Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Barbados Plantation Grande Reserve 5 Y.O.

It’s holiday time and around these parts that means a Holiday Gift Giving Guide. More specifically, it means a guide to quality rum. As an intro I was going to write something clever but then remembered that last year’s intro was pretty good. At least I thought so. So, I thought I would just cut and paste it here:

The holiday season is upon us and many are caught in the hustle and bustle that is holiday shopping. I myself have finely tuned my seasonal shopping habits in such a manner that it takes one or two outings at most to check every name from my list. My secret: highly personalized gift cards/baskets and fine spirits from theLCBO. I think the gift card/basket tactic is self explanatory, but the LCBO tactic may not be as obvious. But it should be. Unless you come from a family of teetotallers and/or all of your friends and acquaintances eschew alcohol, then the LCBO should be a no-brainer. Won’t you be attending countless parties and get-togethers after all? Isn’t alcohol the finest social lubricant?

Am I right or am I right? Anyway, the first entry in this year’s guide is Barbados’ Plantation Grand Reserve 5 year old rum. First, a little background; this rum is aged in the Caribbean before finding its way to the Ferrand estate in France where its flavour is further tweaked for several months in oak casks used for bourbon.

Sounds good doesn’t it. This is the part where you ask me if it tastes good. Then I remind you this is a gift giving guide and I wouldn’t be here sharing this rum with you if I didn’t feel it was worth it. Want more detail you say. Okay, well Plantation Grande Reserve is a warm medium bodied rum whose honey brown hue promises sweetness and delivers in grand style. The nose is fresh and slightly sweet as is the flavour whose hints of fruit and vanilla remind me of a less sweet version of the candies my mother used to give us in church to keep us quiet.

In fact the subtle sweetness and smoothness of the finish reminds me a little of Angostura 1919, except I think this rum’s flavours might be subtler and dare I say it might even be smoother. This rum is great for sipping neat or on the rocks. And though I’ve yet to try it in a cocktail I’m sure it would punch up any beverage. “That sounds great, but how much does it cost?” you say. Well, in my neck of the woods Plantation Grand Reserve retails for a reasonable $32.45 at the LCBO. And trust me (would I steer you wrong?) if you have a rum drinker, mixologist or cocktail enthusiast on your shopping list they won’t be disappointed with this very smooth offering.

Speaking of smooth, I’m a bit of a Marvin Gaye fan. This just might be an understatement. Anyway, I thought I’d pair this item on my gift giving guide with a little dose of Marvin (and James Jamerson on bass!). Enjoy.

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