Thanks so much for submitting a report. It has been emailed to the Rum Captain and will be actioned shortly.
This is one of the two re-badged Plantation rums sold by Marks & Spencer.
Same solid decanter style bottle as the M&S Bajan XO, a cheap looking label under selling the content, and a somewhat boring but functional screw cap.
There are few distilleries in Guatemala and it is hard to think this is not a Zacapa, even advertised the same as "aged above the clouds".
Dark caramel in colour it has a simple and simply gorgeous rum aroma with little distraction by additional flavours, in particular none of the prominent vanilla of the M&S Bajan XO.
In the mouth it is full of - well rum - flavour. Hints of molasses and dried fruit, but no prominent spice or tobacco.
In direct comparison it is a hint sweeter (4/5) than the Zacapa 23, my guess it is a younger version that got the Plantation double-barrel treatment.
It is a great sipper, but at the 2016 price of £ 25.- this is - by a mile - the best sipping rum for the money in the UK.
However it has been out of stock online for a while, but some of the larger stores still have a some bottles. If you see it - get one.
Very different rum you can taste the brandy and sherry notes from the barrels it's stored in better straight than a mixer
If you love chocolate you will love this. Don't be fooled it is more complex than that though.
if you have ever tried the Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum and liked it this is the same rum but in the bottling this one has been made 40abv. Don't let that put you off as this is a good rum not a zacappa but good and at the price it sells for I happily give it to my guest with them later asking me what is it and where can they getb it from.
There has been a recent change in name (I think) and it is called Guatemalan Plantation Rum, Gran Reserva (the link should show it though my bottle that I recently got is slightly different from that listed). This is purportedly bottled by Plantation, but unlike their own labelled one, the strength has dropped from 42% to 40%. Listed ingredients are Guatemalan Dark Rum, Cane Sugar, Colour: Plaine Caramel. "They" say that this is Zacapa, which I am not a great fan of. To be honest, I am not a great fan of Guatemalan rums, as I find them too sweet. However, this is a different beast. it has the sweetness that you would expect, but it also has a dry/alcoholic streak that cuts through the sweet fruit, which I presume is from the aging in cognac casks. I have always been a little sceptical about the benefits of finishing in casks of other spirits/wines, but here there does seem to be something. The nose has a distinct cognac edge to it, and as mentioned, it is noticeable on the palate. In fact I would say that the bourbon and cognac casks both come through on the finish and are very harmonious. Result is that to me, there is no cloying sweetness. Really very good, and so so much better than something like Zacapa 23. I sort of used 1919 as a house rum, and while I still like it for everyday sipping, this is so much better and cheaper (just).
Re-rating: having had 2 bottles, like the M&S Bajan rum, I find the addition of sugar makes it too sweet. However, while I took two marks off the Bajan, I am dropping this from an 8 to a 7. I would love to try without the added sugar.