Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum
Review: Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum 89.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published January 8, 2013
Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is relatively new white cocktail rum from Cognac Ferrand. In producing this rum Alexandre Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) blends rum from three different Caribbean Islands in order to achieve the correct balance between flavour and character suitable for a cocktail rum bearing the Plantation name. These three Islands (Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad) are considered by the folks at Cognac Ferrand to be the three “star” producers of the Caribbean, hence the name “Plantation 3 Stars” was chosen for the rum.
According to the media materials I received, each style of rum serves a unique purpose: unaged rum from Barbados provides aromatics and character; a clear filtered 3-year-old rum from Trinidad provides classical elegance and refinement, and the Jamaican rum provides structure and an unmistakable ‘funk’ to the final recipe. The Jamaican portion of the rum is actually composed of two Jamaican styles, an unaged rum which contributes to that Jamaican ‘funk’, and a small amount of very expensive 12-year-old rum which contributes just the right flavour component to make this a rum ideal for classic cocktails. Indeed the 3 Stars rum is, at its heart, a cocktail rum meant to add elegance and complexity to your favourite cocktails.
A great deal of time was spent by the Cognac Ferrand team tweaking the rum to get it just right. Even the exact bottling proof was examined thoroughly. According to Alexandre Gabriel:
“I was dreaming about this rum and could mentally taste it before it was done so we worked relentlessly until we were there. We wanted character and personality but didn’t want it too heavy taking away from our purpose which was to have a balanced and elegant rum exceptional for cocktails. We found the perfect balance at 41.2% alcohol by volume.”
With so much attention to detail apparent in the construction of this rum, I was of course very happy when my review sample arrived just before Christmas. (I should note that my sample was based upon the recipe meant for the U.S. market. Because a portion of this rum is unaged, this particular sample would not be legal for sale in Canada as Rum.)
In the Bottle 4.5/5
I was sent a media sample of this rum in a non standard glass sample container (see photos below). As a result, I decided to borrow a j-peg of the bottle presentation (shown to the left) from the Plantation Rum Website. As you can see, the Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum arrives in a standard tall ‘bar-shelf’ style of bottle. The label is smart and original with a look that resembles an old newspaper wrapped around the bottle with the information about the rum’s heritage explained in the columns of newsprint.
In the Glass 9/10
The Plantation 3 Stars Rum is not quite clear in the glass. Instead it seems to show just a light touch of greenish colouration. (I notice in the media files sent to me by Cognac Ferrand that they speak of the 3-year-old Trinidadian rum being filtered clear by carbon filtration; but I also notice that no mention is made of the aged Jamaican rum being filtered.) When I swirl my sample glass, I see that the rum also seems to have a bit of an oily consistency. Hopefully this light oil will provide a nice mouth-feel and a little length in the finish.
The breezes above the glass display a very obvious scent of hard candy where orange and lemon drops mix with tropical fruits like mango and soft banana. There is even a few lightly minty notes of Christmas candy-cane and a light butterscotch/caramel impression in the air. As you let the glass breathe you begin to notice a vague astringency or roughness in the air as well. I wonder if this could be that Jamaican ‘funk’ riding under the candied fruit smells or whether this is just a light reflection of the unaged Bajan and Jamaican rum which would carry that lightly rough, fresh from the still aroma.
In the Mouth 53.5/60
The 3 Star Rum enters the mouth with a sweet push of fruit filled candy. Tropical flavours of banana, coconut, tangerine, and orange peel all seem to be mingled into the delicious rum. There are bits of mint, and cotton candy and a real impression of brown sugar riding through the flavour as well. I even taste some of that Jamaican funk that the creators of the rum were careful to incorporate (it is much more obvious in the mouth than it was on the nose) which seems to consist of orange peel zest, a light swath of oak and a certain briny/musty flavour that defies my ability to adequately describe. Overall the flavour is very delicious and very interesting.
I made a few cocktails with my small sample. I began with a simple Daiquiri which had a noticeable earthy quality which I enjoyed. I followed that with a classic cocktail called the Celebration which adds rum, gin and grapefruit juice with Groseille Syrup to great effect. I also used the Plantation 3 Stars to make an excellent cocktail based upon the Cosmopolitan called Red Sky at Night. (See all recipes below)
In the Throat 13.5/15
The exit is very long and smooth for a white rum with ghostly flavours of oak, banana and candy cane sliding down the throat accompanied by a light spiciness and then followed by a long lingering impression of sugar cane syrup.
The Afterburn 9/10
The Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is an excellent cocktail rum. It has a smooth complex candied flavour profile which is both interesting and delicious. I found I could sip it very easily on its own as the candied sweetness combined with the Jamaican ‘funk’ really appealed to me (to be honest there is a fair amount of Bajan ‘funk’ apparent as well). In the mixed drinks which I sampled the results were always superb.
My score of 89.5 reflects my high esteem for this Plantation Rum. If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
Here is a recipe for the most basic of Daiquiri.
A Simple Daiquiri
1 1/2 oz Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup (Dissolve a sugar cube in 1 Tsp hot water then let it cool)
4 large Ice Cubes
Slice of Lime for Garnish
Combine the first three ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with the lime slice
This simple yet elegant cocktail originated in Cuba in the 1800s. It was popularized in North America by tourists who traveled to Cuba especially during prohibition. Of course many forms of the daiquiri exist today, and it is considered one of the quintessential rum cocktails.
1/3 Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum
1/3 grapefruit juice
1/6 Groseille Syrup (Red Currant Syrup)
1/6 Citadelle Gin
Garnish with fruit which is in season.
The recipe is credited to J. W. Fish, of whom I could find no information. I realize that red currant syrup is not something many people keep in their bar supplies. Fortunately the Cocktail Database suggests Grenadine as a substitute, although I would recommend that you use a little less sweetener if you replace the groseille syrup with the grenadine.
Red Sky at Night
2 oz Plantation 3 Stars – White Rum
1 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
1 oz lime juice
1 oz Cranberry juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
Lemon slice for garnish
Shake all the ingredients over ice
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a small slice of Lemon
This is my own recipe, based of course upon the popular Vodka Cocktail, the Cosmopolitan. As good as cranberry and lime are with vodka, they are even better with white rum.
You may (loosely) interpret the scores 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)