Plantation Single Cask Barbados 6yr

Let’s be honest: it’s easy to hate on Plantation. Whether it’s the Barbados GI issue, the addition of sugar to their rums, or the name itself (which is sure to change any day now), there are plenty of reasons to be anti-Ferrand and anti-Plantation.

Lo and behold, I was visiting some family when I discovered a bottle of Plantation on my grandmother’s shelf, a single cask from Barbados. Never having properly reviewed a Plantation product before, I figured this was my opportunity to give the rum itself a chance. 

This is a six year old WIRD aged four years in ex-bourbon, one year in ex-Ferrand Cognac, and one year in ex-Calvados. It is a blend of pot and column distillate and, according to the bottle, it contains 10 gr/L of dosage. It was bottled at 41.3%.*


On the nose, I get black pepper, pears, wood shavings, lemon essence, vanilla, and caramel. It’s mild and vaguely cognac-y.

On the palate, it becomes clear that the character of the distillate has been completely overwhelmed by the influence of really wet casks. I get black pepper, vanilla, Mott’s apple juice, and maybe some unripe pear. I might not guess that this is rum in a blind. It certainly isn’t revolting, but I wouldn’t call it pleasant either. 


Even if I could somehow disregard the many ethical concerns I have regarding Ferrand and Plantation, I’m still left with one glaring fact about the rum itself: it’s really boring. This “single cask” is actually three different barrels arguing about what some bland distillate should taste like, and nobody wins. I struggle to see how this even much of an improvement on the Grande Reserve, which is nearly the same thing without the extra year in Calvados casks, though it costs less than half as much. 

Don’t buy this. Life is too short, and there is simply too much good rum to bother drinking anything like this. (4/10)

*There is absolutely no reason for this to be bottled at 41.3% apart from it having a “single cask aesthetic.” Six years in a barrel certainly did not lower the proof that much, meaning that this was diluted to its bottling proof. To make it 40% or 43% would have made it seem commonplace, so don’t be fooled: an ABV like this is a marketing decision, not the result of good craftsmanship.