I’m always interested in new whiskeys. And I have a particular interest in new Virginia whiskeys. So this one definitely caught my eye.
“This bourbon is aged for a number of years in new charred white oak barrels, then finished in used port barrels, many of which come from Virginian wineries. Caramel and spice notes from the charred white oak are elegantly combined with flavors of jam to create a deep taste. A smooth finish is attained from resting in the port barrels.”
Price in Virginia is $39.99. I’ll definitely have to pick up a bottle, assuming it actually makes the shelves. (There’s no indication that this is a limited-edition product. But you never know.)
Assuming this works like the other Bowman bourbons, it’s distilled by Buffalo Trace in Kentucky, then redistilled and aged at Bowman’s facility in Fredericksburg. Bowman has a solid reputation for good whiskeys, especially those released under the Abraham Bowman name.
Great news from the rum blenders at Cognac Ferrand — they're making a new white rum.
The spirit masters at Cognac Ferrand, producers of the award-winning Plantation Rum portfolio, have their own special twist on rums: cherry picking the very best aged rums from around the Caribbean and Latin America and bringing them to Cognac to be refined for a second aging in their own Cognac barrels, a technique only performed by Ferrand.
Now, for the first time ever, Plantation Rum introduces its first white rum - Plantation 3 Stars, named in honor of the three rum-producing stars of the Caribbean from which Plantation 3 Stars is crafted: Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica. Launching across the country beginning this September, Plantation 3 Stars (41.2% ABV) will retail for approximately $24.99 for a 1 liter bottle.
Almost every rum company offers a white rum. But Cognac Ferrand proprietor Alexandre Gabriel wanted to make one that stood out from the rest using aged and un-aged rums and the company’s exceptional Cognac blending skills.
Gabriel says “Most white rums on the market today are either too neutral and too vodka-like or too rough and rustic. We wanted a rum that shows character, elegance, complexity and a great finish – the ideal rum for cocktails. Blending is not a science, it’s an art because you are working with a product of nature. In Cognac, to become a great cellar master and blender it takes 20 years of practice and training. This is the know-how we bring to Plantation 3 Stars.”
For Plantation 3 Stars, Gabriel decided to use a 3-year aged Trinidad rum, carbon filtered to maintain its white color and to remove the heavier tannins while preserving the aromatics developed and refined by aging. Un-aged rums from Barbados and Jamaica are blended, along with a 12 year aged rum from Jamaica. The Jamaican rum is an expensive ingredient but key to the taste of the overall blend. Each rum in the blend brings its own characteristics.
Says Gabriel, “This is the beauty of blending. You can capture the best of each – Trinidad brings elegance and refinement, Barbados brings character and aromatics with fruit notes without being too heavy and Jamaican brings the funk, the touch that makes it a complete product.”
Tweaking the rum was a delicate process. In the end, Gabriel decided on an ABV of 41.2 percent. Says Gabriel, “I was dreaming about this rum and could mentally taste it before it was even made. We wanted character and personality, but didn’t want it to be too heavy because it our goal was to make a balanced and elegant rum exceptional for cocktails," said Gabriel. "We found the perfect balance for Plantation 3 Stars at 41.2% alcohol by volume."
The white rum category is a competitive market cornered by huge corporations. Gabriel notes, “We are a small artisanal spirit producer so from a marketing perspective this product makes no sense. But on the other hand, we felt that we had it in us to create a hell of a white rum and could not resist the creative urge. We really worked long and hard at it and the process was exciting for everyone at Ferrand. We hope Plantation 3 Stars makes people’s taste buds dance! After all, the work we do is for great pleasure – that’s what we’re all about.”
TASTING NOTES: Plantation 3 Stars White Rum
Keenly vibrant and well-balanced, Plantation 3 Stars displays the finesse and style of Trinidad and Barbados well integrated with the character and fuller flavors of Jamaica. On the nose it has delicate notes of tropical fruits intertwined with brown sugar and ripe banana. On the palate it displays subtle spices and floral notes with a finish of sugar cane and vanilla.
The redoubtable Camper English has a regular feature on ShakeStir.com where he rounds up the New Booze that's coming out. It makes for an interesting read, both to admire the latest cool stuff, and to cringe at the dreck the marketeers are foisting on the public.
Here's a list of the last two months' worth of new products. Click through to read more about each item.