Introducing the Plantation range from master blender Alexandre Gabriel: careful selection, blending, and double-maturation make for a beautifully crafted and sublime drink to sip.
The story of Plantation rum begins with one man: Alexandre Gabriel. Born into a family of Burgundian wine makers, he developed a passion for spirits, drawn to those that express their terroir of origin, as the wines of his native region are reputed for doing so well. His studies at a business school and a stint abroad led him back to France, where he took up Maison Ferrand in 1989 to produce fine cognac, the most prestigious of which being the Grande Champagne cognac. This master blender didn’t stop there, making a move into the world of gin in 1996, when this drink wasn’t yet the trendy beverage it later became. Naturally, it was the diverse terroir of his birth country that initially drew Alexandre into the fold of spirits, but this didn’t dampen his curiosity. Keen to discover what other lands had to offer, he made several journeys abroad, including a stop in Haiti where Alexandre would have his lightbulb moment.
Plantation Rum, a local angle
The idea at the root of Plantation is to get to the heart of the terroir in a given place, learning about the culture there and the specific ways in which the spirit has always been produced. For example; the Xaymaca Special Dry is a reference to the first inhabitants of Jamaica, as well as nodding towards the country’s traditional rum: distilled using the pot still method and blended from five marks. Much research is thus carried out at Plantation, where they strive to always better understand the drink and craft it with artistry. They’ve put together a veritable encyclopaedia, even going as far as making their own stills!
Whilst the foundation of Plantation’s work is in bottling the rum, Alexandre heads to the finest distilleries of each chosen country every year, where he selects the rum he’d like to age. Over the years, he has built good friendships with top distillers in Peru, Fiji, and Trinidad. Rum is a craft that brings to the fore the quality of work at every stage. Alexandre has since become the owner of a 125-year-old distillery in Barbados, symbolic for its reputation as the birthplace of rum. He is also co-owner of two distilleries in Jamaica.
Double-aging, the signature of Plantation
One of the bottler’s distinguishing features is the double-maturation method, where tropical ageing is followed by further continental maturing. Once the distillate has been selected by Alexandre and his teams, the first maturation takes place in situ where it is often hot and humid, usually in old Bourbon casks. However, the distillery in Peru, for example, is at the foot of the Andes, conferring a different kind of character to the precious rum inside the barrels. From this moment, the rum begins to take on specific notes and aromas, often leaning towards a beautifully round profile.
Next comes the voyage to France. Transported by boat, the rum is sloshed around by the movement of the waves, thus increasing its interaction with the wood of the barrels. Once in France, the rum is taken to the cognac cellars of Maison Ferrand for a second aging, this time in barrels that have previously been used to mature cognac. With a different climate and different containers, the characteristics of the rum are enriched and complexified. The process is complete, and the result is stunning: high-quality rum that simply takes you away.
This is a large range of signature blends and vintages that invite warm, meditative moments to be shared. In the words of Alexandre Gabriel himself: ‘a fine rum is about sharing a special moment thanks to perfect craftsmanship. We’re like artisans of rum.’
We hope you can create your own special moments – take a look at the full selection of Plantation Rum here