Plantation Single Casks 2019
All Plantation rums mature in a two-stage ageing process, beginning in the tropics where they age in bourbon casks, and then at the Château de Bonbonnet in France to mature in Ferrand Cognac barrels. These limited edition Plantation Single Cask rums benefit from a third maturation in carefully selected casks that enhance the individual rum's unique characteristics. Every Single Cask rum takes its own ageing path to greatness, and each bottle is personalized and numbered. Only a few barrels of these unique reserve rums are bottled annually, making them a prize for collectors. Our team breaks down the 2019 release, selecting their own favorite new bottle from this delicious and diverse collection.
It takes some serious dare to take a delicate, 21 year old rum, and plunge it into the brimstone heart of a peated Kilchoman barrel. But angels were on Alexander Gabriel’s side, and his brazen meddling was rewarded with a sweet and smoky rum unlike any other. An initial plume of delicate Islay smoke can briefly mislead, masquerading as a convincing single malt, but it quickly blossoms into grilled fruit flavors of peach and pear, with a backbone of burnt custard, bitter dark chocolate, tobacco leaf and nutmeg. In short, an expertly aged, seamless melding of classic Trinidad and refined scotch flavors.
Good Demerara rum (rum from Guyana) is one of my great loves, and also happens to be too hard to come by, particularly the wild and divine nectar that comes from the Port Mourant wooden pot still, and double particularly when it’s aged tropically in the Caribbean, which always lends more richness and concentration of flavor. This 10.5 year old Demerara from Plantation checks all those boxes, and takes on an extra dimension from the finishing in “zebra” casks made from chestnut and acacia, which lend a lovely element of rich spice to the classic Port Mourant profile of leather, nuts, smoke, tobacco, and a particularly brooding version of pot still funk.
This pedigreed Jamaican rum gets it cred from the historic Long Pond Distillery and Tokay Hungarian wine barrel finish, both products have been enjoyed for centuries by nobility, it is one of a kind. Starting with a fruity nose of banana and pineapple, surprisingly dry on the palette, with tropical fruit tang and honey, followed by spice and a resinous finish that reveals the triple aging of this unique rum. Great for sipping on ice or minimalist Tiki cocktails. Add a splash of allspice dram for a nice winter sip that’ll warm the cockles of your heart.
If you haven’t had an Amburana barrel-aged spirit, I can’t recommend this lush single cask release highly enough. This Brazilian wood packs a sweet pastry punch that brings Cinnabon to mind, in the best possible way. As soon as you open the bottle a bold and distinct cascade of vanilla, cinnamon, toasted coconut and honey greet you. On the palate you’ll also find holiday spice and marzipan, finely balanced against the West Indies Rum Distillery’s signature warm and crisp rummy-ness. And while the flavors are completely indulgent, it’s not heavy or overly rich, just the mystery and magic of Plantation’s gorgeous aging.