Plantation “Stiggins’ Fancy” Pineapple Rum

Plantation Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple-RG2

Product of:  distilled in Trinidad, redistilled and blended in France
Aged:
  4-5 years (estimate)
Price:
 $30-$34
Alcohol:
 40% ABV
Sugar: 21-25 g/L (estimate) 
Context:
 Flavored Rum
RG Rating: 10

Tasting Notes
The moment the cork is pulled, the unmistakeable scent of pineapple rind permeates your surrounding air.  Observe the deep red-orange patina’ed copper color, then swirl to produce a thick smear on the inside of your tasting glass.  The residual rum rises to form as many beads as the glass’s inside diameter will allow.  They linger, gather together, then drip ever so slowly to the spirit below.  It’s a visual treat, one that might reveal clues to the sweet flavors.

Inhale.  Potently beautiful aromas of smoky grilled pineapple, sweet and candied pineapple declare this rum’s DNA before the oaky vanilla scents from the original dark base rum arrive.  It is a unique mix.  

A single taste delivers sweet rum and pineapple flavors like nectar on a heavyweight body; very smooth and palate coating due the the added sugar.  The finish lingers thickly on the palate and in the throat, delivering the right balance between pineapple’s sweetness and acid on the one hand, and the alcohol and rummy notes from a well-aged spirit.

About Stiggins
Reverend Stiggins is a character in Charles Dickens’ novel “Pickwick Papers”   Alas, the good Reverend was a mooch and a red-nosed alcoholic – thus a hypocrite – whose particular fancy was “a glass of reeking hot pine-apple rum-and-water, with a slice of lemon in it” and some sugar.   A good drinker yes, but perhaps not a good drinking buddy, as “He was a prim-faced, red-nosed man, with a long, thin countenance, and a semi-rattlesnake sort of eye — rather sharp, but decidedly bad.” 

The Rev. Mr. Stiggins and Mrs. Weller-RG1

The scanned image [at right] and text by Philip V. Allingham, can be seen in broader context here. 

Tony Weller Ejects Mr. Stiggins-RG1

Mr. Stiggins wore out his welcome at the pub in a most ironically ceremonious way, being dunked in a horse trough by pub owner Tony Weller as a final insulting ‘baptism’.  From Dickens: “It was a beautiful and exhilarating sight to see the red-nosed man writhing in Mr. Weller's grasp, and his whole frame quivering with anguish as kick followed kick in rapid succession; it was a still more exciting spectacle to behold Mr. Weller, after a powerful struggle, immersing Mr. Stiggins's head in a horse- trough full of water, and holding it there, until he was half suffocated.”  Scanned image (at right) and text by Philip V. Allingham.  Details here.

Provenance and Process
To make Stiggins’ Fancy, Plantation recreated a two-Centuries old recipe.  Using their excellent Original Dark rum from Trinidad (old Caroni stocks?) as the base and en artfully infusing it with Queen Victoria pineapples for three months.  Further, pineapple rind is macerated in rum, which is then redistilled, and the two are blended, some sugar is added (same as Reverend Stiggins fancied it) to make this substantial spirit. It’s worth watching the YouTube video of the transformation here.

Plantation Pineapple "Stiggin's Swizzle" @ Smuggler's Cove-RG2

Perfect for cocktails like the Stiggins Swizzle pictured at right.  Michael Goldman, a well-known mixologist from San Francisco, created the delicious drink as follows:

Ingredients
2 oz Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Peppercorn Syrup
1 tsp. Maraschino Liqueur
Dash Angostura Bitters
Dash Peychaud’s Bitters
Crafting: Swizzle all ingredients, minus the bitters, with crushed ice.  Serve in n a tall glass topped with crushed ice.  Add the bitters.  Garnish with mint sprig.

Plantation Pineapple where it belongs - in a bar and in a glass-RG1

Opinion
Plantation "Stiggins' Fancy" Pineapple rum is a wonder, full of fruit smells and flavors. It is arguably the best commercially available fruit-infused rum in production.  As it should be, given the laborious care that goes into it’s multiple distillations in the Caribbean and France and the method of infusing the fruit.  Certainly it was designed for cocktails (numerous daiquiri and punch possibilities), but I believe the rum turned out better than its makers anticipated.  Plantation "Stiggins' Fancy" Pineapple rum serves equally well as a mixer or a sweet sipper or aperitif with ice.

Reviewed:  June 2015 during the product’s introduction event for California USA bartenders, hosted at Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco.

© Dave Russell 2017