Plantation Rum Isle of Fiji

Plantation Rum Isle of Fiji Rum reivew by the fat rum piratePlantation Rum Isle of Fiji. This rum represents the latest rum to be added to the Plantation Signature Blends range, the first since Xaymaca in 2018. The Signature Blends are continuous releases with rums from the likes of Barbados and Jamaica featuring.

Plantation have long been bottling rum from Fiji as part of their Vintages range and also some Single Cask offerings. For more details on the full Plantation range please visit their site, which gives a lot of information on their various ranges.

Plantation Rum Isle of Fiji is presented in the Signature Blend’s familiar stubby bottle with the bulbous neck. The straw wrap is again present and the rum is sealed with a good quality synthetic stopper. In the UK a 70cl bottle will set you back around £32. It has been bottled at 40% ABV. The usual stockists apply in the UK. If you are in Germany Rum & Co are currently stocking this as well.

So what do we know about the actual rum in the bottle? Well Plantation offer a lot of information on their website, so lets piece it all together.

The rum comes from the only distillery currently operating on Fiji which is owned by the Fiji Rum Company. It is produced using molasses from native sugar cane. A 4-5 day fermentation is followed by distilliation. Some of the rum in the blend is from a Pot Still and some is Column distilled. I am not sure of the exact ratio.

The rum is then aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 2-3 years in Fiji. It is then moved to Maison Ferrand in France, where it is aged for a further year in Ferrand Cognac casks. Planation have noted 16g/L of additives (their aged sugar syrup) on the website and bottle. They also note E150 (Caramel colouring) may be added for colour regulation. We can’t grumble about their transparency on this occasion.

Now my experience of Fijian rum has been quite mixed. The rums do have a very Plantation Rum Isle of Fiji Rum reivew by the fat rum piratedistinctive character but I have noticed huge shifts in profile depending on how long the rum has been aged. To describe Fijian rum I would say it is pretty funky and is a heady mix of Jamaican Pot Still rum, heavy tarry Caroni and a touch of Saint Lucian pine-cone notes. What proportion of each of these you get seems to depend from rum to rum. They are certainly very interesting rums, if not always to my taste.

To be honest when I heard Plantation were releasing a fairly young Fijian rum as part of their Signature Blend range, I was quite surprised.

So let’s move and get this evaluated….

In the glass the spirit is a little lighter than I might have expected. It’s a light golden brown. a shade or two darker than straw/white wine. The nose is quite punchy for 40% ABV. Lots and lots of dark treacly molasses notes jump straight out at you. Fijian rum is often not for the light hearted.

There is a sweeter more perfumed note but it’s little fierce as well, nail varnish?. Again it’s pretty intense stuff. After a little time in the glass I’m getting some fruitier notes – touch of passion fruit. ripe pears, touch of plum and some currants. There is a smokiness as well..

All in all the nose is impressive, nicely defined and balanced. It’s a good start.

Sipped, the rum is not as flavourful as the nose suggested. The fruitier notes have diminished. It has a bitter/sweet note saccharin like note (similar to their Barbados 5 Year Old) which I am not overly keen on. That seems to be taking away some of the other flavours.

It starts to develop on the mid palate a bit more, with some punchy notes of burnt banana, ginger and a touch of honey. Unfortunatley, something seems to cut all this all a little short. Plantation Rum Isle of Fiji Rum reivew by the fat rum pirate

Finish wise it isn’t the longest. It fades quicker than I might have hoped. That said it’s not unpleasant and it’s not a bad rum by any stretch of the imagination. There is a fair bit of complexity and flavour I would have just liked a bit more of a development and not to have it had the saccharin note.

This is noted being best enjoyed as a sipper. Again something which is quite daring to state for a young rum.

All in all this is quite a pleasant rum. A little more “punchy” than some of the Plantation range.

It just feels like Plantation Rum Isle of Fiji, has had it’s wings clipped a little to accomodate the average Plantation drinker. That said there really aren’t many examples of young-ish reasonably priced Fijian rum available in the UK. So this isn’t a bad start if you were looking to try some Fijian rum, without breaking the bank. Those IB’s can be expensive and Bounty is not always easy to find or cheap.

If I am looking for a Fijian rum then I want something a little more robust than this. I’ve already been down the Fijian rum route though, so this is probably a good start.

Whether it’s the dosage, Ferrand finish or just the age of the rums in the blend after such a promising nose, it fell just a little short.  It’s still quite good though and I wouldn’t refuse a glass if offered.

And I never even mentioned the GI’s………




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One comment on “Plantation Rum Isle of Fiji

  1. No need to mention the GI’s. This is a political issue and not something the average Rum consumer will care too much for.

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