Barbados

Review: Plantation 3 Stars White Rum by Jason Hambrey

Plantation+3+Stars.jpg
ABV
41.2%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Distilleries from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad

This is a white rum based on a blend of distillates from Trinidad, Jamaica, and Barbados. According to the brand, Barbados provides “richness”, Jamaica provides “structure”, and Trinidad provides “finesse”.

Plantation is a French producer of rum from Pierre Ferrand, a Cognac producer. They source distillates from all over the world, often bottling them with a fair bit of information on how the rum was produced. It’s a really fun way to explore rum, and they are generally decent quality. In Canada, most rum that are sold in the provincial liquor boards are rich and sweet, and only showcases one side of rum - and the side of rum that I don’t tend to like as much as the complex, dryer styles. It’s nice to see some of these make their way through to Canada.

This rum is made from column and pot distillation from Barbados, column distillation from Trinidad, and pot still distillation from Jamaica. The Barbados component is unaged, the Trinidad component is 2-3 years old, and the Jamaica component is 10 years old.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Overall, this is quite a nice white rum – far different from what you’d see in a basic Captain Morgan white or a Bacardi white rum. We have lots of notes - blueberry, spice, banana, brown sugar, bamboo, and lots of fruit notes. The palate is lightly sweet, clean, with berries and some jujubes. Clean light finish.

Assessment: Recommended - for a light rum. But if you’ve had a few good white rums, I’d say you could pass on this.

Value: Pretty decent, for $28.


Review: Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum by Jason Hambrey

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ABV
40%
Aging
3-4 Yrs Ex-Bourbon, 1-2 Yrs Ex-Cognac
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Unnamed Barbados Distiller

A rum bottled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ferrand master blender Alexandre Gabriel. It is based on a column and pot distillation which is aged for 8-10 years in Barbados before an additional aging in France of 2-10 years in a mixture of new, ex-Bourbon, and ex-cognac casks.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

The nose is nice – a mixture of coconut, toffee, and oak – nice and deep. The palate is rich, and loaded with tons of coconut, fresh and dried – and coconut macaroons. It is very different – I’m not sure I’ve quite had another spirit like it. The finish is slightly acidic and drying, and a bit cloying with all that coconut. It’s hard to get around all the coconut – too much for me. However, I tasted this in a group and some people were all over it.

Value: Low. It’s too much coconut for me. However, I shared this with a few others at a rum tasting and generally it was really a hit or miss product. Miss for me, but not for others.


Review: Plantation Barbados 5 Year Old Rum by Jason Hambrey

Plantation+Barbados+5+yr.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
3-4 Yrs Ex-Bourbon, 1-2 Yrs Ex-Cognac
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Unnamed Barbados Distiller

This 5 year old rum is aged for 3-4 Yrs in Barbados in ex-bourbon casks before being aged additionally in France for 1-2 Years in Ex-Cognac casks from Pierre Ferrand. The rum is distilled using a column and a pot still.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

This is quite nice - light orange, oak, toffee, coconut, butterscotch, spice, oak, and light tannins - it’s blended together very well. The palate continues, with a nice thread of vanilla, mixed roased nuts, and slight acidity. This is very, very drinkable – it might be a leader for a casual rum for me, especially given the price and the fact that it’s not too sweet. The finish is lightly spicy and oak.

Assessment: Recommended.

Value: High, at 37$.


Review: Foursquare 2004 Fine Blended Rum by Jason Hambrey

Foursquare 2004 2.jpg
ABV
59%
Aging
11 years; Ex-bourbon barrels
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Foursquare Distillery (St. Philip, Barbados)

Foursquare is becoming an exceedingly popular rum brand, offering high proof, quality rums with transparent information (cask type, aging, etc.). Sadly, I've never seen it in Canada but it's not too hard to find in the states. They produce rums from pot and column still, and this is a blend of both distillates bottled as part of their exceptional casks selection.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: Exceptional Cask Selection Mark III

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Bright, earthy, interesting – orange, molasses, sweet oak, butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut – still very sweet and dessert like - some spicy grassy notes balance it out on the backend too. Oak is quite dominant for an ex-bourbon cask – the warm weather must really work on the oak extraction.

Palate starts slightly sweet, with more orange, blueberry, before finishing in a slightly earthy, molasses laden and spicy finish. The oak fits in very nicely – I imagine it’s a rum bourbon whisky drinkers might relate to because of the big oak integration. The finish builds very nicely, seemingly picking up flavor and viscosity as it builds – starting with dried fruit, then adding in dry spice and eventually oak – in the end drying out. Nice dried berries on the finish, too. I really like it at full strength – it swims well but there is a bit of tarry, medicinal notes that seem to be lost as water is added.

Very nice. Stylistically, I like sharper pot still rums (like the Jamaican Smith & Cross, which is sharper and almost smoky) – but this is terrific, complex, balanced, and interesting.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: Average. While it’s hard to find high quality, cask strength rums for this price, it still comes at a decent price (~100 CAD).


Review: Mount Gay Extra Old Barbados Rum by Jason Hambrey

ABV
43%
Aging
8-15 years
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Mount Gay (St. Lucy, Barbados)

Another classic premium rum, from the Barbados producer who is also well known as a sponsor for sailing events. The rum is produced with open air fermentation and pot distillation - some single and some double distilled. The XO product contains relatively more of the double distillates, which, presumably, are quite a bit lighter.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Nose: spicy and rich, and dry too. Lightly bitter with some lighter fruit lifting the aromas a bit out of the darkness too. Rum soaked raisins, and some dusty earthiness. It is too bad about the bitterness.

Taste: Very rich, though a bit flat. The length is good, and it does develop well. Some decent spice on the end too. Enjoyable, but perhaps there is a bit too much in the way of bitterness there. Medium level sweetness.

Finish: A bit of spiciness, but there isn't a whole lot of complexity or body, and there's a bit of a saccharin staleness too. These are relatively minor points - it is a good rum. Some cinnamon spice too.

This would work well in cocktails that embrace dark rum.

Assessment: Recommended.

Value: Average. Not a bad rum for the price!