Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum Forum Index Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum
Rum Appreciation by and for the Compleat Idiot
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Rum Review: Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum Forum Index -> Twiggie's Tie Dye Rum
View previous topic :: View next topic  

How do you rate Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum (5 is best)?
 0%  [ 0 ]
 0%  [ 0 ]
 33%  [ 1 ]
 66%  [ 2 ]
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 3

Author Message
Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:54 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum Reply with quote

Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum: "Orange Candy Hots"

It's all about color.

Now if you're like us, rum tasting is a complete experience. For us that means preparing the environment, soft music, soft lighting, an attractive pitcher of cold water and glasses. The ceremony includes bringing out the bottle, perhaps holding and reading it. And then - finally - comes the first pour, a nice 3/4 ounce.

That when color comes in.

The first pour aroma, if any, begins to waft. Typically, we'll pick up the glass and hold it to the light, revel or not in its brilliance (or lack thereof), note the color and legs.

That's when the red, er orange flag went up.

Mind you we love the Plantation Barbados rums and have very favorably reviewed the 1993 and 1995 bottlings. Naturally, with a name like "Grande Reserve" we were expecting a special treat. But something about that color...

Color in rums are determined by two main factors: first, the barrel aging and second, the legal use of trace caramel to adjust it. Most rum is aged in first use oak bourbon barrels. These tend to impart a gold color, which slowly deepens in time to an amber, even deep mahogany. Sherry barrels may add just the slightest tinge of a red tone.

Caramel is permitted by law to be added in trace amount to correct color - sadly, this allowance is often exceeded to make rums into deep mahogany, sometimes even bordering on blackness. What you think of as a "dark rum" is not the result of aging but of extreme coloring via caramel and/or molasses. All quite illegal, of course.

After all it's rum, and "it's all good", nicht vahr?

With Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum, something didn't seem right. This is actually a pretty young rum with an unexpected pretty dark color that has orange tones!? Honestly, I can't remember any of our other 100+ rums that present this way. Was something amiss? The reviews...

Sue Sea:

Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum comes in a nice classic pinched neck bottle with a faux aged label featuring a plantation, sailing ships, a bay and distant mountains. The bottle is encased in a hand tied raffia (palm) twine netting. Very classic and attractive. But something felt wrong with the color.

Aromawise the Grande Reserve presented a very different, almost perfumey, spiced apple. The early palate opened sweet, light and smooth, followed a quick growing and hot candied effect in the mid palate. The Grande Reserve ended with a hot clove finish that led to a lingering hot white pepper and candy aftertaste that practically demanded a mouth clearing drink of cool clear water.

In sum, Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum does not come even close to the other Plantation Barbados offerings. Although it is consistent it is far too simplistic and lip-lickingly sweet. Neither its taste nor its color is appropriate for this younger, less expensive rum.

You can do much better, for less money.


Let me say it straight out: Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve Rum was a disappointment. The rum presents as an amber with an orange overtone, quite unusual. You know how I feel about scary slow legs (as an indicator of added sugar or glycerol). When I tipped and straightened the glass (avoid swirling to check legs), to call the legs "slow" would be an understatement. I could have mowed the lawn before not legs, but widely separated droplets finally appeared. And only them some widely spaced, verrrrrry slow legs.


Grande Reserve presented with a light, sweet, candy orange over a background of vanilla and Sue Sea's spiced apple. The early palate was consistent, and lightly sweet - a sensation that persisted through the middle palate. At this point an astringent, candied heat - and I mean heat - emerged for a hot clove candied finish and a syrupy thick, rummy white pepper aftertaste.

Frankly I strongly suspect this rum contains unlabeled sugar at the least. The syrupy candied tones and cloying hot finish are really a bit unnatural. I was not impressed. A simplistic, overdone offering.

I strongly urge buyers to pass by this inferior offering and instead buy the Plantation Barbados offerings designated by year, which are quite superior.

Rating (10 is best): Sue Sea -6, Me - 5.

Go to Save Caribbean Rum Petition!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Charleston, SC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: Plantation Grande Reserve closures Reply with quote

I have a bottle of the Grande Reserve sitting in the back of my liquor cabinet. It has been sitting there for about 10 months. This one has a black closure on it. It's predecessor lasted only about 6 months. It had a red closure.

I must say, the difference between the two was night and day. The red top was a fantastic rum, even for sipping. It was my second favorite, behind my Zacapa. The black top, I mix with a few of my other rums to make it palatable. Alone, it is cloyingly sweet. A great disappointment.

I was wondering if this was:
1- They just lack consistency and a steady supply of red closures
2- There were 2 different versions of the Grande Reserve
3- Something else utterly unimaginable

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried the current version, and it upsetted me. Upsetted, because by added caramel and probably charcoal filtration (or something), almost all the lovely, unique character had been removed from this rum, making it very average, middle-of-the-road, and - massively disappointing. Sugars making it easy, it was not much to my liking due to lack of heritage (I'd be hard-pressed to identify this as a Bajan rum in blind-tasting) and character/flavours.

Easy-go-down product, "nice" - as we say, meaning its simple and acceptable. I did expect much more, in all honesty. Not bad, but..."nice". Sad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cabin Boy

Joined: 05 Dec 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Knoxville Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the distributor I worked from previously sold it. As i recall it was great rum.

it did seem to change on every shipment.

Now they don't order it in. It sold very well. Now it is not available. TN liquor laws suck. No chance of getting it in east TN. If my old company does not want to import it, none of us can taste it.
Pain or damage don't end the world. or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back. -Al Swearengen (Deadwood)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum Forum Index -> Twiggie's Tie Dye Rum All times are GMT - 9 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group