Plantation Extra Old 20th Anniversary

Plantation XO 20th

Product of:  Distilled on Barbados, Finished in France
Aged:  initial 10 Years on Barbados, then 18-24 months in France
Price: $39
Alcohol:
 40% ABV
Sugar: 21-25 g/L (
estimate)
Context:
 Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 10

Objective Notes
Extremely Smooth.  Plantation Extra Old is the perfect shade of copper, nearly luminescent  in it’s distinctive decanter.  Pour some, close your eyes, and your nose discovers a mature, unmistakably Bajan rum with its characteristically deep, sulfury-sweet molasses and earthy cane scents.  But there’s something different: coconut and vanilla, then tropical fruit (mango, banana, orange) and spice are apparent.  Add to the rich Bajan mix the softening effect of aging in French cognac barrels, to temper the complexity .  The aromas in Plantation Extra Old are simply wonderful.  Sipping brings mouth watering textures like dried stone fruits, caramel and warm pie crust – a perfect foundation for laying on exquisite flavors. Full bodied, the rum loiters in your throat seemingly for an eternity, as sweet flavors slowly fade through the finish.


Anecdotes
Plantation XO is distilled from molasses on Barbados and aged there in bourbon casks for 10 years.  The aged rum is shipped at high proof to France, where it undergoes a second aging in used cognac casks for an additional 18-24 months.  The cognac barrels impart a unique flavor to an already exceptional spirit.  The rum is finished by diluting with French water over a period of months, again imparting a slightly different flavor than you will find in other fine Bajan rums. 

Plantation hosted a breakfast and special tasting event for the RumXP gathered at the 2011 Rum Renaissance Festival.  Their entire portfolio of rums  were presented and available for tasting.  We were  treated to a special “barrel sample” of the Bajan source rum, the spirit as it exists before being stored in small cognac barrels for a second, final aging step. The difference was remarkable.  The barrel sample was very tasty and aromatic but obviously not as refined nor complex as the finished product. Plantation’s double aging technique in french oak cognac casks adds an entirely new dimension to the rum. 

Plantation Poolside breakfast@RRF'11

Nearly luminous in its brilliance, masculine and heavyweight but delicate and sophisticated, elegantly round without a hard edge anywhere, and finished to the highest standard.  Note: I’m only describing the bottle; those same superlatives apply to the rum inside.

Opinion
Plantation Extra Old is a story of aging in rum heaven.  Combine historic Barbados distilling skills with blending and aging techniques refined in France, and the result is a world-class, hand crafted rum.  Think of it as Bajan rum with a French accent.  The spirit is enviable.  Plantation Extra Old is a rum you need.

Reviewed:  April 2011 at Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and again in May at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017