a little peppery spice on the finish which is long and sweet but gradually becoming dry, then leaving the tropical fruit and coconut that I could smell in the glass. This is a massive encouragement to fill the glass again.
This is one of the more fully rounded rums that I have tasted and it offers massive rewards for anyone that makes the investment, as do all of the Plantation Rums that I own. Cognac Ferrand, Alexandre Gabriel in particular, should be praised for their treatment of these rums and you owe it to yourself to seek them out. Go on, you know you want to.
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