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Plantation brings back ‘rum funk’ with new bottling

Maison Ferrand has extended its Plantation rum range with the launch of an expression that “revives” the style of Jamaican pot still rums from the 19th century.

Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry channels Jamaica’s ‘rum funk’

Created using liquid distilled at Jamaica’s Long Pond and Clarendon distilleries, Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry has been ‘double-aged’ – first in Bourbon barrels in Jamaica and then in Cognac Ferrand casks in south-west France.

Bottled at 43% abv with no added sugar, the expression’s Xaymaca name refers to the title Jamaica’s first inhabitants, the Arawaks, gave to the Caribbean island.

According to Maison Ferrand, Jamaica’s authentic pot still rum is famous for its aromas and flavours of black banana and flambéed pineapple, locally called “rum funk”.

Alexandre Gabriel, founder of Maison Ferrand, said: “With Xaymaca Special Dry, I wanted to dive into the iconic culture that is unique to Jamaican rum. I wanted to work with these complex flavours of overripe exotic fruits with an almost animal intensity.

“We can still find certain white rums with this famous ‘rum funk’. I think, however, that this great terroir expresses itself perfectly in an aged rum. That is why we are launching Xaymaca Special Dry – a tribute to this ancestral culture of rum.”

In 2017, Maison Ferrand acquired West Indies Rum, a Barbados distillery that became co-owner of National Rums of Jamaica, which owns the Clarendon and Long Pond distilleries.

“The access to these two emblematic distilleries, with their retort stills that look like ancient pachyderms, is the realisation of a dream. It allowed me to dive into this ancestral tradition and create a rum that I had wanted for a long time.”

Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry will launch in the US this month at an RRP of US$24.99.

In July this year, a fire at the Long Pond Distillery destroyed 65,000 litres of newly made rum and 92 fermentation vats.

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Gabriel said the distillery’s pot stills and muck pit had not been affected and that his team hopes to start distilling light pot still rums again in the coming weeks – but he “doesn’t know when” distillation of high-ester rums will resume.

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