Plantation Jamaica 2000

Plantation Jamaica 2000 rum review by the fat rum piratePlantation Rum should need little introduction.  Part of Cognac Ferrand, they finish and/or age rum they procure from all around the globe in cognac and other wine casks.

They also add “dosage” (a practice used in Cognac where sugar is added post distillation). Plantation tend to add around 16g/L on average. Their rums nearly always gain positive reviews and they have quite an extensive network of representatives and they are not afraid to promote the brand.  They have a large presence at all the more prestigious Rum Festivals and Competitions.  More often than not coming home with an array of awards.

My overall opinion of the Plantation rums I have tasted so far have been mostly underwhelming.  Some such as the Plantation Dark I think are hugely overrated.  Others I find pleasant enough but nothing too spectacular.

One thing I do like about Plantation is their presentation and by in large their prices.  Most rums in the Plantation range are not particularly expensive.  For their £40-45 range of rums (of which this is a part) they usually opt for the taller wine style bottle.  Complete with netting on the bottle and maps of each country/island the rum hails from and some information on how the rum is aged etc.  They also have a sticker over the top of each bottle indicating the country of origin as another nice little touch.  Presentation wise Plantation rums really do stand out and have strong brand identity.

This pot stilled Jamaican rum comes in at 42% ABV.  It has been difficult to gain a definitive age statement on this rum, which was released onto the market a few years back now.  Eight years seems to be the most noted claim so we’ll go with that.  The notes on the bottle state only that it has been aged in small oak casks.  No information is given on the dosage or if it is “double aged” at all.  Information has led me to believe that this rum is from Hampden Estate.

You’ll likely struggle to find this bottle on the shelves anymore I was able to pick up aPlantation Jamaica 200 rum review by the fat rum pirate pretty dusty bottle from a local off licence just a few months ago (October 2015).  I went for this over the other Plantation’s on offer as it was the only one I could identify as no longer being available.  The world has now moved onto the 2001 edition of this rum.  A 2001 edition of this rum will set you back around £40.

In the glass the rum is a lovely mahogany colour – slightly lighter than many aged rums.  The nose is very distinctly Jamaican pot still.  Jamaican pot still rum can be quite divisive.  You either get it or you don’t.  It’s not the kind of rum you find many people noting as okay.  You usually form quite a strong opinion on Jamaican rums one way or the other.

Which is what makes this rum so confusing.  The nose is heavy on the familiar funky notes – bruised bananas, coconut and rich tropical fruits run right through the rum.  The nose also has a burst of strong boozy notes.  However in contradiction of all these notes you also get overly sweet notes of brown sugar.  Which reminds me very much of the Plantation Dark, sadly.

As a sipper the rum is pretty harsh and I find very jarring on the palate.  It’s initially very sweet but the sweet sugary toffee like notes are fighting with rather than complementing the pot still ester heavy notes of this rum.  Being honest if this has been aged for 8 years there is little in the profile which agrees with that.  It seems very young and very edgy.  It lacks balance and the “dosage” isn’t really rounding this rum off the way, for example Plantation Nicaragua 2001 was.

Plantation Jamaica 200 rum review by the fat rum pirateThe only hope I feel this rum will have is a mixer.  It’s amazing how some rums really work as mixers even when they fall short as sippers.

It’s better when mixed – in this instance with Cola but like the Plantation Dark I find it cloying.  It’s too sweet.  Again it kind of jars against the Pot Still Flavour rather than enhancing it.

I know some in the rum world feel that I am critical of Plantation they feel I am using them as a protest against “added sugar”.  I don’t feel like this at all.  I still try Plantation rums and when I enjoy them I will state that.  I actually like the fact they are open about the added sugar debate and that they have even had the balls to enter into a discussion with none other Richard Seale about the issue.  The people I have spoken to are friendly, fun people who feel that Plantation offer something a little different.  I agree and whilst many hold up Plantation as the poster  boys for all that is wrong in the Rum World – I don’t share that view.

That said I still haven’t enjoyed this particular expression.  I don’t agree that all Plantation rums are spectacular.  The positive reviews on other sites don’t really surprise me or influence my own opinions.  For £40 I believe you can get much better Jamaican rum.  With some styles of rum I think Plantation’s methods work very well but with Pot Still Jamaican I think they got it wrong.

If you do like Plantation Dark then give this a go.  I just found it didn’t have the right balance and ended up too sweet and cloying.  All the pot still flavours are there but the added sweetness just doesn’t work for me.

1.5 stars

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