Plantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV – The Whisky Exchange Exclusive

Plantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV - The Whisky Exchange Exclusive Rum Review by the fat rum piratePlantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV – The Whisky Exchange Exclusive. It strikes me as quite fitting to be reviewing this rum, at this particular time. The Rum World is currently going to war. Well in parts of the Caribbean and Europe they are anyway.

Issues surrounding the Jamaica and Barbados GI’s have pretty came to a head. Even W.I.R.S.P.A. feeling the need to involve themselves. Tensions between Maison Ferrand (Plantation Rum) and other producers on the island have spilled out onto Social Media. Sides and battlelines have been drawn amongst distillers, bottlers, blenders, journalists, bloggers, enthusiasts and pretty much anyone else you can think of with an opinion on rums future. Some bridges have been burned irreparably I fear.

I haven’t said all that much about the proposed GI’s. I don’t think I will need to spell out my position on the Maison Ferrand proposal, that a limit of 20g/L of “burnt sugar” can be added. Once the GI’s have been “agreed”, which may take sometime as they are far from that, I while write something about what it all means.

For the purposes of today I am going to say nothing more on the GI. I will stick to reviewing this Single Cask Rum from the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica.

First up, I have a bit of conflicting information on the actual rum in the bottle. From the Plantation Rum website and the details supplied to me by The Whisky Exchange. With further information on their website as well.

Fortunately, the one thing Plantation, The Whisky Exchange and myself all agree on is that this rum has no “dosage”. It’s bottled at 42.6% ABV. It bobs nicely between 42 and 43 on my Hydrometer. Which is in keeping with what Plantation and The Whisky Exchange have noted. Good start.

Now straight up, if you have looked at the two websites you will likely be telling that the difference is that they are different casks. Yes I am aware of that. However, whilst I accept the cask noted on the Plantation website differs to The Whisky Exchange’s, I am not convinced the rums are quite as different as suggested.

First up the distillation method is noted as being a Blair Column on the Plantation yet its noted as Pot Still rum at the Whisky Exchange. In terms of esters the Plantation site notes 116g/hlaa. Information provided by The Whisky Exchange states ester in the range of 0-20g/hlaa (please note this isn’t on The Whisky Exchange website I was sent this via email).

Ageing, is noted on the Plantation website as being 7.5 years in ex-bourbon casks in the Tropics with 1 year in a Ferrand Cask, followed by 1.5 years in the Tokaji Wine Cask. That is on the both labels so I am happy enough to use that! The Whisky Exchange omitted the 1 year Ferrand Cask.

So the ester count may be 0-20 or 116g/hlaa and it may have been produced on a Pot Still or a Blair Column Still.

Personally, I am going to go with Plantation on this one. Even though their information shows a different cask, I know they issue different Single Cask rums of what is essentially the “same” rum, to different bars/retailers etc.

Plantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV retails at £66.95. As the title suggests, available exclusively at The Whisky Exchange. The only thing left to touch upon is the finish on this rum – Tokaji Wine Cask Finish.

Tokaji, Tokaj or Tokay wine is not as I first thought wine from Japan. It is actually from the Hungarian/Slovak region, formerly known as Tokaj-Hegyalja, within the Kingdom of Hungary. Part of which was handed to what was then Czechoslovakia and is now Slovakia. Tokaji Wine is made from one of six variety of grapes. Whilst dry Tokaji wine has been introduced very recently, it is known more for being a sweet wine. (with upto 100 to 120 g/l of residual sugar contained within the finished product).

So lets get around to see how this latest Jamaican offering from Plantation fares. I have to say so far on my Rum Journey with Plantation, I was not impressed with the Plantation Jamaica 2000 at all. Whilst Xaymaca fared slightly better I found that a bit disappointing after some of the cheer leading surrounding it.

An approachable light golden brown with a slight orange hue, when poured Plantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV, looks the part in the glass. Nosewise, even taking into account the relatively low ABV of 42.6% ABV ,it is not what I expecting at all.

When I see Long Pond I expect big punchy flavours. Maybe this is due to the low ester count of this rum? It is the “lightest” rum in the Long Pond series of marques. Maybe this is how this marque works? It’s certainly making me think that it is a column distilled product though!

In many ways it’s actually very pleasant. It has a nice weight of oak spice and a nice hit of vanilla. If I was sampling this blind, I would perhaps think this was a blended Caribbean rum. Made up perhaps of rum from Barbados, Trinidad and a touch of Jamaican rum thrown in for good measure.

But only a touch of Jamaican rum, because this is very light. Delicate – too delicate for what I was hoping for. Further deeper nosing reveals a slight hint of some fermenting pineapple juice. A little beeswax and a tiny touch of something approaching funk. Maybe a hint of medicinal notes but only fits and starts.

Despite the Tokaji finish, it is not overwhelmed with sweetness. It is light and fairly sweet but it’s not an artificial forced sweetness. It’s not a cloying sickly mess. Far from it.

Very much like Xaymaca this isn’t bad rum per se but it’s just not what a lot of customers familiar with Long Pond will expect (or I fear want!).

Sipped there is more familiar Jamaican character there but much like Xaymaca it all feels a little clipped, a little muted, homogenised. Shaped into a kind of generic Plantation kind of taste and general mouthfeel. Yes definitely a familiar mouthfeel which makes it easy to sip but not very challenging.

The funkier notes of Pineapple, Banana a touch of Lychee arrive on the initial sip but they are very quickly taken away by sweeter notes. Sweet white wine and light caramel. There’s a slightly sweet/sour tang to this rum, which is unusual and not overly unpleasant. It’s quite interesting.

The finish is quite short but again not unpleasant with a fair amount of oak spices and some icing sugar. A touch of Cinnamon maybe.Plantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV - The Whisky Exchange Exclusive Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

I don’t know what a CRV marque Long Pond rum tastes like. I would be very interested to have tasted this rum after just the Tropical Ageing. Unfortunately, I fear the Tokaji finish on this one has masked and changed a lot of the rums profile.

It’s not as I say a bad rum – it’s not a rough young rum being masqueraded as an older spirit. It isn’t full of additives – yet it still feels a little forced. Like the Jamaican side of it has been sacrificed a little. It’s not what I would be looking for in a Long Pond rum or any Jamaican rum come to think of that.

Plantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV strikes me as being a little confused or something trying to play to the “normal” Plantation customer. Personally, I think it gives an entirely false impression of what Long Pond/Jamaican rum is all about.

Again like Xaymaca I’m felt underwhelmed by another lost opportunity.



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One comment on “Plantation Jamaica 2009 Long Pond CRV – The Whisky Exchange Exclusive

  1. Well summed up, I thought it was a waste of money, the plantation peruvian exlusive to gerry’s was more drinkable even though it had 8g/l dosage.

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