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This is a single-cask offering made for (or sold to) Smuggler's Cove in San Fransisco. The bottle states it is a Haitian rum aged for 8 years in the Caribbean in ex-bourbon barrels and 3 more years in France in ex-cognac barrels (trademark Plantation). It was bottled at (only) 41% ABV, and each bottle is numbered. No additional information is given about the particulars of the cask or the finishing process. The presentation is also signature Plantation: top-notch.
This bottle really took me by surprise! It has a pronounced smokiness on the nose and palate. I wish I knew more about how it was made. It reminded me of the rather sweet Lost Spirits Abomination peated Scotch whiskey—but rum, and not quite so smokey. You'd think it was made for enjoying with a nice, sweet cigar, but this rum actually cannot legally be paired with a cigar, due to its extremely limited availability (a bar in California).
Usually I find Plantation rums well selected and expertly aged, but rather over-sweetened. For this one, however, the sugar is a mostly welcome foil to the smoke (though I'd still be very interested to know what a dryer version of this would taste like). I savored it for as long as I could. The final sips revealed some cherry flavor—a profile I'd rather avoid, but not entirely unwelcome here. However, this kept it strictly in 8 territory (others may consider it a 9, or 6–7 if they're put off by anything with a hint of smoke). Again, in true Plantation form, it is very smooth.
On the whole, I highly recommended this unique rum! Unfortunately, the only place in the world you can find this is at Smuggler's Cove. So drop anchor there soon, won't you?
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Interesting rum that's clearly Plantation 8 out of 10
This rum is aged an additional 3 years in Cognac casks, a lot more than the typical 1-ish years that most of their other rums get, and you can tell. If you put this blind in front of me, I would think that it's a very strange cognac. The most prominent flavor is grape, cognac, but then there's a good amount of briney, vegetal, rum flavors underneath that cognac cask. Good rum overall, but very cognac heavy