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Why are Plantation rums so maligned on this site?


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Paul B

Posted 20 Nov '21 from United States with 420 ratings

I have seen so many rave reviews for Foursquare ECS rums and too many bad reiews for Plantation rums on this site. Granted, out of the dozen Plantation rums that I have tried, half got my rating of 7 or better, but the other half got my rating of less than 7. So why am I even bringing this issue up? Well, two of them really stand out: their OFTD and the 3-Star white rum.  I will take the OFTD overproof any day over any of the Foursquare ECS rums!!!!  It is all in the art of blending and a panel of the seven best rum experts from around the world created this fine rum.  To the best of my memory, it is comprised of 15 different rums from the Caribbean. No easy task! Their 3-Star white rum is actually a dark rum with the color filtered out. Both are fantastic, dirt cheap, and easy to replace.  I cannot say the same for those Foursquare ECS rums that are difficult to find and way overpriced..

As for their 20th Anniverssary XO, everyone gravitates to this tasty one at first, but there is just way too much added sugar for me. There is no added sugar in their OFTD.

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Bonandy

From Poland with 65 ratings Replied 20 Nov '21

It is a great truth.  I like Plantation rums.  3 star white is very tasty and cheap.  OFTD, despite its 69%, is drunk with pleasure, especially after a large meal.  The rest of the Plantation, especially the single cask, are good too.

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nomad

From United States with 133 ratings Replied 21 Nov '21

I'd imagine that it's because they add sugar, fight the rest of the Barbados distilleries (and Jamaican ones) on the GI and act like Carib distillers are in the dark ages and only their (Plantation)way is the right way.

I'll hold the reins of how I really feel.

They only list additives because of the backlash they received a few years back.

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Rene Rum (PREMIUM)

From Switzerland with 440 ratings Replied 21 Nov '21

You never can get wrong with Plantation rum.

The 20th Anniversary XO is really everybody’s darling and very suitable for guests with no rum experience.

The OFTD is the one of the few rebuy rums in my bar and the favourite mixer for Cuba Libre.

I also love their Vintage Singel Cask series.

 

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 22 Nov '21

Yes, it was probably frowned upon because of the dosage and the strong dilution. Plantation has improved a lot in terms of quality. For example, I had the Long Pond 1994 at cask strength. Which is very good, especially for the price. The Clarendon from the One Time Limited Edition was also great.

The dosage is often left out and the rums are often cask strength now. Hampden Plantation Rum 18y 2002 for LMDW has 70,3%. It is a very popular bottling. The Extreme Series was also in high demand. I think Plantation is being taken more and more seriously.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 22 Nov '21

Plantation is a very cool company and has a wide offer. Being somewhere between the independent bottler and and regular rum manufacturer, this is one of the scarse brands liked by both Paul and Vomi :) 

They have something for everyone, which doesn't mean everyone like every product. I think that occasional low scores are guaranteed with such a wide offer 

 

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Captain Lee (PREMIUM)

From United States with 13 ratings Replied 28 Nov '21

In the US, the word "Plantation" is very evocative of slavery.  Plantation has acknowledged this, and said that they are looking into changing their branding, but as of yet, they have not.  Plantation has a history of trying to interfere with the Jamaica and Barbados Geographic Indications.  They also promote the idea that finishing rum in French cognac casks "elevates" it.  Taken together, this smacks of colonialism at best and racism at worst.  

This doesn't even get into the dosage issue, which to be fair, is hardly limited to Plantation.  However, when many other IBs adopt the "No additives" statement, Plantation looks bad in comparison.  I know that they put dosage levels on their website, which is a step in the right direction, but if you aren't ashamed of it, put it on the bottle label.

I'm sure that some would choose to argue with some or all of these points, but the original question was "Why all the hate for Plantation", and this is why.

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Rene Rum (PREMIUM)

From Switzerland with 440 ratings Replied 28 Nov '21

I don't want to offend anyone, but stop with the discrimination issue. Hundreds of years have passed and everyone knows that the actions of our forefathers were absolutely reprehensible from today's perspective. Unfortunately, from their point of view, this behaviour was acceptable at the time. Should each generation now apologise once again? At some point this has to come to an end.

I am not a racist, I love every person and every culture, every blood is red. We can always learn so much from each other. 

