El Dorado 12 and the R.L Seales - and thoroughly enjoyed them both. I now have a few more rums to sample thanks to Steven James at Rum Diaries Blog , so I thought I would do a mini-series focusing on rum, rum and more rum.
The first of these is the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum, and this will be followed by the Appleton Estate 12 from Jamaica, the Ron de Jeremy from Panama and I'll finish off with the widely available Kraken Black Spiced Rum. So without messing about, let's get straight into it.
The Plantation XO is bottled at 40% and matured in both bourbon and cognac casks and boasts an incredible complexity which carries through from the nose to the finish. Pour a drop of this dark golden rum and have a sniff and you'll find this spirit is quite refined and not as pungent as some other rums.
There's caramel, baked apples, dried banana slices, plump dark cherries, muscovado sugar, pipe tobacco, buttery toffee, dates, nutmeg, sweet coconut and a hint of milk chocolate - and if you can resist keeping it in the glass for another 10 minutes or so, these scents intensify.
The palate is just as good, with heaps of sweet vanilla, warming caramel, dark orange marmalade, gentle spices and the whole spirit has a beautiful sweetness. On the finish, there's cherries, vanilla, soft golden fruit and that wonderful coconut and chocolate rounds everything off beautifully.
The Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Rum is wonderful and my generous sample simply wasn't enough - this is now firmly on my shopping list.