Booze | June 30, 2020 11:28 am

Plantation Rum Changing Its Name Due to “Hurtful” Nature

Rum and slavery share an unfortunately linked history. One brand hopes to evolve.

Lineup of Plantation Rum bottles
Plantation Rum is part of the Maison Ferrand brand of spirits.
Plantation Rum

Plantation is a family-run, award-winning Caribbean rum with a “hurtful” name.

That’s not us making commentary; that’s coming from the brand itself.

Given recent and long-overdue discussions on race, discrimination and heritage — including at a corporate level — the owners of Planation are in discussions to change their rum’s moniker.

“As the dialogue on racial equality continues globally, we understand the hurtful connotation the word plantation can evoke to some people, especially in its association with much graver images and dark realities of the past,” said Alexandre Gabriel, Plantation Rum Master Blender, in a statement. “We look to grow in our understanding of these difficult issues and while we don’t currently have all the details of what our brand name evolution will involve, we want to let everyone know that we are working to make fitting changes.”

One thing has been guaranteed: The rum itself, most of it distilled at the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados with a heavy emphasis on terroir, will not change.

According to The Spirits Business, Plantation originally got its name via Gabriel, who grew up on a farm and wanted to express that in his family business (using the meaning of the word as “large farm”). It also notes the name change could take up to two years.

The history of rum unfortunately ties heavily into slavery, as much of its early production was the work of slaves brought into the Azores, Canary Islands and the Caribbean via Africa.

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