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Plantation Rum Releases Its First White Rum

Great news from the rum blenders at Cognac Ferrand — they're making a new white rum.

Plantation_rumThe 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.

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Rum Review: Denizen Aged White Rum

Denizen Rum is something of a paradox. It’s a Caribbean rum, but it is blended in Europe. It’s an aged rum, but it is crystal clear. It’s a quality rum, but it is sold at a very affordable price. One thing is no mystery, however: this rum is a winner.

Denizen begins with aged Trinidadian rum from the Angostura distillery, which is charcoal filtered to remove all color. It is then blended in the Netherlands with small amounts of 15 different pot-distilled Jamaican rums, giving it much more flavor and body than is typically found in clear rum.

And clear it is. Denizen has a bright, clean appearance, accompanied by a subtle floral, sugar cane aroma. It has a silky, medium-bodied mouthfeel — it’s immediately apparent that this rum hasn’t been distilled to death. There’s still a lot of character here.

The flavor is spicy and dry, only slightly sweet, with a medium-long finish. It definitely has some heat to it that reminds you you’re drinking rum. You can also taste the vanilla and oak that indicate it spent some time in wood.

Denizen is certainly a rum you can sip neat, especially with a couple ice cubes to cool its fire a bit. But it really shines in cocktails. Almost any drink that calls for a white rum, from a Daiquiri to a Mojito to a Piña Colada, will be improved by the use of Denizen rum. Its versatility means you can use it virtually anywhere with good results.

Best of all, this rum won’t break the bank. You can buy a bottle from DrinkUpNY for only $17. Most of the time you can’t even find Bacardi for that cheap, and this rum runs circles around that better-known brand.

Currently, Denizen is only available in New York State, but hopefully they’ll be getting wider distribution soon. This is a rum that’s too good to pass by. [Edit 7/8/14: This rum is now more widely available. Check their website for details.]

Denizen