There’s a good chance you’ve heard the word “hogo.” The term, derived from the French words “haut gout” or “high taste,” refers to the famous funk traditionally associated with pot-stilled Jamaican rum.
Hogo is referenced on the label of Plantation Rum’s latest release, Xaymaca Special Dry. Xaymaca is a blend of two 100% copper pot still rums distilled at Jamaica’s Long Pond and Clarendon distilleries. After distillation the spirit was subjected to a two-stage maturation process that began with bourbon casks in Jamaica and finished in Ferrand casks in Southwest France.
True to form, the rum has a powerful, pungent nose dominated by stewed banana and accented by sour kiwi and dark cherry. It has a lush, fatty feeling on the tongue and begins with notes of green apple and sharp, acidic kiwi. The initial fruity lightness gives over to a big, deep funk at the center that releases ripe banana. That rich funk suddenly gives way to a powerful, woodsy spice that’s followed up by measured vanilla, almond, and cherry. It’s completed by a long, dry finish with pleasant pinpricks of bursting spice on the tongue. When added to a Daiquiri, Xaymaca’s funk shines through and turns the simple cocktail into a far more complex dram with a dry conclusion.
Xaymaca Special Dry is a satisfying, varied experience from start to finish. The funky hogo punch is there, but it’s more mild in comparison to other Jamaican pot still rums: a hogo-bomb, this is not. That may in fact be one of its selling points, and makes the Xaymaca Special Dry an excellent starting point for hogo neophytes. And at $25, it’s priced gently enough to be used in cocktails without hesitation.
— 43% ABV