Our voyage charts a course for the Fiji Islands. Still relatively unknown a few years ago, Fijian rums have made a name for themselves among connoisseurs and curious drinkers eager to explore new rum horizons. Alexandre Gabriel, Plantation’s Founder and Master Blender, who is fascinated by the diversity of terroirs and interested in regional spirits production, is always on the quest for extraordinary rum-making partners. It is this curiosity that has led him to many relationships with similarly inclined producers, like Liam F. Costello of the Rum Co. of Fiji.
Alexandre Gabriel adds, “At Plantation, we always strive for the best rums, a high-quality product that will highlight an interesting culture with a specific decades or centuries-old heritage and know-how. Working with Liam is extremely enjoyable because it is like working with a kindred spirit. Someone willing and able to put forward Fijian’s excellence in the Rum culture.”
Great rums begin with sugar cane, and on Fiji, sugar cane has flourished here for more than 6,000 years in the fertile volcanic soils of the archipelago. This soil also acts as a great filter for the abundant summer rains that are transformed into spring water. Sugar cane, spring water and the hot and humid climate of the island adds incredible layers of flavor and personality to Fijian rums. While the angels’ share is significant, the ageing process is more intense than in a temperate climate, lending complexity with exotic accents. The cultivation and production of Fijian rums is rooted in the local culture and employs artisanal techniques that are still carried out by hand – for example, the sugar cane is still mostly cut by hand and then crushed in old sugar factories certified Fair Trade.
TASTING NOTES: Plantation Fiji Vintage 2005 – 50.2% ABV
Nose: Intense, fruity and spicy. It opens with aromas of cooked apple and plum, cinnamon and galangal. It then evolves elegantly towards notes of brown sugar syrup, pear, vanilla and nutmeg.
Palate: Round and complex, it unfolds with beautiful fullness. One can savor the salted caramel, milk chocolate, walnut, licorice and ginger, all harmoniously combined.
Finish: Long and spicy, it closes with flavors of brown sugar syrup and galangal.