Robs Rum Guide

your guide to the world's finest rums

Category: RumXP Awards (page 1 of 2)

NJoy Distillery Tour – Florida Mermaid Rum

You’re sure to enjoy a visit to NJoy Distillery, the producers of Florida Mermaid Rum.

Just beyond the bustling modern suburbs, remnants of the pioneer era of west central Florida remain hidden in plain sight. Several miles down a sandy dirt road, an old hunting cabin has been transformed into the paradisaical home of NJoy Distillery.

Persistence pays off as you near the entrance to this large ranch property just north of Weeki Wachee’s famed clear springs and mermaid shows, hidden within a massive undeveloped state park.

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NJoy Distillery Tour

You’ll be surprised and delighted to discover what Natalie and Kevin Goff have created in this rustic environment. It’s more than a craft distillery, artfully tucked into a barn. It’s a working spirit production facility that begs to be seen and admired by rum enthusiast visitors from near and far.

N-Joy Distilery - the hand-hammered copper pot still

the hand-hammered copper pot still at NJoy Distillery

As you gaze off in the distance of this large farm, beyond the old water wheel, past the horse stables, six acres of tall green sugar cane — featuring seven different varietals — grows in long rows.

A small stream running from the picturesque waterwheel leads to a large pond with a tall fountain. This is old Florida revisited. This is a special place.

Kevin gives us the tour of the works, established in 2012, starting with the crusher, fermentation and distillation sections of the barn. They’re collecting rain water — filtered three times — for the mash and proofing.

This still is a beauty — a classic 300 liter (80 gallon) hand-hammered alembic-style copper pot still from Portugal.

Florida Mermaid Rum

Their popular Florida Mermaid Rum — with a nod to the local Weeki Wachee natural attraction — features their own boutique rum blended with a special Caribbean pot still rum, bottled at 100 proof, without colorings or flavorings.

NJoy Distillery - Florida Mermaid Rum

NJoy Distillery – Florida Mermaid Rum

Only steps away, the blended rum rests in 25 large Wild Buck Whiskey barrels in an outdoor shipping container for 90 days.

The nose begins with bold aromas of black banana, flowers and butter. Next, vanilla and almond emerge over oak with a big funky fruit basket.

On the palate, complex esters offer a delightfully fruity astringent entry that evolves to big warmth in the mid-palate. Wood and brown butter dominate before some baking spice as the finish slowly fades.

Florida Mermaid Rum is the recipient of many awards and accolades from numerous competitions, including Best In Class in the boutique rum category at the 2018 International Rum Expert Panel tasting competition at Rum Renaissance Festival.

Mermaid Rum is now available in many Florida locations, including ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wines & More, distributed by Republic National Distributing. The 750ml bottle retails for $39.95.

NJoy Distillery Products

NJoy is also home to Wild Buck Whiskey, made from 401 black rye grown on the farm, plus Ryes In Shine moonshine.

The farm also hosts 600 bee hives for pollination, as well as a source for delicious honey for sale. A local baker delivers fresh rum cakes every weekend, adding a delightful element to the visit.

The NJoy Distillery is open for free tours and tastings every weekend from 11am to 3pm, with tasty cocktails to imbibe on the shady deck by the pond. Take home a bottle of Florida Mermaid Rum, Wild Buck Whiskey, Ryes In Shine, some local honey and a rum cake.

The address is 7237 Wild Buck Rd, Weeki Wachee, FL 34613. Call 352-592-9622.

https://www.wildbuckwhiskey.com/mermaid-rum


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum from Saint Kitts

Among the best spiced rums on the market, and winner of many top awards, Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum is a four year old Guyanese molasses rum, aged in charred American oak barrels, expertly blended with real Madagascar Vanilla, Grenada Nutmeg, orange peel and clove.

At their production facility on the island of Saint Kitts in the Eastern Caribbean, each small batch is infused for two weeks to extract maximum botanical flavors from the exotic ingredients, before being expertly blended by seasoned professionals.

Shipwreck Spiced Rum Tasting Notes

Award-Winning Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum from Saint KittsAromas of creamy vanilla with nutmeg and orange rind lead to clove and mild honey. On the palate, the sensation of bold vanilla delivers a base of creamy smoothness for the nutmeg and clove, balanced by orange peel at mid-palate.

The result is a best-in-class hand-crafted spiced rum that mixes perfectly with your favorite cola, ginger beer, fruit juices and citrus.

The Hidden Label Message

When you’ve finished the bottle, look for the hand-written message inside the label, dedicated to those aboard the British Troopship sank by the French Navy off the coast of St Kitts in 1782.

