Plantation Isle of Fiji

Fiji

40%
£33

Single Blended Rum: A blend of pot still and traditional column still from a single distillery.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 36% ABV @ 20°
* B S

Plantation should need little or no introduction. Their double aged rums are well known, whereby they take a rum that has been part-aged in the country of distillation and age it a second time at Maison Ferrand in France, often in a different/unusual cask, for a “finish.”

It is at this point that a “dosage” is often added to Plantation’s rums – additives to you and I, which is something that divides the rum community as to whether they should be permitted, or if they are, then they should be disclosed.

Well, leaving aside the hornet’s nest debate that is additives, Plantation’s recent offerings have had a much reduced “dosage” and importantly, Plantation have been declaring their usage and amount on their bottle labels. To me, this represents significant progress towards transparency in the rum world and is very much welcome. Furthermore, Plantation have significantly improved the information they provide about their rums, ranging from the distillery and types of still used, through to the level of volatile substances and ester levels. Although, I realise this might not be enough to satisfy everyone.

The rum I am tasting today, “Plantation Isle of Fiji” is the latest addition to Plantation’s “Signature Blends” that currently includes the Xaymaca Special Dry Rum, “Gran Añejo” from Guatemala & Belize, “Grand Réserve” Barbados, Barbados “5 Years” and “XO “20th Anniversary” rums.

The full spec of info on this rum is as follows:

  • Alc./Vol. : 40%
  • Origin : Fiji
  • Distilleries : Rum Co. of Fiji Distillery
  • Raw material : Molasses
  • Fermentation : 4 to 5 days
  • Distillation : Pot Still & Column Still
  • Tropical ageing : Approximately 2 to 3 years in Bourbon casks
  • Continental ageing : 1 year in Ferrand casks
  • Volatile Substances : 232 g/hL AA
  • Esters : 42 g/hL AA
  • Dosage : 16 g/L
  • Cane sugar caramel E150a (% vol) : between 0% and 0.1%
    • Solely to adjust – if needed – the color between different batches.
    • Color [sic] may initially vary according to the type, the age and the size of the ageing casks

That is a lot of useful info…..

Plantation Isle of Fiji Front Label

Plantation Isle of Fiji is a Single Blended Rum:
A blend of pot still and traditional column still.

When tested with my hydrometer, Plantation Isle of Fiji measured 36% compared to the label’s stated 40% implying around 15g / litre of added sugars compared to the label’s stated 16g of “dosage”.

So, let us see what it tastes like.

Bottle/Presentation 2/3

Plantation’s usual rafia netting covers the slightly squat shaped bottle. The colourful front label references the double ageing, type of casks used and “dosage” level. The rear label has background info on the rum and its production.

Plantation Isle of Fiji Rear Label
Plantation Isle of Fiji Rear Label

A this point, there is something I do not like on the label – “Rum created by Maison Ferrand.” To me this implies the rum was “created” aka distilled in France, which is not the case as the rum was “created” by Fijians. The French input is the secondary ageing and adding of a “dosage.”

Glass/Aroma 8/10

Plantation Isle of Fiji is a bright, vibrant golden colour. It has medium legs/tears that are slow to descend the sides of my glass.

Plenty of fruit on the nose, in fact it is like a tropical fruit salad – pineapple mango, papaya, ripe bananas, raisins, apples and pears. It is lightly oaked with a touch of coconut, nutmeg and vanilla.

Taste, Initial-middle 28/40

The entry is sweet, light and pleasant at first. A second sip is more punchy and vibrant and very fruity. The raisins, apples and pears from the nosing are here alongside the coconut and vanilla.

As it approaches the mid-palate, a spicy element kicks in with black pepper and ginger.

Taste, Middle/Throat 30/40

The mid-palate spice also has more coconut elements and is joined by pastry notes. As the rum reaches the back of the palate, the pepper continues to grow and the rum develops more body and power to it – the young, fresh pot still element doing its thing. Some more fruit here, too, notably pineapple and bananas.

Afterburn/Finish 6/7

The rum has a medium length finish with lots of spicy pepper, capsicum and ginger with a hint of dried fruits.

TOTAL 74/100

Overall

For a young rum, this has a surprisingly good length, body and depth of character. It offers enough to be drunk on its own and over ice, but also works well in cocktails, giving body to a Daiquiri or Mai Tai. I especially enjoyed it topped up with fresh pineapple juice and over ice.

Although there are additives, the rum is not sweet nor sticky, and the pot still distillate certainly shines through. If you enjoy pepper and tropical fruits, this rum would suit you ideally.

And for those that want a higher ABV, do not be put off by this being 40% as it does have enough power and body to hold its own.

Overall, a nice addition to the Plantation range of rums.

Value: 8/10

At £33, this rum delivers some good body and flavours and is well worth the asking price.

Flavour Profile:

Review No. 145

*
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.

Marking Guide:
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn/Finish Out of 7
TOTAL 100

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