Plantation Launches New Blend – O.F.T.D. Overproof (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark)

Plantation Rum OFTD Overproof

In the lead up to (a particularly rum focused) Tales of the Cocktail 2016, after many months of speculation, French producer Plantation Rum today announced their newest mainstream blended rum: O.F.T.D. The new offering is a blend of rums. The label says Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados, coming in at a high octane 69 percent ABV (138 proof). Its predecessor, Original Dark Overproof, is composed of entirely Trinidad rums at 73 percent ABV, or 146 proof. Although the main label doesn’t explicitly say “Old Fashioned Traditional Dark,” a sticker on the label says “Old Fashioned Traditional Dark”. However, there’s an alternative meaning. Use your imagination! Or just check out my photos from the launch party

The eye-catching label tells the story of a rogue’s gallery of well-known rum and Tiki celebrities who came together to influence its taste and character. From the bar world:

And joined by:

  • David Wondrich – Cocktail historian and author
  • Alexandre Gabriel – Master blender for Cognac Ferrand and Plantation Rums

How’s that for a (rum) celebrity endorsement? Given the people involved, it’s obvious Plantation is targeting this as a mixing rum aimed squarely at the Tiki and tropical drink market. (And it will feature prominently in my next Minimalist Tiki refresh.) You can bet whatever nickels you have handy that it’ll be featured prominently at Latitude 29, Smuggler’s Cove, Trailer Happiness, Lost Lake, and Dirty Dick – all iconic bars in the Tiki world. Martin even alluded to the new rum via the #OFTD hashtag in his lengthy comment on my Smuggler’s Cove book review.

The label tasting notes say: “It bursts with caramel cream, chocolate, and vanilla notes. It continues on with cinnamon, raisins, nutmeg, oak, and molasses with smoky accents.”

(Update: My OFTD review for distiller.com is here.)

The Plantation Original Dark story has evolved over the years. Long available in both a regular strength (80 proof) version, as well as an overproof version, both were a blend of Trinidad rums of different ages. As Alexandre Gabriel told me at his presentation at last year’s Tales of the Cocktail, the Trinidad-based Original Dark contains rums as young as five years, as well as heavy, pungent pot still rums of up to 20 years in age, most likely from the long-defunct Caroni distillery. As time went on, the supplies of the heavy, pot still rum have become scarce.

Seeing this potential shortage coming on, a year ago Plantation made the decision to change the formulation of the regular strength Original Dark to a blend of Trinidad and Jamaican rums, with the Jamaican component replacing the heavy, pot stilled Trinidad piece. However, the overproof version has until now remained an all-Trinidad rum. With the release of the O.F.T.D., the Trinidad rums are completely replaced with Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados rums. Knowing this was coming, I’ve naturally stockpiled a few bottles of the Trinidad Overproof version for archival purposes, as rum wonks do. Being a multi-island blend (and given its proof), it will be interesting to put the new version head to head with similar high-proof, multi-island rums like Gunroom’s Navy rum.

Pricing at this point is given at $32 for a liter. Exact worldwide geographic availability is unknown. Given its launch at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, as well as TTB label approval, the U.S. should see it around September 2016. However, I was lucky to spot in on the backbar of Latitude 29 a few days prior to Tales of the Cocktail 2016, and managed to get up close and personal with it. The verdict from Mrs. Wonk and me: Delicious! A smoky start followed by a very Plantation-like finish. It looks like a winner from a very brief encounter with it.

O.F.T.D. Overproof at Latitude 29, NOLA O.F.T.D. Overproof at Latitude 29, NOLA

Given the U.K. and French characters on the bottle, those countries are likely to get early arrivals. I myself can’t wait to get ahold of a bottle and try it out in classics like the Cobra’s Fang and Jet Pilot.

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14 thoughts on “Plantation Launches New Blend – O.F.T.D. Overproof (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark)”

  1. Great write-up! I’m very new to rum and the world of exotic drinks. I recently bought a bottle of this in order to make Steven Liles’ Rongorongo (delicious!), but I’m unclear as to where it fits in terms of the categorizations used by Beachbum Berry and Martin Cate. I’ve taken to categorizing all of my rum purchases so that I can use them in various recipes as time goes on. Any help would be appreciated.

    * Martin Cate Categories *
    Pot Still Unaged
    (1) Pot Still Lightly Aged
    Pot Still Aged
    Pot Still Long Aged
    (2) Blended Lightly Aged
    (3) Blended Aged
    Blended Long Aged
    Column Still Lightly Aged
    (4) Column Still Aged
    Black Pot Still
    (5) Black Blended
    (6) Black Blended Overproof

    FRESH CANE JUICE RUMS
    Cane Coffey Still Aged
    Cane Pot Still Unaged
    Cane Pot Still Aged
    (7) Cane AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole Blanc
    (8) Cane AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole Vieux
    Cane AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole Long Aged

    * Beachbum Berry Categories *
    Amber Martinique Rum
    Dark Jamaican Rum
    Demerara Rum – 80 Proof
    Demerara Overproof Rum – 151 Proof
    Gold Barbados Rum
    Gold Jamaican Rum
    Gold Puerto Rican Rum
    Gold Virgin Islands Rum
    Light / White / Silver Puerto Rican Rum

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Martin might have his own input, but I’d place the OFTD in the Blended, lightly aged category. I assume there’s some column still elements in it, and don’t think there’s a ton of longer aged rums in it (e.g. 10 year Jamaican).

    1. Hey Charlie,

      The OFTD might be a little overpowering for an Old Fashioned. There are many great rums out there, but for readily available bottles, something like Appleton 12 or Mount Gay XO would work well.

  2. Looks great, and hey, a recommended Tiki rum we can get in the UK!

    Would you recommend it as a substitute for Lemon Hart – either regular or the 151 (which cannot be obtained)? It has a similar darkness and sounds really punchy.

    (What would be incredibly useful for me would be if someone put out a version of Martin Cate’s rum categories, but with UK-available rums substituted in.. a few of the categories don’t contain any examples we can get hold of here.)

    1. Obviously, the comparisons to LH 151 will be made. I personally prefer the OFTD, even though its 6% lower ABV than the LH 151, and has Jamaican funk, which I’m all about.

      And yes, an online version of Martin’s Rum Categories, with filters, would be fantastic.

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