Review: 6 Rums from the Plantation “Under the Sea” Collection, 2023 Releases

Review: 6 Rums from the Plantation “Under the Sea” Collection, 2023 Releases

Plantation Rum has just dropped six new expressions in its Plantation Rum Vintage Collection, all rare, small batch collections of just a few dozen barrels each, all sourced from single distilleries and none younger than nine years of age.

Dubbed the “Under the Sea” collection, we were fortunate to try all six for review.

Plantation Rum Panama 2008 – Aged 12 years in bourbon casks in the Caribbean, 1 year in France. Surprisingly aggressive, with a huge punch of flambeed banana on the nose and palate. Toasted coconut and a surprising hogo punch evoke a pot still quality, though this is a traditional, column-distilled rum. Bright notes of honey and lemon peel spar with a grassy quality that fades into a spicy but approachable finish, with ample, fruity esters tamped down by more heat than you’d expect at this abv. If you want a moderately funky rum without the overpowering character that Jamaica can bring, this is worth a look. 91.4 proof. B+ / $75

Plantation Rum Jamaica Clarendon MSP 2007 – Made from 28 casks aged 15 years in both the Caribbean and France. A balanced, versatile pot still rum expression from Jamaica, gently funky on the nose, featuring a lightly grassy character, some creosote, and a modest complement of stewed fruits. Toasty but not hot on the palate, flavors of toasted coconut, burnt sugar, and lime zest all work well with a juicy, raisiny underbelly. Plenthy of simmering molasses and vanilla round out a refreshing yet punchy finish. A perfect base for an elevated cocktail. 96.8 proof. A- / $70

Plantation Rum Fiji Islands 2009 – 25 casks of 100% pot still rum, 10 years aged in the tropics, 3 years in France. One of the most fruit-forward rums I’ve ever encountered, this expression is a firework of pineapple, lemongrass, and grapefruit peel — and that’s just on the nose. The palate is juicy and impossible to put down, loaded with a blend of tropical fruits, citrus ranging from lime to quince, and a mild vanilla and caramel note to help wrap things up into a neat little bow. Hints of coconut and some coffee bean, very mild, inform a lush, sweet finish. There’s a 3g/liter sugar dosage here, which adds a significant sweetness that purists may not appreciate, but damn if it doesn’t work. 99 proof. A / $75

Plantation Rum Barbados 2013 – The baby of the bunch, this Barbados bottling is a blend of column and Gregg pot still, 8 years spent in 200-liter bourbon casks on the island, then a year in 400-liter Ferrand casks in France. The most versatile rum in this lineup, here we find elements running across the board: aromas of barrel char, baking spice, stewed fruits, and gunpowder give the nose a more savory, sandalwood-laced texture. The palate sweetens things up, rolling into plum and cherry, then ceding the way for vanilla and fresh coconut notes to work their way into the mix. The finish is a mix of sweet and savory, quite spicy with a cherry-raisin-cinnamon concoction that feels quite festive. Again, a workhorse rum that hits all the high points — but which is a delight on its own, too. A- / $80

Plantation Rum Venezuela 2010 – A column still rum that spends 8 years in bourbon barrels, then 4 more in Ferrand’s French oak. Vintage Venezuelan rum isn’t a common find. This rum from Distileria Sofa offers a well-rounded, approachable expression of rum, amply balancing fruit, heat, and charry spice notes. None of these stand out particularly on nose or palate, though time in glass helps a smoldering caramel, laced with spices, to come into focus. Gently raisiny with a strong through-line of molasses, the finish sees some hints of clove and coconut. A classic representation. 104 proof. A- / $90

Plantation Rum Guyana 2007 – Another uncommon spot for a vintage release, this offering is a blend of Port Mourant pot still and column still rum, aged 13 years on bourbon casks and 2 years in Ferrand casks. Quite sweet despite no sugar dosage, the rum has an unusual nose of sesame oil and slightly smoky notes of dried grasses and a touch of barbecue sauce. A little funky on the palate, the sweetness feels slightly candylike and a little doughy, sugar cookies melding fitfully with mushroom and a slightly vegetal note. It’s a bit brighter on the coconut-laced finish, though I never felt this totally gelled the way the other rums in the collection do, the fade-out taking a somewhat winey detour. 102 proof. B / $85

Plantation Rum Fiji Islands 2009




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