Review: Plantation Single Barrel Multi-Island XO

Review: Plantation Single Barrel Multi-Island XO

This is another of the new Plantation single-cask offerings. The Plantation web page on this has a lot of information. A blend of both column and pot-still Jamaica and Barbados distilates, then aged in three different barrel types, oak (tropics), Ferrand (continental), and a year in Côteaux du Layon wine casks, bottled at 46.5% ABV. There is much more there as well.. Of course they find much more in the flavor profile than I, but this is still pretty rich and tropical. Indeed, I can taste the tropics in this one. The sort of rum I picture drinking with a little ice (I usually drink neat) at a pool-side bar somewhere, really anywhere, in the Caribbean!

Color: Pale yellow amber with flashes of yellow and a little red.

Legs: Thin, fast legs drop from the bottom of the swirl line.

Aroma: I get vanilla, fruity notes of apricot, banana, some pine apple, nutmeg, and coconut. There is also a little alcohol on the nose. The over-all effect is very rich, and melds later into a deep caramel.

Flavor: Very clean medium creamy body.  A light touch of raw sugar and sweet light fruit, delicate with some fire on a long sugar-sweet aftertaste. The flavors include some raisin, light caramel, and a hint of tobacco too, all very delicately dancing on fruits like apricot, grape, pineapple, and apple. Despite the Jamaican heritage here I don’t detect any funk. The Plantation site linked above gives even the ester content, 176 g/hL, that’s grams per hundred liters, so very low. Very high ester rums can have 1000 g/hl or more. No surprise I don’t sense any funk, but even this low ester content certainly adds to the depth of both aroma and flavor.

So far I have liked every one of these Plantation offerings. The collection can be seen here, and this link will take you to a few comments about the Multi Island on Rum Ratings.

 

Rum Review: Foursquare-Velier SAGACITY 12-year

Rum Review: Foursquare-Velier SAGACITY 12-year

When this rum came across my local B&M’s path I thought $65 is a steal for any Foursquare, and this proves to be the case here. Sagacity is a blend of two different rums. From the back label, both begin with distillate from a double retort copper pot still and a double column [continuous] coffey still (Aeneas Coffey the inventor of this type of still). The mixed distillate is then split into two parts with half aging 12 years in ex-bourbon casks and the other half aged 12 years in ex-madeira casks. The two are then blended and adjusted to 48% ABV. The label also says there are no sweeteners or other additives in this rum.

Color is a beautiful medium copper red with lots of fiery flashes. The label also says the rum is not chill filtered and so may be a little cloudy. No such effect at the start of a bottle though. I have noticed some cloudiness creep into rums toward the end of their bottles though.

Legs are beautifully distinct. Thin to medium dropping at a leisurely pace from the back of the swirled edge.

Aroma, that’s where the real magic begins. Dark fruit, prune, raisin, chocolate, apricot, coffee, coconut, and something warm like cinnamon. There is but a little alcohol on the nose and no young-rum acetone notes anywhere. To put it mildly, the aroma here is amazing!

Flavor, after all… My vendor tells me there is more of the pot still than usual in Foursquare offerings. There is the barest hint of fruity pot still funk to my taste. Not something I like when too strong, the hint of it (like that in El Dorado 15) fits perfectly, enhancing the flavor profile which is otherwise quite sweet. The first taste is creamy, and unexpectedly sweet, There is maple, dark brown sugar, the dark fruits, apricot, a little orange, and that bare hint of over-ripe fruit. Coffee gets a nod, as do oak, and even chocolate. The aftertaste is long, smooth with nice warmth, and tickles of raw sugar sweetness. All of these flavors are very subtle in a smooth clean background with no strong alcoholic notes. The most distinct thing about the flavor is the light dancing sweetness of many sources. Perchance there was some madeira sloshing around in those barrels?

This is a very good cigar pairing rum. There are so many flavors here. The sugar sweetness accentuates some cigars while the oak or coffee do it for others. For $65 I can only highly recommend this one!

Here is a look from the Black Parrot Bar in London, and here another review from my most knowledgeable rum friend the Fat Rum Pirate!

Cigar Review: Roma Craft Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794

Cigar Review: Roma Craft Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794

Roma Craft puts out a lot of good cigars, many reviewed on this blog. The Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 is another. Lets get right to it.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Indonesian Bezuki

Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican

Each of the five vitolas of this cigar is named after a key player in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. The stick I’m reviewing is the smallest of them, a 4″ x 46 petit corona “Hamilton” (yeah the guy from the musical). Official retail on these is $6. I found them for $4.75 in a 30 count bundle with common discounts from the Cigar and Pipes website linked here. I recommend getting on their mailing list. The other vitolas are the 4.5″ x 50 “Jefferson”, the 5″ x 50 “McFarlane” (commander of the militia that supressed the rebellion), a 5.5″ x 54 “Washington”, and the 5″ x 56 “Bradford” (the leader of the rebellion). Each vitola retails for a bit more than the one before it. The last is $8, still a decent price for what turns out to be a very good blend!

The cold aroma is rich with black tea, barnyard, flowers, and even a dry chocolate off the foot!

Construction has been mostly excellent. A medium-dense pack, firm all the way around. Wrapper a beautiful moderately oily dark brown. Seams are almost invisible, and there are no veins showing through. I’ve smoked four of these now. Three had superb draws all the way along. One was a little tight, especially in the second half. I had to open it up a little. Burn lines have been straight all along the smoke except that tight one required some correction in the last inch and a half. Smoke output was excellent on all four. Mostly A+ on the construction. Burn time on these is 50-55 minutes down to the nub. Very satisfying for a petit corona.

On first light the flavor is earthy tobacco, fall leaves, and sweet woods. Leather comes up shortly, the pepper is light at the beginning. After a while there is some sweet flower and roasted nut. In the second half the sweet flavors dial back in favor of the earthy again and the pepper comes up strongly. The strength stays medium throughout. This is not a very sweet cigar except for the occasional hits of flowers and roasted nuts, I don’t get any of the chocolate I sensed in the cold smell. Cedar is there though. Not really a sweet-note cigar though there are a few here and there, but an excellent smoke nonetheless.

The Cigar Dojo review linked here is of the 5″ x 50 McFarlane vitola. This one here from Stogie Guys covers the whole line.

I’ve tried this cigar with sweeter rums like the Plantation Barbados and El Dorado 15 (a very good contrast in flavor), also the 2008 Guyana (no particular effect), and last, my new Foursquare Sagacity (review forthcoming) which, so far, brought out the most sweetness in the cigar. Roma Craft makes a lot of fine cigars. This is yet another added to their oeuvre!