Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum
Review: Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum (86/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra
Posted September 24, 2016
Pineapple Rum was quite a popular delicacy in the 19th century. In fact, in Charles Dickens first serial novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837), Pineapple Rum is the preferred tipple of the fictitious Reverend Stiggins, who while publicly preaching temperance, secretly enjoys his pineapple rum, usually mixed with hot tea.
Alexander Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) in collaboration with Dave Wondrich (cocktail guru and author of Imbibe) researched the original recipes of Pineapple Rum, and then set about to re-create this lost libation.
For those who do not know, Cognac Ferrand is the cognac house which produces Plantation Rum which is a brand composed of unique styles of rum produced and aged in various part of the Caribbean. These rums are purchased in the Caribbean and then sent to France to be aged for a further length of time in the cellars at Cognac Ferrand in used cognac barrels.
I was sent an instruction manual of sorts, and learned that to make his Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum, Alexandre Gabriel begins with flavourful Victorian Pineapples. These pineapples are peeled by hand, and then the left over rinds are infused with Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum (see review here) for one week. The resulting infused spirit is then distilled upon Cognac Ferrand’s copper alembic pot stills. In the meantime the pineapple fruit is infused with Plantation Original Dark Rum (see review here) for a full three months. Then the re-distilled Plantation 3 Star Rum (which had been infused with the pineapple rinds) is then combined with the infused Plantation Original Dark Rum (which is now infused with pineapple fruit). The two spirits are allowed to marry, and then they are re-casked in oak barrels for three months.
The final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
I was sent a smaller 200 ml bottle for my review; however, I was also provided with a j-peg of the regular 750ml bottle configuration. As you can see the presentation attempts to invoke mid-nineteenth century theme suitable for a spirit inspired by a character from a Dickens era novel.
An illustration upon the label (in the 19th century style) shows Reverend Stiggins sipping his tea (obviously infused with his treasured pineapple rum). In fact, the entire label looks like something we would encounter if we visited a rum museum and encountered a bottle of pineapple rum from that Dickens era.
I love the attention to detail, and I suspect you will love the bottle and label too.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When poured into my glencairn glass, the pineapple rum displays itself as a nice vibrant copper liquid similar in hue to a brand new penny. When I tilt the glass and give it a twirl, thick drooplets quickly form into medium-sized legs which run down the inside of the glass. The speed with which the legs form is an indication of the relative youth of the rum, and their ‘thickish’ nature indicates to me that some sweetness is present.
The aroma from the glass is very inviting. Rum-like scents of butterscotch toffee, vanilla and baking spice (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) lead out with both orange peel and yummy citrus pineapple scents riding along. There are light accents of almond and a mild sweep of tobacco which complete the nose.
I like how the dark pungent scents of the Plantation Dark Rum have been tempered, by the addition of the Plantation 3 Star Silver Rum which allows the pineapple scent within to act more clearly as an accent upon the overall aroma of rum. The only distraction at this point is a light, but firm astringency rising from the glass warning us that the rum is youthful and may have a bit of bite when we sip.
In the Mouth 52/60
The youthful astringency is quite obvious when we sip upon the rum as indeed the spirit bites a little at the palate and throat as we sip. The flavours across the palate match-up well with the nose as the sweetness of butterscotch toffee leads out and the pineapple accent remains clearly in view. I added a small ice-cube to the glass which alleviated the mild astringency and brought the sweetness into check. The pineapple rum is now very sippable.
Alexandre Gabriel and Dave Wondrich created this spirit with and eye towards cocktails, and so I thought I would try my hand at mixing one. With the pineapple accent so obvious within the rum, I decided that pairing that flavour with lime make the most sense. I added a bit of Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, a dash of bitters and a touch of sugar syrup and shook it over ice. The result was wonderful, and I can safely vouch for the appeal of the Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum as a great starting point for mixologists.
In the Throat 12.5/15
The rum has a short exit with sweet butterscotch and citrus pineapple flavours dominating the exit. The pineapple rum does have a bit of bite that heats both the palate and the throat after each swallow. Ice alleviates this light burn, and in a cocktail the burn disappears altogether.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum is a wonderful new addition to the Plantation family of rums. It is a spirit which maintains at its heart a lovely yummy rum flavour; but it is also a spirit which highlights the flavour of the Victorian Pineapple. Alexandre Gabriel has done it again, I can hardly wait to see what he has in store next.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
Fancy Pineapple & Lime Daiquiri
1 3/4 oz Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
3/4 oz fresh Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash or two Angostura Bitters
Add the first five ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add an orange peel coil with a lump of ice for garnish
Note: If you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!
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)