ST. MICHAELS — Jaime Windon has brought home the championship to the Eastern Shore.

Windon is CEO of Windon Distilling Co. in St. Michaels. The Maryland distillery makes Lyon Rum which just won the ‘Best Craft Rum Distillery’ title in USA Today’s much-watched ‘10 Best Readers Choice’ poll.

Windon and Lyon Rum have been nominated by industry experts for the USA Today award the previous three years. They came in fourth in 2017, fifth in 2018 and second in 2019.

This year was different with the Lyon Rum winning the title.

The first place finish is also a confirmation for Windon who opted to focus her business model solely on making rum.

“A few years ago we made the decision to stop production of all other spirits — including our famed Maryland Rye Whiskey — in order to focus on mastering our craft as rum distillers. With that renewed, singular goal: to make remarkable American rum, we purposefully set ourselves apart from the vast majority of craft distilleries that produce a range of distillates. We are proud to rank among a select few true American rum distilleries, and are overjoyed to be recognized as the best and awarded the #1 honor by USA Today,” Windon said.

Lyon Rum’s sugar cane comes from Louisiana and its bottles are made in Pennsylvania.

Windon said the victory further solidifies Lyon Rum’s national reputation. The Maryland rum beat out 19 other spirits from Hawaii, Florida, California and other states. “It’s just a confirmation that we are on the right path,” said Windon who started the distillery in 2012.

“We are thrilled,” said Windon, who is also St Michaels town commissioner.

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