Plantation Nicaragua 1998

Plantation Nicaragua 1998-RG4-USE

Product of:  Distilled in Nicaraguaa, secondary maturation, blending and bottling in France 
Aged: 12 years or more in Nicaragua, plus nurturing for up to 2 more years in France 
Price: $33 
Alcohol: 45% ABV 
Context: Premium Aged Rum 
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes
Extremely Smooth.  Plantation 1998 Nicaragua rum is like liquid gold in your glass.  Give it a swirl, and watch as many thick long legs appear, then drip slowly, releasing aromas in your tasting glass.  Next, you’ll sense a bright bouquet of vanilla and mild grapefruit, then deeper aromas of oak, paraffin and astringent alcohol, with lesser vegetal, nutmeg, pecan, coconut, pastry and copper scents - all pleasantly integrated but not overly sweet.  

Initial tasting segues seamlessly from aromas to flavors, delivering balance between a round, medium-weigt body, oaken vanilla, and only slightly sweet.  The finish is substantial; of moderate length, off-dry, mildly peppery yet not crisp.  Add a few drops of water and the rum dramatically softens, replacing the alcohol bite with fine smoky aromas and caramel flavor balanced by a mild white pepper finish. Nicely done as usual, Plantation.

Anecdotes 
Plantation 1998 Nicaragua rum is column distilled in ’98 following a relatively short fermentation period.  The rum was aged in ex-Bourbon American oak casks for at least 12 years in its native Nicaragua. The rum is transformed over a period of two years (the elevage or nurturing phase) in limousin Grande Champagne casks that formerly held cognac.  Plantation’s signature double aging process gives the finished rum an added complexity beyond what you'll find in Nicaragua’s already excellent sugarcane spirits.  No doubt the Central American beauty develops a mild French accent from exposure to those cognac barrels.  Comprenez-vous?

Opinion 
Plantation 1998 Nicaragua rum delivers softer flavors than many of Plantation’s recent releases - straying less far from the rums of it’s native country.  The 1998 Nicaragua rum exhibits attractive -  but lesser - affects from Plantation’s secondary aging in used cognac barrels, yet it retains the blender’s characteristically approachable sweet taste and finish.  It is easy to be a long-time fan of traditional Nicaraguan  rums. It is equally easy to acquiesce to most all of Plantation’s rums
– they do so much right at Cognac-Ferrand.  Consider Plantation Nicaragua the best of both worlds. 

Reviewed:   June 2013 at The Rum Gallery, USA

© Dave Russell 2017