Rum is much more than a liquor in a bottle – it`s a lifestyle and the spirit of a people.
Here is a rare opportunity to experience some fine aged rums from a private collection, never before seen in the United States. Originally sourced in Caribbean casks, these select aged rums were further aged in special barrels in Europe over many years. This exclusive tasting event will be available for only twenty serious rum enthusiasts, featuring vintage rums from Guadeloupe, Belize, Guyana and Haiti, lovingly triple matured and rested in barrels from rare Sauternes, Pineau des Charentes and even Sherry casks.
At the Tales there are a few of these rare tastings and if you get the chance go to some, you will probably never get the chance to taste some of these spirits again. At this tasting there were 10 very rare single cask rums from Plantation rums and it was a privilege to be able to taste them.
Presented by Robert Burr, Paul McFadyen and Alexandre Gabriel and sponsored by Plantation rum and DrinkUpNY.com we were presented the philosphy and vision behind the Plantation rums, followed by tasting samples of these 10 rare single casks:
Cuba 1998 – This rum was aged in Cuba. It has a sweet nose with hints of vanilla. A bit lighter rum, Cuban style with a bone structure of spicy cask. Notes of fruity apricot and vanilla with some spice. I found it to be an elegant and fresh rum.
Trinidad 1989 – This rum doesn´t exist anymore and is a blend of pot and column stills. It`s fruity and spicy, rounded and rich. A glimpse of the past….
Nicaragua 1998 – It has a faint nose, almost nothing but there´s slight notes of fruit. The taste is dry with a pleasant touch of wood. Not sure if I picked up a hint of cherry? I liked this rum a lot.
Barbados 1991 – Sweet, fruity, mellow and balanced made with 40% pot and 60% column stills with vanilla notes and french oak. A nice pleasant balanced rum.
Belize 9 yo – This rum is 100% column still rum. It has a very distinct coconut flavor, some hints of vanilla, it´s a very tropical rum.
Navy blend, Barbados, Trinidad, Belize – This was a very spicy strong bodied rum, woody, complex and rich! with a slightly fruity nose and of course one of my favorites…
Barbados 20 yo – Rare, only a few barrels are left. Spicy wood, smooth and balanced.
Guadeloupe 1998 – One of my top favorites! incredible rum!! Rich, flavorful and outstanding! complex, wild and warm. Oh yeah……….
Jamaica 1998/Guyana 1988 – My notes says “Flavor! Funky! Heavy! 🙂
St Lucia 15 yo – Sweet and woody…..
Then there was also a surprise rum, a very rare 1983 Jamaican, which was VERY flavorful and funky….a high ester bomb! tropical bananas, wood, raisin, tropical fruit….
The vision of Plantation rums is to capture the essence of what rum used to be, how it used to taste and roll upstream against the tide of column still, and to reflect the style of each island. The rums are double aged, first in their tropical climate and then in limousine and oak casks in France.
According to Plantation rums double ageing is the key to refinement in combination with “elevage” which means to nurture the rum like you would nurture a plant or a baby. If distillation is a science then ageing is an art and the blender works the symphony…
We were tasting the “treasure chest” of Plantation rums, rums that are not available to the public for various reasons, for example the Trinidad 1989 which doesn`t exist anymore in the way it was made. Every single barrel is unique and whether the rum is aged in humid or dry cellars affects the rum, for example you get a smoother rum in a humid cellar since there the alcohol evaporates first and in a drier cellar you will get a spicier rum.
Every rum has it´s own “sweet spot” which is the proof at which the rum shines the most.
This and a lot of other things we learnt at this tasting/seminar which I think was outstanding and very interesting! I`m happy I was there!
I´m sure we will see more of Plantation rums at the Tales next year! don´t miss it……..
Paul McFadyen and Alexandre Gabriel, photos Laura Godel