Which Plantation Rum Is Best? We Review 8


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Rum is undergoing a revival, with bartenders rediscovering classic rum cocktails such as Daiquiris, Mai Tais, and Zombies. The best Plantation rums are more than a quality cocktail base as drinkers also discover the pleasures of sipping rum neat.

Although most rum drinkers simply enjoy this drink with a mixer or in cocktails, the sheer quality of Plantation Rum has given birth to a whole new generation of rum sippers too.

With delicious tones of dried fruits, spices, and even vanilla, we explore the best that Plantation Rum has to offer. From the easy-going Plantation 3 Stars white rum to the flavoursome Plantation XO 20th Anniversary, there is a rum here for every occasion.

Best Plantation Rums

Plantation Rum makes various styles of rum suitable for everything from mixing in cocktails to sipping neat. Here are 8 of the best Plantation rums to consider.

1. Plantation 3 Stars

Plantation 3 Stars
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 41.2% (82.4 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Plantation 3 Stars white rum is named for the three stars of Caribbean rum production, namely Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica.

It is based on a three-year-old Trinidad rum that has been charcoal-filtered to remove the yellow colour and heavier tannins. The rum is then blended with 12 year aged Jamaican rum and un-aged rums from Jamaica and Barbados before secondary ageing in France.

On The Nose

Brown sugar, vanilla, honey, coffee

On The Palate

Plantation 3 Stars opens cleanly, with a sweet chocolate fudge a lightly spiced middle. The finish is grassy with herbaceous overtones, toffee and white pepper notes.

Summary

This rum is highly versatile, as it is crisp and easy to drink. It is particularly suited for use in a classic daiquiri or mojito.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple

Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Plantation’s entry in the category of pineapple rums, Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple, is a blend of Plantation 3 Stars and Plantation Original Dark. It is flavoured with pineapple from rinds and fruit and aged for three months in oak casks before being bottled.

It is presented in a Scotch-style bottle with a vintage-looking label featuring a caricature representing the Reverend Stiggins from Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, who had a fondness for pineapple rum.

On The Nose

Smoky pineapple, citrus, cloves.

On The Palate

Ripe banana on the opening, then grilled pineapple, peach, clove and black pepper mid-palate. The smooth finish provides more pineapple, cinnamon, and caramel.

Summary

Stiggin’s Fancy Plantation Pineapple can work as an aged sipping rum and also as a sweet fruity rum base in cocktails that has a nice spicy rum kick. Recommended.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Plantation Original Dark

Plantation Original Dark
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Always the alchemist, Plantation has created a “dark” rum by blending their 10-15 year aged Jamaican rum together with 1-3 year aged Barbadian twin column and pot still rum.

The result is a tasty rum packed with flavour. Demerara sugar, Christmas fruitcake, funky Jamaican fruit, spicy crème brûlée, the kitchen sink; it’s all in here.

Presented in an eye-catching Scotch-style bottle. The Plantation seal is embossed on the glass near the neck. The vintage-looking label looks sinister, eluding to the dark nature of this rum.

On The Nose

Black peppercorn, clove, cinnamon, cherry, prune, molasses, black tea

On The Palate

Plantation Original Dark showcases toasty oak tannins and burnt Demerara sugar notes with Christmas fruitcake, funky Jamaican fruit, and a spicy crème brûlée aftertaste.

Summary

My goodness, Plantation Original Dark is a whirlwind of flavours that begs to be enjoyed neat, over ice. Perfect as a chilly winter warmer, perhaps in a Dark ’n Stormy.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Plantation Grande Reserve

Plantation Grande Reserve
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Warm Gold

Review

Plantation Grande Reserve is a blended Caribbean molasses rum that blends pot and column distilled Barbadian rums. It is then aged in Barbados’ hot and humid conditions, in casks formerly used for American whiskey and sherry.

For additional flavour, in France, it is then re-casked to finish ageing from several months to a couple of years in casks formerly used for cognac. Yummy!

It is presented in a bulbous-neck style bottle that would not look out of place on a pirate ship. Love the tied string details. Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of Plantation Grande Reserve!

On The Nose

Tropical fruits, vanilla, peach, coconut.

On The Palate

This sweet and velvety rum has notes of tropical fruits, orange marmalade and coconut. A smooth finish of vanilla and creamy caramel.

Summary

Plantation Grande Reserve is a fruity, full-bodied rum ideal for sipping neat or as a quality addition to any rum-based cocktail.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Plantation Barbados 5 Years

Plantation Barbados 5 Years
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Just like their Grande Reserve, Plantation Barbados 5 Years is produced from a blend of Barbadian rums, aged for three to four years in the tropical climate of Barbados.

The rest of the ageing period is performed in ex-cognac “Ferrand casks” in France. This rum provides a kaleidoscope of tasty tropical notes and the aroma of pipe tobacco too!

It is presented in a squat Scotch-style bottle with a bulging neck. The vintage-tropical label emphasizes the five-year ageing process in burnt-orange.

On The Nose

Vanilla, tobacco, marshmallow, dried fruits.

