Plantation Barbados 2000 (Old Reserve Rum)
Review: Plantation Barbados 2000 (Old Reserve Rum) 88/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on June 26, 2011
The Plantation Barbados Old Reserve 2000 is a Bajan rum blend distilled from both column and traditional pot stills, and aged in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. The rum was transported from Barbados to France by Cognac Ferrand to be placed in used Cognac casks to enhance the rum before it was bottled as part of Cognac Ferrand’s growing line-up of Plantation Rum.
Cognac Ferrand has long had a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers. This relationship is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks.
I was given eight sample bottles, each 200 ml in size, which represent a good portion of the Plantation Rum line-up. The Plantation Barbados Old Reserve 2000 is the second of these sample bottles which I have chosen to review here on my blog. (My first Review was the Plantation Granada 1998)
In the Bottle 4.5/5
All of the Plantation Rums arrive in a highly attractive clear glass bottle with a simple uncluttered label. The larger 750 ml bottles are wrapped in netting; however, the small 200 ml sample bottle I was given lacked this frill (see photo below). The Plantation Barbados , Old Reserve Rum has a small map of Barbados on the label identifying the birthplace of the original rum in the bottle. The bottle closure is a high density cork which is sure to give the consumer that nice satisfying ‘pop’ when it is first opened.
In the Glass 8.5/10
I poured myself a nice glass of the Plantation Barbados rum and brought it up to my nose. My initial impression was of a butterscotch aroma accented by leather, and orange peel. I gave the glass a cautious tilt and swirl. The spirit deposited a rather heavy sheen of oily rum onto the side of my glass, and I watched as droopy leglets formed. The droopy legs slid slowly down the side of the glass back into the mahogany rum.
I allowed the glass to breathe and began to nose the rum one more time. The rum seems to have gained complexity. The butterscotch is morphing into molasses with additional notes of green grapes. I also notice more well-defined baking spices arising from the oak which gives the glass a brandied flair.
In the Mouth 53/60
The rum leads out with caramel and molasses, musty leather, tobacco, and a muted orange peel in the mouth. These four flavours play together nicely demonstrating not only a nice richness of flavour, but also a nice balance of flavour.
As I continued to sip slowly on the rum I also began to notice some dry fruits (raisins and dates) and a nutty walnut presence lying under the main flavours. There were hints of a briny saltiness as well, as the rum seems to have captured some of the essences of the ocean at some point during its aging regimen. Lurking at the very bottom of the flavour profile was an indistinct copper flavour similar to what one tastes if he puts a copper penny in his mouth. All of these ancillary flavours complement the main flavour of the rum and I enjoyed sipping my glass enormously.
In the Throat 13 /15
The Plantation Barbados exits with the same flavours that it began with. Caramel, leather, tobacco and orange peel all leaving their residue in the back of the throat. There is some nice cocoa and dry fruit which trails down as well. I am reminded of the Cognac enhancement with a few flavours of green grapes and raisins and the finish which just seems to last and last.
The Afterburn 9/10
The Plantation Barbados is a very nice rum, excellent for sipping and, I suspect it will work equally well in cocktails. (My sample was small, and I was unable to explore the range of this rum in the cocktail realm.) I found a full robust flavour, and much more complexity than I was anticipating. The rum also displayed an excellent balance of flavour with most everything appearing with just the right nuance. As with the previously reviewed Plantation Grenada, I am very impressed with the cognac finish. It would be very easy to allow the cognac more reign in the rum, but Cognac Ferrand seems to understand that they are producing a rum with a cognac enhancement, not rum with a cognac flavour.
I say…. Well Done!
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)