Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy 1824 Recipe

Stiggins Fancy Plantation rum review by the fat rum pirateStiggins’ Fancy 1824 Recipe Pineapple Rum has finally hit UK shores.  Plantation the makers of this rum have certainly created a real buzz around this and the sole current stockist of this rum have been overwhelmed with demand for this product.

Rum brand Plantation is owned by Maison/Cognac Ferrand and whilst they may not be quite in the same league as industry giants Bacardi International and Diageo they certainly know how to market their Plantation line of rums.

Regular Gold award winners at perhaps the worlds biggest Rum Festival – the Miami Rum Renaissance they have a very visible presence in the rum world.  Regulars at many other events such as Tales of the Cocktail (where this rum was first exhibited back in 2014) they are also responsible in conjunction with Monin for the strangely named Underground Punch Pong League (UPPL)!

Over the past few years Plantation have been working with UK supermarket/clothing chain Marks and Spencer – M&S for short.  M&S’ own label Bajan and Guatemalan rums are supplied by Plantation and in turn M&S also stock Plantation’s own 3 stars White Rum.  As a result of this collaboration M&S have exclusivity on the initial release of Stiggins’ Fancy in the UK.

Stiggins’ Fancy which is bottled at 40% ABV – good to see in a “flavoured” rum is available at £34 for a 70cl bottle.  On initial glance at a bottle of Stiggins’ Fancy you could be forgiven for thinking it is a “bootlegged” bottle of Plantation’s Original Dark as it appears a big sticker has been placed over the original label.  However on closer inspection and on looking at the rear of the bottle you will release that this isn’t the creation of some rebel bartender!

The presentation is the now familiar Plantation full length bottle with the Plantation logo Stiggins Fancy rum review by the fat rum pirate Plantationon the neck and Plantation emblazoned across the bottom. A decent quality synthetic stopper tops of the presentation.  The rear label gives a LOT of information on Pineapple rum and Stiggins’ (actually Reverend Stiggins’ who features in Dickens Pickwick Papers).  According to the label Pineapple rum was very much a sipping delicacy back in 19th century England.  So what sets this flavoured rum from the other’s such as Captain Morgan’s own Pineapple concoction?

Well its pretty much how it is made.  In France Rhum Agricole particularly white agricole is often infused with fruits.  Indeed the Facebook group La Confrerie du Rhum produced a limited release Pineapple Infused Rum around a year ago.  As with the “dosage” (adding sugar as they do with Cognac) Plantation have decided to use another French technique – Rhum Arrange.

Like the Confrerie release Stiggins’ Fancy is made with Queen Victoria Pineapples from the Reunion isles – widely noted as the best quality pineapples.

Plantation teamed up with renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich to create a serious pineapple rum that focused completely on flavour, rather than sweetness. Made by infusing the flesh of pineapples in the standard Plantation Dark Rum. Then, seeking more aromatics, Ferrand distilled the pineapple rind with their white rum Plantation 3 stars, then blended the two and matured them for an extra period in barrel.

I must confess I am always a little sceptical of flavoured rums but if this has been made in the manner that is reported with no artificial flavourings, then its certainly worth trying!

As a result of how this rum is made it has been released in limited batches.  The batch we now have in the UK is the fourth, made with 3.5 tonnes of pineapple, and there are plans to produce the fifth batch before the summer.  Such is the demand for this produce which Alexandre Gabriel never actually planned on releasing!

Stiggins Fancy Rum review by the fat rum pirate PlantationSo as you can see there is a lot of “hype” surrounding this rum.  It has quite a lot to live up to and here it is being reviewed by someone who really does not like Plantation Original Dark………….

Fortunately for Plantation it is also being reviewed by someone who hasn’t actually tried the newer Original Dark which is now a mix of Jamaican and Trini rum rather than just Trini stocks.

Which is apparent right from the start with this rum.  The colour unsurprisingly is a very nice reddish/copper colour but its the nose where you immediately note the Jamaican component in this.  Like the Original Dark I wasn’t a huge fan of the Plantation Jamaica, I tried a while back but I have to say it works nicely in this spirit.

The nose is sweet but not overly so and nowhere near as bad as I had expected.  It smells very much of fresh pineapple as opposed to sweetened tinned pineapple, the rum however is not overpowered by the flavour.  This is not like a flavoured vodka whereby the spirit tastes entirely of the flavour – the rum is still very much there. Big treacly notes of Jamaican rum and you also get some of the lighter sweet notes from the 3 stars white.  The nose is quite fiery and does indicate this is perhaps more of a mixer.

It actually sips a lot better than the nose suggests.  It’s slightly bitter this way especially on the finish.  A cube of ice tempers the youth of the rum and makes it a pretty nice dessert style drink.  Like the nose you still get a lot of nice rich treacly rum alongside the pineapple flavour.  It’s a lot less sweeter than the nose suggests as well – less sweet than some regular Plantation rums as well!

As a mixer is perhaps where Stiggins’ Fancy is probably how most people will use Stiggins’ (It was premiered at Tales of the Cocktail after all).  I mixed this with the usual cola and whilst it was okay I didn’t really feel the need for a Pineapple-y flavoured Rum and Cola.  It wasn’t bad but the two really didn’t work that well together.

Where I initially found joy with the Stiggins’ is with a splash of Lemonade and an ice cube.  It’s dangerously drinkable – a very nice authentic Pineapple flavour with a very nice hearty hit of rum. The lemonade carries it very nicely.

However, I was urged to try a Daiquiri and the result (please note the picture is courtesy of Steve James at Rum Diaries Blog) mine didn’t look quite so good.Plantation Stiggins Daiquiri rum review by the fat rum pirate

The recipe I used is as follows:

50ml Plantation Pineapple, 20ml fresh lime juice, 15ml simple syrup (1 to 1 water to sugar), shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.

Easy peasy even a fool like me managed it and very tasty it was too.

Plantation will be getting more stock of this available in the UK in August so if you haven’t tried this already I would urge you to try and pick up a bottle.  Obviously this is dependent on you liking Pineapple (and rum) if you do like Pineapple and rum then you should find this very tasty.

For once the hype is fully justified – this is a flavoured rum which encompasses both the flavours of the Pineapples and the rum base.  The rum base a mix of the 3 stars and the “new” Original Dark works very well giving a nice satisfying rummy hit and at 40% you won’t find many “flavoured” spirits hitting this ABV.

A real winner from Plantation and definitely one which deserves all the fuss.  The score may change in time the simple answer to not scoring this higher is that I haven’t tried enough rums like this so I don’t want to overscore.  Its very good stuff though! No doubt.

4 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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