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Plantation XO 20th Anniversary rum is a combination of pot-stilled and column-stilled Barbadian rums that are initially aged in the Caribbean in ex-bourbon casks for 12-20 years. They are then transported to France for a second 12-18 months aging in small French oak casks.
The first bottle of Plantation XO 20th Anniversary was created for the head of Cognac Ferrand Estate Alexandre Gabriel to honor his 20th year running the company. This special gift has resulted in the bottling we see today.
Now this is some good stuff
An incredibly bland, inoffensive, adulterated "rum" intended for mass appeal. In an attempt to satisfy literally every single palate on earth the creators of this rum have totally obliterated whatever soul, substance or character the original distillates may have possessed by blending, refining, re-blending, and then, just to make sure there was no trace of character left, adding a plantation’s worth (LOL, get it) of sugar to each bottle.
Imagine someone decided to shave down Michelangelo’s David into a perfect cylinder. After all, a singular creative expression like David--or indeed any piece of art--will never be to everyone's taste. Some people may find it objectionable, what with all those irregular and uneven edges and lines, and let’s not forget about that penis. But a marble cylinder on the other hand... Who could object to a cylinder?! It’s just a perfectly safe and innocuous marble column, after all. And that’s what this rum is - a marble column. It’s apparently as “smooth” as a marble column too. Being "smooth" is one of the highest compliments one can pay a spirit, don't you know?!
As for what it tastes like... Well, if there was such a flavour as “sweet” then this rum would have it in spades. It’s a borderline-cloying, vaguely toffee-ish, vanilla-esque, coconutty, ethanol water. I wouldn’t be surprised if in addition to the mountains of added sugar there are other additives, such as vanillans, as well. The nose is almost non-existent. It smells like sweet ethanol. If you have a good imagination you might pick up some of those aforementioned toffee and vanilla notes.
The bottle is also quite ugly. It's going for "luxury item" but as is often the case with such goods it just appears tacky and gaudy. The whole thing comes across as brassy and ill proportioned, with that ridiculous stopper being the cherry on top of a wonky shit sundae. Incidentally, I quite like the shape and presentation of the standard Plantation bottles with the bulbed neck, both the squat and slim versions. They are elegantly proportioned, the labels are attractive, and the embossed seal adds personality without overdoing it. Just get rid of that stupid messy-looking twine marketing gimmick, please.
Anyway, I must say it’s a good thing that rum drinkers aren’t a demanding lot who prefer substance over style and who expect to know what they’re actually drinking, otherwise they may start getting the quality they’re paying for...
Soft fruity and vanilla smell. Taste is quite sweet and there are some different flavours in there to encounter. Most notable to us was the citrus fruit flavour. The afterburn is really soft, present but not too present, just enjoyable. It makes the rum really easy drinkable. Every sip is a pleasant and interesting experience, but the sweetness and lack of real complexity results in a rum that is not memorable for me.
Well over 1,900 aged dark rums enjoyed and Plantation XO 20th Anniversary is easily on my Top 5 list after 15 years. It is sublime, super smooth, no burn at all and contains plenty of amazing flavors. If you haven't tried yet Plantation XO 20th Anniversary, go quickly and get a bottle since it will set a brand new benchmark for your personal rum list.
Nose: Hints of spicy oak on the nose with guava, plenty of coconut and dried banana.
Palate: Spiced, creamy palate entry, with sweet vanilla notes and a lot of caramel.
Finish: Caramel. Toasted oak. Caramel.
Starting my “serious” rum exploration (don’t ask about the previous ones) I relied on this site, your comments and ratings to select my first high rated bottle...
...Honestly ? What am I going to try next ?
Really out of words. Could be the sipper of sippers. Dangerously Suave !
OK calm down! Let say the bases were not loaded, maybe there’s still room for a grand slam...but what do you suggest?
Veľká, mohutná, ťažká fľaša poctivého a dobre vyváženého rumu. Pochádza z Barbadosu a je namiešaný zo zmesí rumov starých 12-20 rokov. V pohári zlatistá až mahagónová farba, po pár minútach sa rozvinú tóny kakaa, vanilky, pomarančov, medovice. Veľmi vyvážená voňa, každý si v nej nájde niečo svoje, či už sladšie, alebo korenistejšie. Jedna z najlepších rumových aróm. U mňa za vôňu 9,5 boda. Chuť je tak isto komplexná, veľmi hladký rum s kratším chvostom. Pri prvom kontakte na jazyku zacítite jeho sladkosť, potom sa rozvinú korenistejšie chute a na záver môžete zacítiť aj dubový súdok. Takto by mal podľa mňa chutiť dobrý aged rum a podľa neho by sa mohli porovnávať kvality ostatných rumov. Výborná voľba. Prudko odporúčam.
Deep caramel color, with the 20 predominately displayed.. not a 20 year old rum. The taste was very enjoyable however a little syrupy for my liking.
Plantation 20th Anniversary est un assemblage de plusieurs rums des Barbades, vieillis et sélectionnés par Alexandre Gabriel pour célébrer ses 20 ans passés à la tête de la société Pierre Ferrand. Affiné dans des petits fûts de Cognac au Château de Bonbonnet, ce rhum particulièrement épicé se révèle en bouche d’une gourmandise à laquelle il est difficile de résister.
Profil : fin, précis. Crémeux et vanillé. Empyreumatique (cèdre, bois brûlé). Epices fortes (graine de moutarde, muscade). Capiteux. Poudre de cacao et noix fraîche. Vétiver.
Maybe just too strong on the nose, but well balanced with the taste! One of the best Ive ever had. Also the bottle is fantastic. Very good choice!
This is a slightly flavored rum, as it has hints of coconut and vanilla. But the main flavor is the aged rum, and the hints of added flavor complement the aged rum perfectly, without overpowering it. It tastes wonderful. A good rum value; at only $64.99 from BevMo! (2015), it's better than a great number of more expensive rums I've tried. One of the best rums I've had, period!
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