Rum Review

Review: Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda Rum 151 Proof by Jason Hambrey

Gosling's Black Seal 2.jpg
ABV
75.5%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
From Molasses
Distiller Gosling's (Bermuda)

Gosling’s is iconic in particular for its part in the Dark N’ Stormy cocktail, a mixture of ginger beer, lime, and rum. The cocktail name, indeed, is trademarked by Gosling’s and the two have become synonimous.

This one packs a punch at 75.5%, but I like it more in a dark and stormy since you only need an oz, instead of two, which means more bubbles from the ginger beer since you aren’t adding as much non-bubbly liquid to it.


Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2020

 The nose feels very “generic” from a rum sense: white sugar, molasses, baking spice, orange peel, licorice root, and clove. The palate is clean, lightly sweet and a bit cloying. It is surprisingly light, perhaps so because of the artificially-enhanced colour. The finish is light with molasses and light baking spice.

While I like overproof rums quite a bit, this one doesn’t have the richness to match the proof and I end up just watering it down if I’m drinking it neat. You lose a bit of the finish with water but overall it tastes better. With ice, it narrows a bit on molasses and rich spice with a great spice – perhaps why it shines so well in cocktails.

A pretty flat rum. It isn’t really made for sipping the way I like to analyse spirits – on their own and neat. However, it’s hard to shy away from the fact that there is a reason this is so synonymous with the dark & stormy cocktail: few rums do it better. It marries perfectly with the lime and ginger. And that’s how I’ll drink my bottle of this…

Value: Good if you like dark and stormys or similar rum cocktails. Not much going on though if you drink this one differently…


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 Guatemala & Belize Gran Anejo Rum by Jason Hambrey

Plantation+Guatemala+and+Belize.jpg
ABV
42%
Aging
about 4-7 yrs
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Unnamed Guatemala and Belize Distiller

This rum is based on a blend of column still rums from Guatemala and Belize. The Guatemalan component is aged for 3 years in ex-bourbon casks, while the Belize component is aged 4-7 years in ex-bourbon casks. The rums are then matured for another year in France in ex-cognac casks.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

This is a nice, rich nose – spicy, sweet, and oaky. There is some tobacco, oak, and a rich Jamaican-style estery note. Spicy, again. The palate is sweet and oaky, with a really nice blueberry note. The finish is sweet and fruity with lots of orange and a nice balance of fruit and oak. Relative to the Plantation rums I have tried, this is heavier and more in the style of a rich rum from the former French colonies.

Assessment: Highly Recommended.

Value: Great, at around $50 CAD.


Review: Plantation Jamaica 2005 Rum by Jason Hambrey

Plantation+Jamaica+2005.jpg
ABV
45.2%
Aging
13 yrs
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Long Pond and Clarendon (Jamaica)

This rum was distilled in pot stills at Clarendon distillery and Long Pond distillery, matured in Jamaica in ex-bourbon casks for 12 years, and then matured for an additional year in France in ex-cognac casks.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Very nice! It has a rich jamaican character, earthy and with loads of fruit. Spicy, briny, fruity - it is wonderfully complex. Orange peel, brown sugar, mixed baking spices, and a nice tannic ending. Earthy throughout, a rich character - it’s great! I do love these Jamaican rums- they are my favourite style.

Assessment: Highly recommended.

Value: I couldn’t find a price, but I’d say this is a good buy against the market at $50-$75.


Review: Plantation Jamaica 2002 Rum by Jason Hambrey

Plantation+Jamaica+2002.jpg
ABV
42%
Aging
15 yrs
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Unnamed Jamaican Distiller

I don’t actually know much about this rum since it isn’t listed on the plantation website. However, as with the other plantation rums, it’s probably a Jamaican rum matured initially in Jamaican and then likely in France for 1-2 years in ex-cognac casks.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

I do like Jamaican rum! The nose is very tarry with all sorts of notes -  smoke, olive, banana, and tropical fruit. The palate continues, but adds some toffee and orange peel. The finish is deep, and not too tannic. A nice Jamaican blend – not too intense, but still very interesting.

Assessment: Recommended.

Value: High, at 51.25$ in Canada.