Nothing's Virgin Here

Best In Show Dark Rum (2020)


Professional sippers from far and wide converged to evaluate thousands of spirits across dozens of styles. When it came to award the ‘Best In Show’ for Dark/Gold Rum, their choice was a full-flavored Jamaican offering from Plantation. Colorfully labeled and adorned in knotted twine, Xaymaca Special Dry Rum (pronounced ‘za-may-kuh’) is an exceptionally elegant product, both inside and out. It’s a blend of liquids from two separate Jamaican distilleries—Long Pond and Clarendon—each stream boasting its own form of the island’s trademark funk. Together the aged spirits are married before arriving in the south of France to be finished in ex-cognac barrels at the Maison Ferrand.

It’s easy to see what captivated the panel at SFWSC. This is a complex spirit, surprisingly dry considering the heavy tropical notes in retains in the nose. Ripened pineapple and rosewater aromas make way for a semi-spiced sort of nuttiness on the palate. Before it surrenders, it introduces a burst of flambéed banana—likely owed to the relatively high count of fruit-laden esters it carries over from fermentation. The 86-proof bottle is even more impressive when you consider its $25 price point.

Plantation’s take on traditional Jamaican rum, packed with funky fruitiness. It’s a blend of rums from two distilleries on the island, distilled on the John Dore pot-still at Long Pond and Clarendon’s Vendome-made pot, balancing the character of each. The palate offers notes of banana, apricot, pineapple, cashews and ginger, as well as hints of sweet coconut.

  • Colour- Amber.
  • Nose- Very complex, slightly smoky and meaty with fruity, herbal and sour notes building up. Next vanilla come forward, almost pastry-like, with cooked banana, bitter orange peel and ripe pineapple.
  • Palate- Dry, with a more floral and fruitier profile of rose water, soursop, pear, white grape, apricot and sugar-apple. Next some coconut milk, balsam, allspices, bread and nuts emerge.


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