Plantation Extrême are limited edition rums from Cognac Ferrand bottled at cask strength, which sets them apart from the standard vintages and the other single cask expressions that are often finished in a variety of casks such as Banyuls or Sauternes casks.
The Plantation Extrême still undergo the usual double ageing in ex-Bourbon and Cognac barrels, which is the traditional house style of ageing rum. Notable about these rums is also the significantly smaller amount of added sugar at about 10 g/L for the Barbados and St. Lucia expressions.
Plantation describes these casks as rums that stand alone for their uniqueness of taste, and they certainly do stand out from the rest of the range. The Extrême No. 1 series was bottled exclusively for La Maison du Whisky and sadly, these editions have long since sold out. On the positive side, Plantation will soon be releasing the second series consisting of Plantation Extrême Guyana 18 years old and Extrême Fiji 16 years old. These bottlings will not be exclusive to any one shop, which hopefully means they will be more widely available. Due to the limited nature of these rums I have not been able to source full bottles for review but fortunately my good friend Johnny Drejer graciously gifted me some samples to try.
I have to say the presentation is quite lovely; The rums come in a nice colourful gift box with embossed gold lettering. The box outlines all the necessary details (except the sugar content) including the still type that was used to distill the rum. In this case the still is the John Dore pot still at St. Lucia Distillers. If one had all the boxes you could match the pictures on each one to make a lovely nature panorama. The bottle too is nicely decorated, boasting an oversized cork and the signature straw wrap around the glass work.
The label reveals additional details such as the bottle number and some specifics about the ageing. Plantation Extrême St. Lucia was distilled in 2005, and bottled in 2016 after ageing 9 years in a Bourbon cask in St. Lucia and another 2 years in a Cognac cask in France.
Beautiful, bright golden brown colour.
The nose has a very similar bouquet to Caroni rums but not as aggressive as majority of the Caronis I've tasted. This one has a beautiful round floral bouquet of lavender and honey.
Nosing the top of the glass there are some notes of caramel, leather and brown sugar, and there is barely any bite from the alcohol. Some very minor, almost indiscernible, medicinal notes make their way up to the nose from beneath the layers. It is a round and delicate nose that offers a great deal of complexity with just enough intensity to make the aromas perceptible in a balanced way.
A hit of coffee, caramel, tobacco and chocolate notes that quickly build up with a kind of a rancio in between with lots of dark fruit and lavender towards the end and back of the palate. It has a medium to bold mouthfeel and indeed the flavours are nicely layered in this one.
A nicely warming finish, with some tobacco or black tea leaves and coffee at the back of the palate. It is rounded by a creaminess with a surprising and a light, honeyed bandaid and pineapple note making its way through the cream.
This St. Lucian rum bares great resemblance to the Pure Single Rum samples from JD1 I tried at the beginning of the year. As far as Plantation Rums go, this is possibly one of the better ones I've tried from the whole range, if not the best. I really appreciate the the smaller amount of "dosage" in the Extrême expressions as well as the higher ABV. This makes it stand out from the regular Plantation Rum range making it more appealing to connoisseurs and rum geeks alike.
I think this is the right direction for Plantation Rum and I definitely want to see more expressions like this but without any sweeteners (are you reading this Alexandre?) as I think there is a lot of potential to make truly astounding bottlings that allow the character of the spirit to really shine.
Details at a Glance
Details at a Glance
Country: St. Lucia
Alcohol by mouthfeel: 8
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