Barbados: Twin Column & Pot Still (Gregg’s Farm), Guyana: Port Mourant, Jamaica: Pot Still (John Dore)
between 2 and 18 years in mostly ex-bourbon and ex-cognac casks
Alcohol by volume:
According to inter-vie-ws follows the following: Alexandre Gabriel, at age of 23, meets the producer of Cognac Ferrand and helps selling products to finish off his stock; then takes out a loan from the bank, employs eight associates, develops a production policy and builds a distribution network. For ten years he gives up dividends and sets himself a minimum wage. Profits are reinvested.
The cognac distillation has to be completed by the end of March, which means that the pots are idle most of the year. Alexandre fills this gap by making Citadelle Gin. He also looks for a market for used cognac barrels and in exchange purchases the already filled ones with rum sending them to Bonbonnet. In 1999, he expanded his product portfolio with rums undergoing élévage (and often also dosage) process.
Alexandre breaks free from the stiff corset of the cognac world and enjoys experimenting in the world of rum. The purchase of West Indies Distillery gives him a vote on the Geographical Indication regulations for Barbados. The snag is that the fancy vision of the French is in opposition to local practices, and the government expects a concerted declaration from all producers. It's a stalemate.
Old Fashioned Traditional Dark has replaced Plantation Original Overproof. As a rule, a stronger proof intensifies the taste sensations, hence the 73% predecessor came intentionally from Trinidad. The successor belongs to the 'bar classics' line and aims to win the hearts of bartenders (and their bars and our mini-bars). OFTD was created by a team of distinguished personalities: Martin Cate, rum guru, owner of Smuggler's Cove from San Francisco and author of the widely read textbook of the same name; David Wondrich, a former Shakespeare professor and dedicated cocktail historian; Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, mixologist, author of seven books on tiki culture, and owner of Latitude 29 in New Orleans; Paul McGee of Lost Lake in Chicago; Scott Schuder of Dirty Dick in Paris and Paul McFayden, co-owner of Trailer Happiness in Notting Hill, and now also the Plantation brand ambassador.
The orchestra under the baton of Alexandre creates a strong, dark and full-aromatic drink, which is supposed to evoke associations with the old navy rum. Let us note that the personalities involved in the creation of the OFTD automatically become its ambassadors. Apart from a really solid product, it's actually quite a smart move.
The manufacturer has recently announced a change of the brand name in the context of #BlackLivesMatter and - as it seems - on the wave of currently widely introduced renaming actions. Alexandre and his team "understand the hurtful connotation the word plantation can evoke to some people, especially in its association with much graver images and dark realities of the past". Well, let me just mention that the word plantation means a monoculture in which e.g. sugar cane is grown. It's simply a definition of where and how you grow. And it is true that slaves worked backbreaking on the plantations. But it's also the fact that semi-slave conditions on plantations are still there today. The place of history is in the past. One can think about onomastic considerations or focus on an unattended present problem.
A blend of molasses rums. Fermentation in Barbados takes up to three days, in Guyana up to a week, and in Jamaica up to two. For the comprehensive overview please visit the magnificent Cocktailwonk.