The 2015 relaunch of Plantation Original Dark Rum. With a new recipe, this is a blend of rums from Barbados and Jamaica – designed to be more approachable and suitable for use in cocktails.
I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Plantation rum. In fact, for most of my rum-drinking life, I’ve stayed firmly away from anything to do with the Frères Guaiqueri family. I’m glad to note that the latest release, Plantation Original Dark Rum, has changed my mind on the Plantation name!
The new Plantation Original Dark Rum is a blend of rums from Jamaica and Barbados. These are rums which are otherwise available separately; Demerara rum from Guyana and Jamaican Rum, Plantation Original Dark is a welcome change from the single barrel rums (which I don’t like).
The rums involved are Plantation 3 Stars (a small batch, triple-distilled Jamaican rum), Plantation Barbados 5 Years (a full bodied 3 year old rum from the Caribbean), Plantation Barbados 8 Years (a bold, oaky rum aged in ex-Jack Daniels barrels), Plantation 3 Stars (a small batch, triple-distilled Jamaican rum), and Plantation Guyana 5 Years (a rich, full bodied rum).
In the glass, Plantation Original Dark has a rich, deep, mahogany colour. The nose glows with flavours of Demerara sugar and Jamaican spice and raisin. There are some lovely fruit notes underneath.
The taste is bold, spiced and mouthwatering. Plum, toffee, raisin and cocoa notes mix with subtle oak notes. The rum has a solid 70% abv, and this comes through as it hits the smooth, sweet finish.
This is a very enjoyable rum. While not as “demonstrably” unique as the Plantation XO range of rums, Plantation Original Dark is a great mixing rum. It’s flavourful, but not (as) sweet as the XOs, and works well with cola, ginger ale or lemonade, or a dash of tonic.
It’s also a really good rum for those who (like me) prefer a bolder, heavier rum in the taste, with no oak and no molasses in the mix. The flavour isn’t as bold as a Zacapa or a Pussers Gunpowder, but it’s still a brilliant sipper and mixer. At around the R130 mark, the Plantation Original Dark Rum is an affordable, versatile addition to any rum collection.
Plantation Original Dark Rum is a fantastic step away from the usual Plantation range. The original Xo spiced rums were too sweet (and too spiced) for my liking and I found the solera rums too subtle in every sense.
Plantation’s Original Dark has managed to combine the best of both worlds, with a distinctive, bold signature rum taste, but without a complicated rum set being used.
Plantation was originally founded in 1793 by Frères Guaiqueri in France. They moved to Jamaica in 1890 and started to first distill and then blend rums on the island. When Jacques and Antoine Guaiqueri opened a rum plant on the island of Réunion (a small French island in the Indian Ocean) in 1970, they changed the name from Frères to Plantation.
Plantation 3 Stars – A select small batch of 3 year old triple distilled Jamaican rum. The rum has a deep, full flavours and a signature, spicy character.
Plantation 5 Year Old – A full bodied, drop flowing taste with floral notes. Sweet, chocolate, vanilla and spices. Plantation Barbados 5 Year Old is a great blending rum.
Plantation 8 Years Old (Grand Reserve) – The original Plantation Rum. A full bodied juicy rum with a distinctly oaky taste. A great sipping rum, best drunk neat.
Plantation Original Dark – A blend of rums from Barbados and Jamaica. The rum has a dark colour thanks to it being a blend of rums aged between 5 and 8 years in some of the most famous Caribbean rum barrels.
Plantation 3 Stars – A small batch, triple distilled Jamaican rum. The rum has a deep, full flavours and a signature, spicy character.
Plantation 5 Year Old – A full bodied, drop watering taste with floral notes. Sweet, chocolate, vanilla and spices. Plantation Barbados 5 Year Old is a great blending rum.
Plantation 8 Years Old (Grand Reserve) – The original Plantation Rum. A full bodied juicy rum with a distinctly oaky taste. Best drunk neat.
Plantation Original Dark is a rum blend that brings together rums from Jamaica and Barbados. Expect a blend of rums aged 5 to 8 years in some of the most famous Caribbean rum barrels.
Plantation Original Dark is a dark coloured rum which is given a rich character thanks to its flavourings. It has a blend of floral and spicy notes which provide a rich taste in the mouth, while also offering a smooth finish.
Plantation Original Dark is a great sipping rum. It is highly recommended neat or over ice. Those who enjoy the taste of rum will be satisfied with its smooth, rich amber edges.