Plantation Guyana 2005

Plantation 2005 Guyana rum review by the fat rum pirateA 2005 Guyana vintage from Plantation distilled on the iconic Port Mourant pot still.

Plantation rum should be familiar to most readers.  They are not shy when it comes to promoting themselves.  Their Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Infused Rum, has been virtually impossible to ignore over the past couple of years.

Plantation is a part of Cognac Ferrand and is overseen by Alexandre Gabriel.  Plantation divide opinion perhaps more than any other rum bottler in the world.  They are not afraid to fight their own corner as has been seen in articles such as this.

Their rums are hugely popular and multiple award winning. Particularly at the Miami Rum Renaissance.  They practically exist as resident gold medallists.  They do however get quite a lot of scorn from those seeking rum without additives.

I like to take a more reasoned approach to the Plantation bottling “experiments”.  Whilst I don’t always enjoy their offerings (their Jamaican 2000 is particularly poor) I have tasted rums from them which have certainly been well worth the price tag.  At times I can appreciate the different profiles they bring to the rum world.  At other times however, they can be a bit of a sugary mess.

Plantation’s rums are not expensive, in the main.  This 2005 vintage bottled at a hefty 45% ABV is around £40-45 in the UK.  Which is a common price for the rums which are released in this taller style of bottle, under the “Old Reserve” banner.  The presentation is classy and familiar.

Finding actual information on the rum is pretty tricky. So to quote Plantation

Plantation Guyana is the only rum in the Plantation range to have sugar cane syrup as its raw material. From a long fermentation it is then distilled in a Charente alembic pot still and finally aged in bourbon casks a fine balance is earned”. 

I have tried a good few Port Mourant’s from independent bottlers.  I am expecting this to have more in common with a more commercial bottling –  Pusser’s 15 Year Old.  That rum is also a Port Mourant.  It also according to the Hydro tests has added sugar.Plantation Guyana 2005 rum review by the fat rum pirate

Which is something I would like to see Plantation NOT do with at least one of their rums. Unfortunately I suspect that day will not come!  They are selling what a lot of people want to buy.  Fair play I guess.  Let us move onto the assessment of this rum.

In the glass the rum is quite a surprise – it isn’t too dark, it is a light reddish/brown. Which is very different to how it appears in the bottle.

The nose has a nice balance of familiar aniseed and liquorice notes found in  Port Mourant rums.  Nice slightly charred oak with vanilla and a very upfront and hard to miss “Demerara” twang to it.  It remind me of the Pusser’s 15.  This seems less aggressive though and better balanced.  There is a slightly briny sea salt air to the rum, which drifts in and out.

Sipped the extra ABV is immediately noticeable.  I wasn;t expecting quite so much punch from a Plantation.  It takes a couple of sips for your palate and taste buds to adapt.  It’s very strong tasting and big on flavour.

There is a lot of complexity to this – deep rich aniseed, alongside juicy plump raisins. A spicy slightly heated profile. White pepper and lots of spicy bourbon almost “mash” and oak.

It is slightly sweet. I dare say I would possibly enjoy it slightly more with less or no added sugar?

It would be unfair though to count that against this particular rum.  At £40 it offers a really good alternative to the El Dorado range.  I dare say it shows a lot more the Port Mourant in its full glory, than the 12 or 15 year old El Dorado.

Plantation 2005 Guyana new bottle designPlantation’s rums are undergoing a bit of a makeover.  Bottles of this rum have been appearing which are as pictured.  I’m not entirely sure if the “juice” is exactly the same.  It likely isn’t the exact same “batch”.  I doubt though it will be very different.  Some of Plantation’s rums are very much the same year on year.

Whilst I don’t always enjoy these rums. I am happy to give them credit when they do come up with something good.  I think that the character of the Port Mourant Pot Still is captured well with this rum.  I prefer it to Pusser’s 15 Year Old (by a tiny bit).  I like the oak notes and the fact the sugar hasn’t masked the power and oomph of the original distillate.

It’s more challenging and complex than a lot of Plantation rums.  In many ways packs a bit more complexity than the El Dorado range (certainly upto the 12 year old anyway).

Good stuff and well worth a spin.

4 stars





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2 comments on “Plantation Guyana 2005

  1. Hi..just been given a bottle for a gift…hesitant to open er….doesnt say an age or even that it’s juice not from molasss…sure I get some oak,anise and pepper but it’s really sweet.i will look it up on your list..not for me..cheers Wes!

  2. A Charente alembic pot still is the type used for Cognac. A Port Mourant distilled in a cognac still??? Whoever at Plantation wrote this, it seems he has no idea what he is talking about.
    Another thing: I wonder where Plantation get their casks. On the label of the new Guyana 2005 bottling they state that it is aged for 7 years in Guyana. But as far as I know, DDL does not sell any aged casks from their warehouses. Not even Velier, who have a (small) stake in DDL, get any.

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