The Classicist: Plantation Rum Collection, Finished in Cognac Casks
Last summer we told you about Citadelle, the delicious gin inspired by a recipe created in the 18th century in the French seaport of Dunkirk, made by Cognac Pierre Ferrand during the downtime between brandy distilling seasons. Now Ferrand has embarked on another exclusive new spirits venture: the Plantation Rum Collection. These spectacular artisanal spirits come from Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Trinidad, hand-selected by Ferrand's owner Alexandre Gabriel. Each rum in the Plantation collection is made according to its country's traditions and expresses the characteristics and flavor of its country of origin. While the rums are created in rum distilleries in the traditional fashion and aged in barrels in the tropical sun, they then undergo a unique finishing process not used by any other rum producer in the industry.
At just the right moment they're brought to the historic Ferrand estate in France and then refined for several more months in small French oak Ferrand cognac barrels. "Our love affair with true rum began when we sold the prized casks that once held our Cognac to better rum producers, and we fell in love with their product," Gabriel notes. "Ninety-nine percent of rums are aged in barrels that once held bourbon. We found that adding an aging process in a French oak cask that once held Cognac adds extra complexity to the rum. This is a practice that was done more commonly in the past but has almost disappeared now. We thought who better than Ferrand, with our knowhow and exceptional casks, to resurrect this ancient technique."
Gallery: Plantation Rum
Rum was first produced in Barbados from local sugar cane more than 350 years ago. Over the centuries, it has become increasingly refined with different taste profiles that reflect the terroir and rum-making tradition of each area of origin. The beauty of authentic rums is their rich diversity of style and heritage, Gabriel points out. Well chosen estate or single-island rums can be of outstanding quality, offering a wide range of aromas and flavors that can easily compete with the depth and complexity of a great Cognac or Armagnac. Gabriel's goal is to give each Plantation Rum its individual identity. In Alexandre's words, "It is a very difficult thing to get right, but when done well, it's paradise. In the Caribbean, Plantation Rums are rare treasures. At Ferrand they become jewels."