Now this is really interesting – here is one more producer creating rum especially designed for today’s exotic and tiki cocktails. To me that is a proof that the tiki drink trend is here in full force but not just as a trend, i believe it´s here to stay – that the tiki drinks finally have gotten their recognition and place in the cocktail world.
They have been here for long i know but after they were abandoned and eventually replaced by overly sweet slushy concoctions not worthy the name “tiki drink” the so called faux tropical, exotic or tiki drinks have been very slowly coming back – and finally is today really getting more and more recognition everywhere.
To quote Paul Clarke over at Cocktail Chronicles:
The thing I like about many tiki drinks–is the kind of baroque complexity in the glass. Ideas of mixological structure and balance are thrown completely aside in many of these drinks, but if you keep a close eye on the proportions in your mix–you can create something that’s pleasantly unexpected.
And now we get rums especially designed for them! The next such rum i have on hand for review is Plantation rum original overproof made by the house of Cognac Ferrand.
I first tried this rum (yeah this one too!) at the UK rumfest or more specifically in the RumFrat House which is the HQ for the Rum XP folks. I really liked its rich deep taste and that little taste i got there did really spark my curiosity concerning this rum and i`ve been very eager to get going mixing with it.
This rum is like i said, created by the esteemed Cognac Ferrand estate, the birthplace of artisanal spirits owned by Alexandre Gabriel. Plantation Original Dark Overproof is bottled at 73% alcohol by volume making it 146 proof and is created in Trinidad. It is a stronger, bolder and more flavorful version of Plantation Original Dark Rum which is a blend of Trinidad dark rums aged in young bourbon casks.
Plantation Original Dark Overproof is available both in the US and Europe – thanks for that! In the US it will retail for $29.99 for a 1-liter bottle and is available nationwide. In Europe you can get it from Drinkology and The Whiskey Exchange.
It joins the Plantation Rum portfolio as a unique addition for two reasons: 1) It is the only overproof rum in the collection and 2) It is the only rum that is not double aged, Ferrand’s proprietary rum finishing process which they are alone in using.
The double aging process is where the rums are distilled and aged in their country of origin and then shipped to the Ferrand estate in Cognac, France where they are perfected and aged for several more months in small, used French oak barrels. The reason Original Dark Overproof is not double aged is that at the delicate changes imparted by the double-aging technique would be lost on a rum that is such high proof.
So how does it smell and taste like?
Nose – I can feel sweet sugarcane, some wood, banana peels and spice. Especially the banana peels are present but not overpowering, it gets me to think about those exotic banana food wraps… The nose is very refined and so delightful i could sit and sniff all day..
Palate – Toasted and dried tropical fruits, strong but not unpleasant alcohol burn, wood, molasses and tropical dried fruit.
The sum of it – I`d say it´s a very pleasant strong, complex and fruity rum that is fantastic to mix exotic drinks with but i also do believe it would make a stunning daiquiri paired with some other rum or Plantation Original Dark.
I decided to make a few of Martin Cate´s drinks with it since i`m a big fan of his flavorful and inventive rum cocktails. So here we go – starting with a favorite:
DEAD RECKONING (Martin Cate, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco)
0.5 oz Plantation Original Dark Overproof
1.5 oz Plantation Original Dark
0.5 oz Navan Vanilla Liqueur
0.5 oz Maple Syrup
0.5 oz Tawny Port (Sandeman)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass or tiki mug filled with cracked ice. Top with 1 oz of soda
Garnish with a fresh and spanked mint sprig, pineapple leaves and lemon peel.
Tasty as always, i choosed to go Plantation all the way instead of using 1 oz of another type of rum but you can always experiment! This is one of Martin`s legendary drinks. He is a drink-genious did i tell you that?
TRINIDAD DRY FLOAT (This is the demerara dry float with Plantation overproof…name courtesy Martin Cate)
2 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz passion fruit syrup
1/4 oz sugar syrup
1 oz Plantation Original Overproof Rum
1/4 ounce 151 Demerara rum to float
1/4 ounce Maraschino
Shake everything except the 151 rum with ice, strain into double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, and carefully float the 151. Do not stir.
This version of the Demerara Dry Float is a killer cocktail! – a dangerous drink… so tasty and so strong since it contains no less than two overproof rums…so be careful. I really enjoyed this one.
TRINIDAD HOOK (Martin Cate, Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco)
1 oz Plantation Trinidad Overproof
1 oz Plantation Original Dark
1 oz passion-honey mix
.5 oz – .75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (to taste)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; shake and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime peel spiral.
Gently heat honey until liquid and whisk in an equal amount of pure unsweetened passion fruit nectar. Let cool and refrigerate.
I made my passion-honey mix with homemade passionfruit syrup and honey instead since i can´t find any passionfruit nectar. It worked like a charm, very tasty. If you need a recipe for passionfruit syrup it´s here – or go get B.G Reynold´s.
This is a strong and very yummy daquiri-ish cocktail that went down waaaay to easily….very tasty!
So what`s next? there´s a whole parade of strong tiki drinks to use this rum in, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry mentioned the Zombie….but be careful with overproof rums, too much will give you a headache, just right is the way to go.