An interesting SRC session on the idea of dark rum as a category. We invited Mitch Wilson from Plantation Rum and Pete Rosser from Goslings to discuss the nature of this style. Gosling's brought a beautiful culture and heritage to light and a history of blending rums on the shores of Bermuda for their Black Rum. While a surprise Goslings Family Reserve was well received as Pete further went into the importance of ageing. It was great to see that while dark rums are often associated with inferior navy rums or house pour dark rum that Gosling's are focus on taking this product to top end of the luxury spirit market. This rum sets the bar high for dark rums and demonstrates just how good the category can be if focused on putting the best rums from the best vintages in the bottle. An exceptional presentation and tasting raange for the dark rum category.
Meanwhile, with a number to Dark rums in the Plantation range, Mitch discussed whether there is a true dark rum category anymore. He spoke about a misguided modern rum market where the category white, gold, dark can't describe the history or variety of rum being produced. Plantation Original Dark moves us more to a traditional understanding of a category that was more defined by high esters and dosage. Then the yet to be released Plantation OFTD (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) emerged for a taste and everyone wass quite excited to try it. This is a over proof and high ester rum that is trying to focus on the type of dark rum that Donn Beach & Trader Vic would have used. In a word Oh F$*# That's Delicious (Yeh i needed more than one word)!
There's no doubt that the meaning behind 'Dark Rum' has been lost, misuse and mistreated. Better classification of categories is needed which as we all know is a difficult task for rum because it involves so many islands & nations. ACR couldn't even get minimum age statements universally accepted. But dark rum does exist and will continue to exist in the market. Does this mean we should ignore it and make up new categories or should we bring dark rum back to the former glory as seen in Family Reserves and OFTDs? More importantly what will be more accepted by the larger market? I like to think there's enough room for both better classification of what clasiifies a dark rum for the general market as well as breakdown of the category into a more universally definable categories.