The facts- this rum was distilled from a molasses-based wash in 1998 from Demerara Distillers Limited's famous Port Mourant wooden pot still. Aged for 17 in ex-bourbon casks, it was then aged for another two years in Ferrand Cognac barrels and finished for 6 months in Ocho Tequila casks before being bottled for this 2018 release.
For anyone interested in trying a more "dry" expression of DDL's rum offerings, this is an excellent choice given DDL's flagship bottling, El Dorado, typically contains a significant amount of back-sweetening at bottling, compared to this Plantation bottling claiming a mere 4g/liter of dosage. Compared to an estimated 22 gram/liter dosage for El Dorado 21 year, and up to 39 grams/liter for their 12 year, this bottling feels a lot more of a "raw" expression that rum purists love to appreciate.
Tasting notes are reminiscent of an aged pot-still Jamaican rum, owing to its shared heritage. Nose has a decent helping of that distinctive "funk," along with sweetness and vanilla. Palate is not unexpected oakiness with light baking spice and dried fruit notes. Finish is delicious and long, with pronounced molasses that you can still detect for 5 minutes after your final sip, but still without a sickly sweetness we'd expect from a highly-dosed rum.
Among the only things I can hold against this rum are for one, the finishing in tequila casks. I'm far from a tequila aficionado, but there was not much in this expression to remind me of a nice grassy agave complexity. Not that I doubt it was given that extra time in a tequila cask, but its inclusion seems more like a marketing gimmick to me. Furthermore, its extremely limited availability is somewhat saddening. At this point, being a two year old limited release means that I'm not likely to find another bottle of it again.
What I cannot complain about is the price tag. Priced on a similar tier as an El Dorado 21 year, I actually do prefer this Plantation expression, and will be doing my best to ration out my bottle for many months to come