Plantation XO Barbados Rum
The Barbados rum is distilled from sugar cane, which is harvested and then crushed immediately in order to minimize the deterioration of the raw sugar. After the cane has been crushed, the remaining juice is fermented and then distilled through a combination of pot and column stills. While the column still produces a lighter, more sweet rum, the pot still produces a heavier and more vicious spirit.
Once the rum has been distilled, it is aged in used bourbon casks in the Caribbean for years. After its initial maturation, the rum is transported to Château de Bonbonnet in Cognac, France, where it is poured from the bourbon casks into small, French oak casks that were previously used to age cognac. "We use a technique called "élevage", says Alexandre, "which I guess can be translated to "nurturing'. In this case, each cask is tasted every 3 months. This way we see how the rum evolves. If it needs more tannins, we transfer it to a cask in which we have exchanged several staves for brand new wood, although we would never replace too much at a time. If it is a bit aggressive and needs rounding, we transfer it to one of our damp cellars. If it is a bit too lush and needs some structure, it goes to a dryer cellar."
This dual maturation process — the rum rests for an additional 12 to 18 months in the used cognac casks — imparts a signature round and creamy flavor profile to Plantation Rum. After aging, the rum is slowly hydrated over a period of months in order to preserve the harmony of the flavors. Then, each batch is bottled in a stunning decanter.