On The Palate

A bittersweet opening, mid-palate reveals molasses cookie, pineapple, ginger, and vanilla. Becomes a reasonably-rounded rum with soft chocolate and vanilla on the finish.

Summary

Plantation Barbados 5 Years should be your de-facto rum for aperitifs, digestifs, and even classic cocktails such as the delightfully tropical Mai Tai.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Plantation Gran Anejo

Plantation Gran Anejo
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 42% (84 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Caramel

Review

A Central American molasses rum, Plantation Gran Anejo, is distilled and aged in Guatemala in casks formerly used for American whiskey before being re-casked and further aged in France at Maison Ferrand’s Chateau de Bonbonnet in barrels formerly used for cognac for up to a year.

Lots of flavours going on here in this rich, fruity rum

It is presented in a squat Scotch-type bottle with a bold black label that advertises “Gran Anejo” and the Guatemalan origins of this rum in a deep burgundy.

On The Nose

Sherry, spices, tobacco, liquorice, vanilla, pear.

On The Palate

A sweet and full-bodied rum, Plantation Gran Anejo opens with spiced toffee and vanilla. Mid-palate reveals nutmeg and cinnamon. A smooth and long finish of toffee, tobacco, woody notes

Summary

Overall, Plantation Gran Anejo is a well-blended aged rum that’s ideal for sipping neat to enjoy the rich sherry notes and the smooth woodiness of the finish.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Plantation Isle Of Fiji

Plantation Isle Of Fiji
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Gold

Review

Distilled in Fiji from fermented sugar cane, Plantation Isle of Fiji is aged in Fiji for 2-3 years in casks formerly used for bourbon before being re-casked in French oak casks and aged for a further year in the Cognac region of France.

This tropical rum is also packed with the smoothness of vanilla fudge, honey, ginger, and even a touch of smoke.

It is presented in a squat Scotch-style bottle with a bright and colourful label depicting tropical flowers, birds, and lizards and boldly marked “Isle of Fiji.”

On The Nose

Molasses, pear, spiced apple, banana, vanilla, a touch of smoke

On The Palate

Tropical notes of prunes and coconut and spiced fudge with the woodiness of French oak. A lingering and complex finish of resin, spice, and dried banana.

Summary

Plantation Isle of Fiji is a tropical delight. I love the exotic fruits, warming molasses and dried banana finish. Must be drunk neat to be appreciated.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

8. Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean & France
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary is an aged Caribbean molasses rum produced from Barbadian pot and column still rums blended and aged in Barbados for 10-12 years in casks formerly used for American whiskey.

To get a deeper fruity-woody flavour profile, this rum is aged 18-24 months in France in casks formerly used for cognac.

It is presented in a decanter-style bottle with tasteful gold lettering conveying the information: 20 years, extra-old, Plantation Barbados rum. Classy.

On The Nose

Mango, vanilla, cocoa

On The Palate

A slightly sweet rum, Plantation XO 20th Anniversary begins with lush mango and vanilla. Mid-palate has spice, oak, and toffee apple notes, with coconut, pepper, and toffee on the finish.

Summary

Don’t judge, but aside from enjoying neat, I also discovered this rum works incredibly well with a rum a coke too!

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Which Plantation Rum Is Best?

best Plantation rum

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

I have picked Plantation XO 20th Anniversary as the best Plantation rum overall. The initial sweet fruity opening is boosted by spiced toffee-apple, with a smooth coconut twang on the finish. Perfect for enjoying neat, in classy cocktails, and makes an incredible rum and coke.

Who Makes Plantation Rum?

Plantation Rum is made by France’s Maison Ferrand, who also own Ferrand Cognac and Citadelle Gin, among other brands. They buy up West Indian rums and give them extended ageing in oak barrels in France. Since 2017 they have also owned Barbados’ West Indian Rum Distillery, which also part-owns two historic Jamaican rum distilleries. 

Is Plantation Rum Good? 

Plantation Rum produces quality rums at affordable prices, and this explains why many bartenders have these rums on hand. The brand offers rums suited for cocktails and mixers, plus premium offerings provide decent sipping rums for very reasonable prices.

How Is Plantation Rum Made?

Plantation Rum owns the West Indian Rum Distillery in Barbados plus has shares in the National Rum of Jamaica. The brand can source some excellent rums from Barbados and Jamaica for pairing and blending.

These then have post-fermentation and distillation sugar added (a practice the brandy/cognac industry calls dosage). The rum is then aged in oak barrels in France for various lengths of time depending on the style of rum.

Conclusion

Now that I’ve introduced you to eight of the best Plantation rums worthy of delighting your taste buds, you can decide what Plantation Rum is best for you!

I personally lean toward Plantation Barbados 5 years for everyday sipping and mixing. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how versatile Plantation 3 Stars is as a white rum

For a more luxurious sipping experience, Plantation XO 20th Anniversary offers a complex and rich taste at a very reasonable price. As I mentioned previously, XO 20th Anniversary also makes a great rum and coke; maybe not what they had in mind, but trust me, it’s fantastic.

Don’t forget to check out our History Of Rum article, too!

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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