— THE DIVERSITY —
PURISTS, NOT FANATICS
Much opinion surrounds the essence of rum and connoisseurs and producers often find themselves in heated debate. Indeed varied and complex distillation and aging techniques inspire strong emotions. It is precisely these diverse techniques resulting from centuries of experimentation within each country that produces a beautiful rum.
At Plantation, our philosophy is driven by implementing these ancient techniques: constantly refining and perfecting them in order to create an exceptional rum. This requires an insatiable curiosity. We carefully avoid judging technique before mastering it. Beware of "prejudices" which form without knowledge.
Some exchanges on the subject of rum arise from supported facts, which should still be considered with prudence. One can even take pleasure in these “duels” that result from the magnificent merits of rum. Some purists swear by rum distilled only in a “pot-still” (alembic apparatus) and argue that a distillation column produces a subpar product.
Their opponents argue that distillation by column produces the most elegant rums. At Maison Ferrand, we sway toward the first position, following our regional Charentan heritage. It is easier to side with tested methods as the most reliable ! However, after years spent working with certain columns, we realized a combination of pot still and column methods will produce outstanding rums.
Some of our French brethren maintain that authentic rum derives only from sugar cane juice and therefore consider molasses an inferior agent which produces industrial results. This charge defies four centuries of history. At Plantation, we believe in the truth of one specific quality: the pleasure of taste. Viewpoints will always differ regarding the process of rum making. Tropical aging is sometimes considered a “hurried” process because the Angels’ part (a percentage of evaporation through the wood cask) is more significant in the tropics. This argument neglects to consider that aging is not limited to the delicate absence of fumes through the timbers of the wood cask. Continental aging in a mild climate offers varying temperatures which allows better integration of tannins from the barrel. This technique is based on a tested method dating from the early nineteenth century named 'slicing' or “trenching.” Of course, believers in each method swear by their technique as superior (they are often unaware of any other.) Same story when it comes to distinguishing qualities of American and French oak wood.