Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum
Review: Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum 92.5/100
a Review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 3, 2012
The Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo is a Guatemalan rum blend which is produced from sugar cane syrup (rather than molasses) on a short column still. The rum is aged for a minimum of four years in bourbon casks in Guatemala after which it is transported from Guatemala to France by Cognac Ferrand to be placed in used Cognac casks for a finishing time of five months. The rum was bottled at 42 % alcohol by volume as part of Cognac Ferrand’s growing line-up of Plantation Rum.
I was sent a sample bottle of the Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo by Cognac Ferrand for the purpose of a review here on my website.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
All of the Plantation Rums arrive in a highly attractive clear glass bottle with a simple uncluttered label. The bottles are wrapped in netting as pictured to the left. The bottle closure is a high density cork which is sure to give the consumer that nice satisfying pop when it is first opened.
It would be nice to see some mention of the Cognac enhancement and the method of production on the label as I believe this would help the consumer determine whether this style of rum would suit his or her palate. However I am more than happy with what I see.
In the Glass 9.5/10
The rum has a rich dark colour in the glass, and a quick tilt and slow swirl of the liquid reveals rather thickish legs which move slowly down the side. The initial nose is of rich molasses accented by dark tobacco and cocoa. A certain fruitiness rises into the air with scents of raisins and dates accompanied by the more pungent aroma of prunes.
The chocolate aroma seems to grow in the glass more quickly than I was expecting, and I am really loving the effect it is having on my senses, I can barely restrain myself from stealing a sip before I allow the glass to fully decant. (Oops, I guess I could not restrain myself!)
The empty glass (after I finished my sampling session) is full of deep dark baking spice aromas which include rich brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and even toasted walnuts. A hint of fruitiness lies there as well, and I admit I am somewhat enthralled by the after glass.
In the Mouth 56/60
All of the scents and aromas I noted on the nose are apparent in the flavour, and in particular the chocolate just grabs me. This rum, I think, will be a chocolate lovers dream. However, there is so much more than chocolate going on. Dried fruit seems to lie beneath the surface bubbling up as flavour sensations of raisins and dates. Toasted walnuts and deep dark brown sugar lie deeper down. The light fruitiness of apricots and oranges play with soft pungent cinnamon and nutmeg spices and I swear I also taste a whisper of allspice and cloves.
The Plantation Guatemala Rum is striking in its complexity, yet every flavour acts to complement the others, and I detect no off notes of bitterness. Binding everything together is a soft note of vanilla and a firm backdrop of oak.
In the Throat 13/15
The rum finishes with a bit of sharp orange peel mingling with oak and baking spices. Trails of chocolate continue to delight me as does a subtle but noticeable imprint of tobacco. This is perhaps just a little rough, but not so rough that I find it distracting, rather the finish is invigorating and I (and my friends who joined me in a tasting session) have no problem pouring another glass, and another.
The Afterburn 9.5/10
The Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo is proof positive that column distilled rum does not necessarily have to be aged for 8, 10 or 12 years to reach full flavour and complexity. Although the rum in this blend was stated to me as being aged for four years, I taste a complexity and balance of flavour which is normally associated with much older rums.
The rum is not as suave and smooth as the other Guatemalan rums I have tasted (Zacapa and Botran); but the light roughness I taste is actually part of its overall charm. I have no qualms about scoring the rum very highly. In fact, I see this as a high quality sipping rum rather than a mixing rum in spite of its young age, and I highly recommend it!
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)