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Rum Review: Plantation Extra Old 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

Plantation Extra Old / 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

Plantation Extra Old 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

With a few weeks of no reviews, it’s time to start the year off right with a review of another great rum from Barbados: Plantation Extra Old, also known as Plantation 20th Anniversary. As with any bottle bearing a number, people often mistake this rum for a 20 year-old rum (including major retailers) but it actually marks the 20th anniversary of Alexandre Gabriel’s leadership at Cognac Ferrand. The age of the rum in the bottle is actually around 12 years—it lies in bourboun casks for ten years in Barbados before another one-and-a-half to two years  in cognac casks back in France.

The somewhat squat bottle (which retails for about $40 here) comes in a box bearing the same artwork that’s laser-etched onto the bottle. My photo simply doesn’t do the bottle justice. The laser etching is really gorgeous, and the gold top to the natural cork stopper is a nice touch.

Once in the glass, the rum brightens up and has a gorgeous golden bronze color. A swirl in the snifter reveals numerous slender legs that develop slowly from a ring that forms toward the top of the glass. Clearly we have a nice viscosity here.

The nose carries with it very little astrigency, encouraging me to take another deep breath. The aroma is like a tropical cocktail—vanilla gives way to coconut, then banana turns to butterscotch. I simple can’t wait any longer to taste it.

The mouth feel is smooth, but with a kick of spice—a superb balance has been achieved between the smooth butter and the sharp spice notes. Vanilla is here, but in a modest way—the caramel, however, shines right through. The finish is extremeley long, carrying with it the spices and caramel. My mouth is gloriously coated, and I’m compelled to reapply liberally and often.

In summary, the Plantation 20th Anniversary Extra Old is a phenomenal rum at any price, and a steal at the $40 price point. I encourage you to buy a bottle at your earliest convenience.

Now for the scores:

Appearance: 1/1

Nose: 2/2

Mouth feel: 1/1

Taste: 4/4

Aftertaste: 2/2

Total: 10/10

Buy Plantation 20th Anniversary online

What are your thoughts on this rum? Please share your comments below.


24 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2012 11:48 am

    Seriously, I just finished a glass of this not five minutes ago and it’s awesome. At ~$40/bottle it’s a no brainer.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      February 9, 2012 9:05 pm

      Amen to that, El Hefe! It’s just amazing for the price. Cheers.

  2. AndrewC permalink
    March 17, 2012 9:51 pm

    I think this will be my next rum purchase.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      March 18, 2012 3:32 pm

      You won’t regret it!

  3. Spajama permalink
    June 29, 2012 7:28 am

    Just tried this last night. Yes, BevMo listed it on their display as being 20-years-old. But when I got it home, I found nothing on the case or bottle that said that. It only said 20th Anniversary and mentioned ten years in Barbados then time in France. I sipped it straight. Delicious!!!

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      August 6, 2012 1:04 pm

      Agreed! I have yet to try a bad Plantation rum. Delicious all around. Cheers!

  4. Michael Cleveland permalink
    December 23, 2012 7:51 am

    This is a truly exceptional rum! I didn’t realize just how amazing rum can be until a friend introduced it to me earlier this year. Now I am truly a fan; it’s a must buy.

  5. Andrew Woodworth permalink
    August 28, 2013 7:22 am

    I picked up a bottle of this to enjoy on vacation. I paid closer to $80 (in Canada – damn taxes!) I drank a single glass but then decided my plans would not allow me to do justice to a rum like this. A rum this good best enjoyed among friends when I can dedicate myself to fully appreciating the delicate balance in this rum. I replaced the stopper and put the rum back in the box for later enjoyment.

    The taste was truly as described.

  6. November 16, 2013 7:37 am

    Received a bottle as a gift from my ski patrol team. We gave a toast to the many years we have had as a team. To a man, all were blown away by the smoot palate of this rum. Like drinking velvet. For sure a 10 of 10.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      December 6, 2013 2:43 pm

      Cheers, Roger! Thanks for keeping an eye out for us on the mountain 🙂

  7. Eric permalink
    January 4, 2014 5:49 pm

    One of the best rums I’ve ever had, and I’ve had many. My rum mentor, a 67 year old who has probably tried every rum known to man over the years, was blown away by it – he literally cried upon tasting it and proceeded to make me and my wife kill the bottle with him. NOTE – it appears that the bottle has changed so don’t think that it is suddenly no longer available – it looks like this now:

    Also, I must warn you – if you ever mix this rum with anything other than an ice cube, I will hunt you down and castrate you!

    • Tiffany K permalink
      September 26, 2014 11:57 am

      Good one! I love this rum too and especially enjoy it during the winter and fall seasons. Now that fall is rolling in I went to find a bottle and it was no where! I’m so glad you pointed us to the new packaging. I’m leaving work early to go pick up a bottle.


  8. Tiago permalink
    October 17, 2014 2:08 am

    My second favortie rum only after Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva.
    This is my 3° bottle and it never gives me a reason to doubt it 🙂
    The liquid used in this 20th aniv bottle can be bought with a different lable, but currently I forgot which.
    Can you put down here which Plantation Rum can be better than this one?

    PS – great review, keep it up

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      October 17, 2014 2:55 pm

      Thanks, Tiago. As far as better Plantation bottlings, that’s likely a matter of personal taste. That said, they have many great releases from specific places and vintages. The Trinidads are especially good, IMO, as are the Barbados and Guatemala.

  9. saraleib permalink
    May 18, 2015 5:03 pm

    Man am I loving your blog! This rum is my current fave as well. Have to get into Berry’s though, haven’t done that. Got into rum a few years back on a trip to Guatemala and have only recently started collecting aged rums–about 20 or so and growing. Would love to see you in LA for a drink at Cana Rum bar, where I’ve yet to go. Thanks, Josh!

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      May 19, 2015 8:49 am

      Thanks again–cheers!

  10. Peter White permalink
    June 16, 2015 5:33 am

    Easily my favorite Rum, and I have a decent collection. Sadly $73 in Ontario but still worth it.

    Have you tried the Berry Brothers Caribbean also at 46%. Good stuff.


  11. Sonny permalink
    December 23, 2015 7:09 am

    Yes, a very superior rum, especially at this price point. Sip or shots, it is so smooth. I bought 4 bottles about a month ago, and have recently ordered a case which currently has already shipped and scheduled to arrive on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015. What a way to wait for Santa….. Merry Christmas to all!

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      December 24, 2015 9:59 am

      Well played, Sonny! Cheers

      • jim soper permalink
        January 19, 2017 2:44 pm

        considering the amount of added sugar in Plantation rums, and given your current palate, how would you rate Plantation Extra Old 20th Anniversary in 2017?

  12. todd schultz permalink
    August 21, 2018 9:49 am

    I know I’m late to the party here. But I just got a bottle of this in Seattle for ~$90 … worth every penny. Amazing.

  13. Mark Weinberg permalink
    June 12, 2019 5:23 pm

    Spot on review, this rum is also one of my very favorites.
    Great site, thank you.


  1. New Rum Review: Plantation Extra Old / 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum « Inu a Kena
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