Rare, lovely, unique and expensive, but unlike a number of other spirits at that price, worth it.
Notes: This rum is part of the Plantation lines of rum (Plantation 3 Stars,Original Dark Overproof 73%, 20th Anniversary, Trinidad 2000 Vintage, Barbados 2000 Vintage, Plantation Grande Reserve Barbados 5 Year Old, Jamaica 2000 Vintage, Guadeloupe 1998 Vintage, Guyana 1999 Vintage, Panama 2000 Vintage, and this and the Old Reserve 1998 Guadeloupe, , among others by the cognac house of Pierre Ferrand. This is part of a new venture for the Pierre Ferrand Cognac house, which has also produced the Mathilde Liqueurs such as the Peach which we reviewed earlier, along with a Peach, Pear, Black Currant, Raspberry, and Orange XO. Their products also include Citadelle Gin, Citadelle Reserve Gin, Citadelle Vodka, Magellan Gin, and a host of other spirits. Alexander Gabriel the head of Pierre Ferrand is constantly blending and experimenting with new products as both an enthusiasm/hobby and also to develop new products. I highly recommend visiting the distillery if you get a chance – it is a delight to both the eye and the palette.
This particular rum has a somewhat complicated backstory which is worth retelling. While all the rums from the Ferrand Plantation series are made according to the usual methods dependent on country of origin (raw material and distillation techniques) they are then taken to Cognac and aged using very unusual and unique techniques that no one else uses for aging rum. Pierre Ferrand ( the brand not an individual – that would be Alexandre Gabriel) uses small cognac barrels to age all their rums while most of the industry uses old bourbon barrels to finish their rum.
This Guadelope Rum is a rhum auricle sugar cane juice based base column distilled rum aged for 11 years in bourbon barrels then rebarreled in Cognac Limosin Oak barrels to finish its aging process
Appearance: Faultlessly clear, dark red brown in color. On swirling it coats the glass nicely with an oily coat that quickly goes to long clinging legs.
First Impression: Heavy smokelike notes from the oak ,mixed in with anise,vanilla and sobranie tobacco, leather, cognac notes,with a touch of tropical fruits
Taste: Seriously charred like a creme brûlée topping with tobacco notes reminiscent of the old blue pack non filter Gauloises, as strong as death, and as sweet as love, lovely lingering anise,tobacco,char and molasses sweetness.
Almost like a sweet herbaceous Islay scotch, with a lovely smokey, sweet seductive taste and silken mouthfeel. It’s the rum version of Marlene Dietrich in Touch of Evil.
Drinks: This rum is best appreciated on its own in a decent tasting glass. While it has some great mixing potential ( think Islay Scotch crossed with a light pastis), I think it is a pity to waste it in the wrong drink, so keep it for that special creation or special occasion.
Bottle: Clear glass with a light fishnet type wrapping of fiber. Can’t comment much beyond that as we were not given a production bottle to comment on.
Cigars: Opux X Fuenta or a real Cohiba, or a unfiltered Gauloise .
Final Thoughts: An extreme example of an aged agricole style rum tempered by the influence of Pierre Ferrand Cognac,. You will either love or hate this rum.If you love chary,smokey,sweet with a touch of cognac and anise go for it. Like death best savored in small doses…
A nicely done website if a touch light on hard information in some respects. Well worth a visit to understand all their rums and the sister pages for their other spirits.