I think Europe has less of a history of slavery, not that we didn't have any. That means nothing other than that in these latitudes the word "plantation" does not so much remind us of shortage and slavery, but rather of a farm.

The addition of sugar is due to the parent company, because Ferrand is an old cognac producer. But that's not really a reason to hate.

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Captain Lee (PREMIUM)

From United States with 13 ratings Replied 28 Nov '21

I understand that the word Plantation may not have the same connotations in Europe.  It's fantastic that you aren't racist.  But millions if not billions of people, especially in many rum-producing countries, are still living with the after-effects of racist colonial governments/policies that harvested wealth at the expense of indigenous peoples and imported slaves.  It's disingenuous to say "Let's all start from the same place now" when we aren't in fact starting on equal footing.  For me, we should stop talking about discrimination and racism when those things no longer exist in the world.

I agree that dosage is not a reason to hate - I meant "hate" in the American idiom way denoting vocal dislike.  But dosage not listed on labeling is a reason to distrust, especially in the rum industry.  If you aren't telling me about the sugar you've added, what else have you added that you aren't mentioning?

I don't have a particular axe to grind here.  I think that Plantation and Maison Ferrand, by virtue of their size and reach within the rum industry, could be a huge force for good by promoting ethical labeling, supporting Geographic Indications, and recognizing that rum has an association with slavery that should not be romanticized.  To the best of my ability to tell, they have chosen not to do those things.  Your impressions may vary, and I would be happy for someone to demonstrate that I have it wrong.

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Toni (PREMIUM)

From Germany with 25 ratings Replied 30 Nov '21

@Captain Lee Look, i totally get your point but  i must point out that this pc argument against the term "plantation" will totally derail any discussion. It is an ideologic point/argument. This term (like all words) belongs to nobody exclusively and nobody can claim (how to use) it(correctly). In the ancient Egypt some (black) dudes had slaves at their plantations too. And in Europe we had enslaved literally everyone no matter the race. Some people will be offended but most of us will accept historical facts and not try to victimize everything  and everyone.

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Kevin

From United States with 28 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

That's enough of that non rum talk! Back to the reason why there's  so much talk about them. They reach far and wide for the sole purpose of getting the world turned on to rum. That's a damn good reason to talk, period! So, it's obvious that their reach gets attention. I, personally, like most of what they produce and that's a good reason to stay with them, as I have.The limited editions are tops in the rum world. They provide a great way to experience the world in the comfort of your man cave, period!

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Captain Lee (PREMIUM)

From United States with 13 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

So the original thread was "Why are Plantation rums so maligned on this site?".  I've given my answer to the question.

To those who don't find Plantation and their business practices objectionable, I hope that you enjoy your rum!  It's OK to want to enjoy a drink and not have to think too hard about how it was made, who made it, who profits from it, and the history behind it.  But all of those things are there even if you aren't thinking about them, and some people care about that stuff.

Cheers!

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Toni (PREMIUM)

From Germany with 25 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

I agree :) I personally wouldnt like plantation to "improve" their name. And in general i like their output. They have some good bottlings but most of the time they loose (in my personal view) to other independent bottlers. 

 

Offtopic: (By the way it is not only "plantation", e.g. rumauctioneer refuses to accept any "esclavo" bottles in their auctions). If the Brits are really so sorry about their past they should first start giving all the shit back they robbed all around the world. And not trying to implement PC ideology in our minds first.

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

Kevin:

That is a truly great response, but lucky me has never needed a man cave. Some of their limited editions have also been awful. Another bad one from them is their Xaymaca. It is a very low ester Jamaican rum that is foolishly aged again in cognac casks. That does not work for me, but some tend to like it.

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Kevin

From United States with 28 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

Paul, I agree that some aren't worthy but some are exceptional especially for the price. I expect to be disappointed once in a while. That's part of the challenge to find your favorite. And, right now Plantation is way up on my list. Who knows whether they will stay there or lose ground. Time will tell! Right now their Isle Fiji has big bang for the buck. Once that's depleted I will move on but you have to try this one. Enjoy!

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

Kevin:

More than a year ago I reviewed their Isle Of Fiji (not the 2009 vintage). I gave it a 5 out of 10 and wound up in the lower minority. I posted quite a lengthy review.

 

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