A New Look For Plantations XO…
The rather lovely, Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary Rum has been a firm favourite of TheFloatingRumShack.com ever since we first tried it. The more observant rum fans will be noticing it arriving in a brand new bottle soon, something appropriate to the contents contain therein. It’s a rum that could perhaps never of been, so read on and find out just out the XO came to being.
Alexandre Gabriel has been the head of Cognac Ferrand Estate, the birthplace of the artisanal spirits movement, for more than 20 years. His singular focus, from which he has not wavered in all these years, is to create exceptional Cognac, Gin, Curacao and Rum. Upon the 20th anniversary as the head of this esteemed company a few years ago, his team of assistant cellar masters decided to present him with a very special spirit they had been working on for more than two years. This gem, which at the time was meant only as a special gift to their master blender, is Plantation 20th Anniversary XO. Today the global demand for this rum is so great, Gabriel is building a new warehouse in Cognac just for these casks.
The surprise was unveiled and presented to Gabriel at his anniversary party held at Chateau de Bonbonnet, home of Cognac Ferrand, in 2009. The team’s idea was to create a special cask of rum that would bring into play all the “elevage” and aging techniques they used for Cognac blending. As Gabriel is passionate about rums from Barbados, this was the country and spirit they chose. They blended pot-stilled Barbadian rum, known for its rich aromatics and smooth texture, with column-stilled Barbadian rum, known for its lightness and elegance. It was also important that the rum followed the special double-aging that is unique to Plantation rums: first the rum is aged in its country of origin, and then it is finished in used casks at the Cognac Ferrand estate. The Barbados rums used in the 20th Anniversary XO blend are aged between twelve and 20 years in Barbados, which is quite old for rums. Once this special blend was created, it was placed in an old cask at Ferrand for a second aging of 18 months, longer than any other Plantation rum spends in the finishing casks.
The result was, and is, the ultimate expression of Ferrand’s rum elevage and blending. When it was presented to Gabriel he was stunned not only for the thoughtfulness but at the exquisite taste of his gift. “I was so proud of my team for making this special gift for me. I’m usually the one that creates the rum blends so I loved seeing their talent come through in the bottle,” says Gabriel. “I made the decision right then, that night at the party, that we would bottle this beauty and release it for all to enjoy. The global demand for 20th Anniversary XO has exceeded my expectations.”
What started as a mark of friendship and a simple gift has now turned into a commercial success. Plantation 20th Anniversary XO is now the fastest growing and most in-demand expression in the entire Plantation portfolio. Its soaring popularity across the globe has required Cognac Ferrand to construct a new warehouse just for the brand.
To put a proper face on this stellar rum that almost wasn’t, this June, Plantation 20th Anniversary XO introduces its new look to the world. The flagship of the Plantation portfolio will now come encased in a tall, heavy-bottomed, thick glass bottle, displaying the distinguishing crisscross straw wrap that envelopes all Plantation bottles. This straw is homage to rum bottles of yore, when distillers used straw to protect rum bottles in transport from the islands to distant and thirsty shores. The new bottle will be introduced in the all markets where Plantation 20th Anniversary XO is currently distributed.
Rum Databank: Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary Rum
Country of origin: Barbados & France
Cost: Around £45