Plantation Rum

The history of Plantation rum

The origin of Plantation Rum is Pierre Ferrand, an old and respectable Cognac house located in the production area of La Grande Champagne... Read more

The history of Plantation rum

The origin of Plantation Rum is Pierre Ferrand, an old and respectable Cognac house located in the production area of La Grande Champagne... Read more

The history of Plantation rum

The origins of Plantation Rum lie with Pierre Ferrand, an old and respectable Cognac house located in the production area of La Grande Champagne. WhenAlexandre Gabriel, a young Burgundian business school graduate, met the family running the estate, it was primarily to help them revitalise their business. In 1989, Pierre Ferrand Cognacs became " Maison Ferrand " and Mr Gabriel put his heart and soul into the project, becoming the boss a few years later.

After launching an internationally successful gin in 1995, he set off for the Caribbean and South America with the aim of selling used Cognac casks to rum producers. The task was difficult, as the market was largely dominated by the traditionally used and much cheaper ex-Bourbon casks. But a few contacts were made, and above all Alexandre discovered a varied and exciting spirit.

Rum has an almost infinite variety of terroirs, fermentation and distillation techniques, of which the Charentais craftsman does not miss a thing. But there is one thing he feels is lacking, and that is the ageing stage. For if there is an art in which the Cognac region excels, it is the maturing of eaux-de-vie. Alexandre Gabriel therefore swapped a few used Cognac casks for casks filled with rum with which he would return to France. Thus began the first experiments, as well as a first idea of what would become Plantation Rum.

After repeating the Caribbean experience many times, selecting new casks and even going so far as to jointly distil what would later become part of an exclusive selection, Alexandre is ready and the concept of Plantation Rum is clarified: it is possible to combine the best of both worlds, i.e. the marked tropical ageing and the finer and more controlled continental ageing. This double maturation becomes the trademark of Plantation Rum, with two types of oak (the rum is aged in American oak barrels in a tropical climate, then transferred to French oak barrels once it arrives in Cognac).

It is fair to say that he was well inspired when we see the boom that rum experienced 20 years after the first attempts. A few dozen different bottlings later, Maison Ferrand indirectly became a rum producer by buying the WIRD(West Indies Rum Company) of Barbados and by becoming a third shareholder of the NRJ (National Rums of Jamaica), itself owner of the Long Pond and Clarendondistilleries.

Plantation rums

In addition to the principle of double maturation, the rums in the Plantation Rum range are intended to be accessible to a maximum number of enthusiasts, while satisfying the more purist with more specific bottlings.

Both cognac and rum production methods are used to develop a wide range of products.

On the Cognac side, we master the reduction which consists in lowering the alcohol content of a spirit. This reduction is done very slowly, with water that has been in the cask for some time, so as not to break the product. Dosage is also used, a term used to refer to the addition of a certain amount of sugar that will act as a flavour enhancer or smooth out certain profiles. In this case, the dosage is done with a rum-based liqueur that has been aged in oak barrels.

Aging is done in an active way, sometimes moving a barrel from a dry to a wet cellar (ageing area), or vice versa. Redouelling can also be practised, i.e. replacing one or more staves (the "planks") of a barrel to restore tannins or to apply a special toast.

We borrow from the world of rum its freedom in blending methods, using rums from different regions and distilleries, each with a complementary aromatic profile. For example, studies have been carried out on high aroma or high ester rums in order to make the best use of these rum concentrates which boost the blends. Where in Cognac we blend eaux-de-vie from different parcels, more or less old, more or less woody, but relatively similar; in rum, blending a Jamaican and a Cuban amounts to mixing fundamentally different eaux-de-vie.

The rum casks are aged for an average of 5 to 10 years in their distillery of origin. They arrive only 65% full due to the high proportion of angels in the tropics. They then spend at least 3 years in the Plantation Rum cellars. Sometimes we go beyond the double maturation by transferring these rums into a third type of cask that has contained, for example, Port, Sherry, or more singularly, ice wine or Banyuls.

For a gentle introduction to Plantation rums, discover the Barbados Grande Reservea "young" 5 year old rum that is very smooth and tasty, or the pretty decanter of Plantation XO 20th Anniversarya more refined and complex rum.

Plantation Rum's reputation has been built on unique vintages of origin that allow to discover the style of a particular country or distillery. This is the case, for example, of the Jamaica 2002 or the Guyana 2005.

The vintages with black labels are a little more special: they are single casks and/or special finishes. This Belize rum distilled in 2004, for example, is a Single Cask that benefited from a final maturation in ex-Porto casks. The Jamaica 1998 was aged for several months in ex-Marsala casks.

Plantation Rum is also for many a classic of the mixology world. This OFTDPlantation Rum, developed in collaboration with leading bartenders, is an explosive ingredient for cocktails, while the pineapple-infused rum Plantation Pineapple leaves room for all kinds of creations.

Finally, for the most demanding, the Extreme series is the flagship of the brand, with uncompromising rums that are 100% faithful to their original style, thanks in particular to the fact that they are bottled directly from the cask (without reduction or retouching). The Fiji 2001 was one of these vintages in extremely limited series, and therefore very popular. Read less

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