Plantation rums are produced by the French cognac house Maison Ferrand. All Plantation rums are matured twice. First in Caribbian Island in tropical conditions, usually in ex-Bourbon oak barrels. The rums are then chartered to France, where they are post-matured in French oak ex-cognac barrels
Grande Reserve has matured for 1-3 years in Barbados and about a year in French cognac barrels. Added sugar is 16g per liter. The brown color is supplemented with caramel color (approx. 0.1%). The price of a stylish 70 cl bottle wrapped in straw nettle is about 20 €.
The slightly pungent breath of alcohol in the nose mixes with the vanilla nuances of the oak barrel, caramel and fruity sweetness. The sweetness at the beginning slowly becomes more spicy. Thick caramel and vanilla staple perfectly with overripe bananas. The taste is quite soft, but the bite of the alcohol is quite sharp, like the maturing process had been interrupted. There is also a light heat of ginger and cinnamon in the background.
The Grande Reserve is best on neat or maybe with the ice. It is a good idea to let the drink settle in the glass for a few minutes before consuming it, at which point most of the alcohol vapors evaporate. Continued with water, the sweet caramel is quite overwhelming and other nuances remain in the background. While sipping neat, the sweetness is cutted by the sharp burn, which then also leaves room for other nuances. The aftertaste has a bit of cocoa, coconut and molasses sweetness.
In its price range, Grande Reserve is a great sipping rum. It is quite young and simple, but very easy and enjoyable to sip due to its sweet caramel and vanilla flavor. Some may be disturbed by excessive sweetness. Nor is it very complex, and in that sense, older rums from the same producer certainly offer more to analyze.