Pure Spirits: Plantation Guyana 2005 Vintage Edition & Créole Fruit Shrubb

It’s once again time for a rum review here in the blog! It is about a bottle of rum from a series of rums which was able to almost always convince me of its quality in the past, so also today my expectations were quite positive. But high expectations are accompanied by a higher potential for disappointment – that’s a fact you’ll always have to keep in mind. Especially when it comes to a rum from such a prestigious rum nation as Guyana. (provided test product)*

Guyana is relatively centrally located on the north coast of the South American continent and has a Dutch, a short French and primarily a British colonial past that largely coincides with the production of sugar cane. Especially the region around the river Demerara has been used for many centuries for the cultivation of sugarcane and has since undergone some major changes. Above all, the number of individual, separate plantations has steadily shrunk. A certain degree of agrarian centralization is therefore the result of economic developments, which, of course, had an impact on rum production as well. While many plantations distilled their own rum in the 17th century, at the end of World War II only a few of them remained. In the meantime, there is only one single distillery that is still in production, which, however, now relies on numerous pot stills and other production factors of former distilleries. Thus it almost forms a kind of melting pot from several abandoned distilleries.

The so-called Diamond Distillery belongs to the company Demerara Distillers Ltd and manufactures its rum from raw materials grown on its own sugarcane plantations on the shores of Demerara River. These are molasses rums, but under the name “Demerara Rum” they enjoy a good international reputation among rum connoisseurs. Above all, the in-house rum brand “El Dorado” is well-known, but it also sells a considerable amount of its rum production (up to 26 million liters per year) to external companies such as independent bottlers or blenders.

And this is what also happened with the rum from the Plantation series I’m going to review today. As with some other plantation rums presented in the past, for instance the Plantation Jamaica 2002 and the Plantation Trinidad 2003, Plantation openly admits the practice of adding small amounts of sugar to their rums which they call “dosage.” The rum was distilled in the Diamond Distillery on a double wooden pot still called “Port Mourant” which was originally from a distillery dating back to 1732. The Plantation Rum Guyana 2005 is also part of the Grand Terroir subseries of the Plantation Rums, which tries to show and emphasize the special characteristics of the respective rum nations. First, the rum was allowed to mature for seven years in Guyana in former Bourbon barrels before it was allowed to mature for another 24 months in France in former Cognac barrels. It is bottled at an ABV of 45% vol.

Tasting Notes:

Aroma: Immediately very beautiful and very complex aromas are rising up from the glass: The fruit notes that are typical for Guyana rums are unmistakable, but they are accompanied by partially quite unusual notes. In fact, there is leather and salt, some honey and vanilla. In the background are hard-to-determine herbs from a summery meadow and also an unmistakable influence of oak.

Taste: On the palate, this rum really shows what it can do. And it can really do a lot: besides exotic fruits there is a pronounced sweetness of sugarcane, which is balanced by subtle citrus tones. A full body comes up with spices, herbs and dried fruit. Associations of dark chocolate and roasted cocoa underline the complexity of this rum and definitely make you crave for the next sip!

Finish: lingering with oak, chocolate and forest honey

An aromatic, expressive rum that definitely has what it takes to hold its ground against other influences in a cocktail and even have an essential impact on a certain drink. I was inspired by a drink called Creole Rum Shrubb (which is not accidentally reminiscent of the Clément Créole Shrubb) by British bartender Ian Goodman from the OXO Tower Bar – and also slightly by the Bombay Crushed. My variant basically comes with a broader fruit offensive, which suits the drink very well, as I think. Besides that I reduced the sweetness a little bit in order to allow the rum to bring in more of its own nature. So it’s basically a Créole Fruit Shrubb.

Recipe “Créole Fruit Shrubb”:

4.5 cl Plantation Guyana 2005 Rum
1.5 cl Clément Créole Shrubb
0.5 cl brown sugar syrup
2 Dashe’s The Bitter Truth Creole Bitter
3 raspberries
3 kumquats, halved
2 blackberries
2 brandied cherries (for example Griottines)
2 lime quarters
2 small pieces of orange (about 2cm x 2cm)

Preparation: Put the fruits and pieces of fruit together with the sugar syrup into the glass and crush with the Muddler. Then add remaining ingredients, fill with crushed ice and stir carefully. Add some extra crushed ice on top.

Glass: Large Tumbler / D.O.F.

Garnish: fresh mint

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online.

*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.

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