Oh F*ck! That's O.F.T.D.
Plantation Rum, headed by the ever-creative Alexandre Gabriel have recently launched their replacement for the Trinidad Original Dark Overproof rum. We wrote about the 40%ABV version of Original Dark changing from Trinidad rum, to a blend of Trinidad and Jamaica rums and at the time there was no firm indication that the Overproof version was going the same way. Subsequently, an ‘insider’ source at Plantation indicated that Alexandre had something special planned, and the rest (as they say) is history!
Whilst not actually privy to the meeting detailed a little further on in this article, I had caught wind that it was happening and (as always) had resigned myself to the fact that these things take time to play out and so it was no surprise to hear that a year later the tale unfolds at Tales…
The O.F.T.D. is initially being launched in the US, but it’s not going to be until 2017 that it turns up here in the UK, so before I cut to the official press release, London-based Rummies should be aware that this coming Monday evening at NOLA (Shoreditch, London) a sneak-preview type advance tasting of O.F.T.D. will be happening. For details click here.
…and Old Fashioned Traditional Dark or O.F.T.D. might well be the name that this rum has gone to market with, but the acronym was based on some other combination of words. Something exclamatory relating to a successful conclusion to the research…. Please see your local Plantation Rum representative for the full details!
An Unprecedented Story of a Rum Created by a crew of SEVEN ‘RUM GEEKS’ that began with a top-secret meeting in New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail 2015
PLANTATION O.F.T.D. (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) created by Plantation’s Rum Master Alexandre Gabriel with Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Martin Cate, Paul McFadyen, Paul McGee, Scotty Schuder and long-time collaborator, David Wondrich
At Tales of the Cocktail 2016 in New Orleans, Plantation rum master Alexandre Gabriel introduced his latest and greatest Plantation Rum known as PLANTATION O.F.T.D. This unprecedented rum collaboration began when Alexandre Gabriel called a secret meeting at Arnaud’s in New Orleans in the summer of 2015 during Tales of the Cocktail with:
- David Wondrich, spirits and cocktail historian and long-time Alexandre Gabriel collaborator (together they’ve also created Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, and Plantation Pineapple Rum)
- Jeff “Beachbum” Berry – proprietor of Latitude 29 in New Orleans
- Martin Cate – proprietor of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco
- Paul McFadyen – proprietor of Trailer Happiness in London
- Paul McGee – proprietor of Lost Lake in Chicago
- Scotty Schuder – proprietor of Dirty Dick in Paris
This labour of rum love came to a grand finale when all six collaborators met Alexandre at Bonbonnet in Cognac, the Maison Ferrand estate, in December 2015. There all seven gathered and tasted different samples of their creation and there they all unanimously agreed on the final version that is today PLANTATION O.F.T.D. The acronym stands for Old Fashioned Traditional Dark (unless you ask one of the seven for the alternative definition…). The overproof rum is bottled at 69% alcohol by volume (or 138 proof).
Alexandre Gabriel says, “During these past 27 years, I have enjoyed working on technical projects with other Master Blenders and Master Distillers as well as with my good friend David Wondrich. Here, the idea was to work with a group that I have huge respect for because they are all special in their field of rum expertise, and I must also say, because they are great independent personalities, or misfits like me, trying to have it their own way. Not only they are great professionals but I consider them soul mates in a way. It felt like a great and exciting technical challenge and that’s something I love.
I thought ‘imagine if we could all agree on the perfect overproof rum, that would be a really nice rum.’ It was a lot of tasting samples and overproof classics – more than 50 different blends tested! more than 200 tasting glasses at each session! – a lot of listening to each other and a lot of work back at the estate to create the finalists for the crew to taste and analyze, but I enjoyed every moment of it. And we did it! I just hope this rum will be enjoyed as much in drinks as we enjoyed creating it.”
THE CREW EXPLAINS WHAT O.F.T.D. IS.
Back in the Age of Sail, the sails were full of wind and the sailors full of rum. That rum was rich and flavorful and strong. It had to be, because nobody was going to hand it out to sailors without first turning it into punch, or at least cutting it with water, and the rum had to be able to stand up to that. Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof is our take on that classic style. And not just ours: to join him on the quest to get the blend and the proof just right, our award winning cellar master, Alexandre Gabriel, scoured rum-joints around the world to find six grizzled old salts who knew which end of a rum-bottle was which. Together they came up with this blend of Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados rums, bottled at (just to be on the safe side) a full 20 degrees overproof, according to the way they used to measure these things in the Royal Navy.
A SWEET TALE OF THE VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY, by David Wondrich
The waters were poorly charted, the winds treacherous, and a rocky lee shore threatened the careless and unhandy. Fortunately, Captain Gabriel - a Frenchman and a brave one - had a good crew, not a lubber among them. Scotty Schuder, a Parisian sort of Yankee, led the foc'sle gang. Paul McFayden from London Town and Paul "the Beard from Chicago" McGee looked to the guns, 18-pounders all. Martin Cate from old Yerba Buena boxed the compass. Jeff "the Bum" Berry, who hails from New Orleans and knows these latitudes better than any man alive, manned the helm while the chaplain, Dr. David Wondrich, mumbled his prayers and called for punch. Now, punch needs rum. The crew scraped together what was left onboard, poured it together in a jug, passed it around to taste--and cried as one, “O. F. T. D!”
TASTING NOTES: Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof Rum, 69% alcohol by volume
- COLOR: Rich, red mahogany.
- NOSE: Intense and very precise of coffee, orange, plum, jam and truffles.
- TASTE: It bursts with caramel cream, chocolate and vanilla notes. It continues on with cinnamon, raisins, nutmeg, oak and molasses with smoky accents.
- FINAL: Long and lingering with dark chocolate, clove and caramel.
- THE EMPTY GLASS: Rich demerara molasses notes, oak and plum.
Rum Databank: Plantation Rum