While vodkas may dominate the headlines, in the realm of mixology white rums reign supreme. Vodkas are fine as a blank canvas upon which to build a drink, but white rums provide a foundation of flavor and high aromatics, all the while leaving the color of the cocktail unaffected. All things being equal, there are no creative limits to what a skilled mixologist can create with a fine bottle of white rum.
That said, some white rums are better than others. And a small handful is so exquisite that they serve as the epitome of their class. Few better illustrate the tremendous appeal of white rum than Pierre Ferrand's ultra-sophisticated Plantation 3 Stars Artisanal Rum. Guaranteed there's nothing else on the planet remotely like it.
Pierre Ferrand went to great lengths to make this rum and no one else can replicate their efforts. Part of the secret behind this gem is referenced in its name. The "3 Stars" refer to the famed bastions of Caribbean rum—Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados—from whence Pierre Ferrand obtains its spirits. The rums selected are made from local sugar cane molasses, pot-distilled and aged in small oak barrels in the warmth and humidity of the Caribbean.
The next step in production is where the story gets really interesting. After the various rums have aged sufficiently on their native islands, they are shipped to the Cognac Ferrand Estate in the heart of the Grande Champagne district of France.
Cognac Ferrand proprietor Alexandre Gabriel personally chose which rums were used to create Plantation 3 Stars. After close scrutiny, he selected a 3-years old Trinidadian rum, un-aged white rums from Barbados and Jamaica, and a 12-years old rum from Jamaica. The Jamaican rum is an expensive ingredient but key to the taste of the overall blend.
The barrel-aged spirits are carbon filtered to remove the oak-induced color and tannins from the rums while preserving the flavors and aromatics developed and refined by aging in oak. Each rum contributes its own individual characteristics to the blend. Plantation 3 Stars is bottled at 41.2% alcohol by volume (82.4 proof).
For Plantation 3 Stars, Gabriel decided to use a 3-year aged Trinidad rum, carbon filtered to maintain its white color and to remove the heavier tannins while preserving the aromatics developed and refined by aging. Un-aged rums from Barbados and Jamaica are blended, along with a 12-year old rum from Jamaica.
Says Gabriel, "This is the beauty of blending. You can capture the best of each. In this case, the Trinidadian rum brings elegance and refinement, the Barbados brings character and aromatics with fruit notes without being too heavy and Jamaican brings the funk, the touch that makes it a complete product."
That Gabriel succeeded in perfecting an extraordinary white rum is perfectly evident in the glass. It has crystalline clarity, a silky lightweight body and an enticing fruity, floral bouquet. The aromatics alone qualify the rum for sainthood. Its smooth, gentle entry immediately bathes the palate with a bevy of flavors, an amazing array of brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, spice, roasted coconut, sugar cane and ripe bananas. The long lasting finish is sublime.
Treat yourself well and taste this rum masterpiece neat before starting to use it crafting cocktails. If ever there were a white spirit ideally suited for sipping throughout the course an evening, it would be Plantation 3 Stars. It is, after all, the creation of one of the finest distillers in the world.
Kudos and à votre santé!