Some two months ago I reviewed the first Plantation Rum bottled in the Old Reserve Series, time for another one. The first one was made in Guyana, an easy choice since I do love Demerara Rum. Same with Jamaica. Jamaican Rums tend to be big and bold, high on esters. Actually Jamaica 2000 (in the old bottle, like the review of the Guyana), was my first Plantation Rum ever. That one was stunning. Here we have probably the first batch, released in the new bottle. There is a laser edged code on the bottle stating this one was bottled on April 18, 2013. I know both batches already, and there is some batch variation. I found the earlier one even bigger than the one I’m about to review here…
Color: Full gold.
Nose: Extremely buttery start. Lots of caramel and toffee aroma’s. Big, big, big! It smells sweet, candylike and so funky. I love stuff like this. Sugared yellow fruits in alcohol. Buried deep down below, there is a wine-note, so Cognac is noticeable. Ex-Cognac casks were used to finish the Rum in. Leather, chocolate, wood and sawdust. It’s all in here and for you to smell, so the big Rum didn’t even overpower it all, so no heavy thick cloak of toffee lies over this Rum. Next, because these is an evolution going on, a more nutty aroma emerges. Wood, almonds and cold black tea. The whole seems to become drier, which I like. Smells great, as often with Jamaican Rums.
Taste: Not as thick as one would expect, and certainly not as chewy. It is not overly sweet as well, but the sweetness is your typical refined sugar as well as some burnt sugar. Right from the start quite some influence from wood, combined with the defining Jamaican funk from the nose. Toffee, wax and nuts. Vanilla Ice-cream with Rum and raisins, but also I remember from Christmas. No big toffee from the nose as well. Liquid toffee and alcohol. Without smelling it, tasting this blind I would almost call this an Abuelo expression (the 7yo), only less sweet and more powerful. How strange. It has a nice woody backbone, with a slight bitter edge to it. Cask toast, burnt sugar, something like that. Warming. letting this “melt” on your tongue, a more fruity aroma emerges and even some fresh artisanal cola notes, which aren’t so damn sweet. Whatever the aroma, it will always be slightly woody accompanied with a woody and waxy bitterness. I guess in this case the finish did some work on the typical Jamaican profile.
Just try something like this from Jamaica and try to compare it to a Rhum Agricole, I bet you can’t do that in the same tasting without losing something that both Rums offer. That far apart are both distillates, and so broad is the scope of Rum.
Since I still have it around, I compared it directly to the Guyanan offering I reviewed earlier: The Guyana seems more organic. More smells from the earth in that one. Flora and fauna and a wee hay-like Grappa note. Both share the same waxy notes though. In the taste the Guyana is a bit sharper and hotter. Similarly dry and influenced by wood. In fact, both are similarly good, and if you have one of them, you don’t really need the other as well.