Shipwreck Spiced Rum Awards

Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum has earned many prestigious medals and accommodations over the past decade, including the 2018 International Rum Expert Panel “Best In Class” gold medal in the spiced rum category, as well as a prestigious gold medal from the 2018 Consumer Rum Jury.

Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum is bottled at 36% abv. The 750ml bottle sells for about $25.

https://www.brinleygoldshipwreck.com/spiced-rum


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Tanduay Gold Asian Rum from The Philippines

From the world’s largest rum producer, Tanduay Gold Asian Rum is a prime example of a high quality cane spirit well aged and blended with the intent to be accessible.

Since its arrival in the USA in 2013, Tanduay Gold has been recognized in numerous tasting competitions as a product of outstanding merit, including a Gold Award at the 2018 RumXP Tasting Competition at the Rum Renaissance Festival.

Tanduay has been producing rum in The Philippines since 1854, using legacy heirloom cane varieties. This rum is a blend of distillates aged up to seven years in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, designed to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or as a superior component in well-crafted cocktails.

Tanduay Gold Asian Rum from The Philippines

From the world’s largest rum producer, Tanduay Gold Asian Rum is a prime example of a high quality and accessible aged cane spirit.

Initial aromas of cedar and dried fruits are followed by hints of caramel and vanilla. On the palate, warm dry smoked honey and vanilla leads to buttery almond fruit pastry and floral notes, before a beautiful warm finish lingers with echos of toasted oak and cigar box much longer than expected.

Tanduay succeeds at delivering a fine aged rum for a competitive price. The 750ml bottle of Tanduay Gold Asian Rum, bottled at 80 proof, retails for $19.

Tanduay distinguished their brand by shipping product to a vast network of destinations throughout Asia. The company was acquired by Lucio Tan Group in 1988 paving the way for global growth — expanding into The Americas and Europe — to become the world’s largest producer of rum.


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

2018 RumXP and Rum Jury Award Winners

2018 RumXP Best In Class Gold Award - International Rum Expert Panel at RUm Renaissance Festival

The prestigious 2018 RumXP Awards have been announced, along with the Consumer Rum Jury Awards.

The judges in the 2018 International Rum Expert Panel tasting competition, as well as the members of the Consumer Rum Jury, have announced the list of most outstanding rums from their 2018 RumXP Awards presentation at the annual Rum Renaissance Festival in South Florida.

The event brought together a vast selection of rums from the Caribbean and beyond, plus a fine selection of American Rums made by craft producers from across the country.

The distinguished International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP) judges were sequestered for three days of blind tasting sessions carefully organized by the experienced competition staff before being analyzed and compiled by a veteran team of statisticians.

In addition, the Consumer Rum Jury, consisting of serious rum enthusiasts from across America and around the world, convened to sample and evaluate many fine rums for their own awards based on consumer preferences.

Based on the strict standards of the prestigious International Rum Expert Panel, the results of these two international rum blind tasting competitions, consisting of more than 200 rum expressions, are as follows.

2018 RumXP Awards

White Rum

Tanduay Silver – Best In Class

Caneland Parade – Gold
Casa Magdalena Ron Blanco – Gold
Real McCoy 3 – Gold
Plantation 3 Stars – Gold
Nine Leaves Clear – Gold

Rhum Agricole Blanc

LaMauny Acacia – Best In Class
Trois Rivières 50% Blanc – Gold
LaKay Clairin 22/22 – Gold
Trois Rivières Cuvée de Ocean – Gold
Caneland Rum Agricole – Gold

White Overproof Rum

Monymusk White Overproof – Gold

Spiced Rum

Brinley Spiced – Best In Class
Black Magic Spiced – Gold
Muddy River Carolina Spiced – Gold
Carmelita’s Spiced Orange – Gold

Flavored Rum

Koloa Coffee – Best In Class
Alligator Bay Dark – Gold
Boqueron Coconut – Gold
Ziami Grapefruit – Gold
Brinley Lime – Gold
Brinley Coconut Cream – Gold
Wicked Dolphin Hidden Barrel Maple – Gold

Boutique Aged Rum

Florida Mermaid – Best In Class
Queen Charlotte’s Reserve – Gold
Islamorada Small Batch Dark Barrel Aged – Gold
Koloa Reserve – Gold
Prichard’s Fine – Gold
Maggie’s Farm Queen Share Double Oak – Gold

Boutique Dark Rum

Naked in Jamaica – Gold
Maggie’s Farm 50/50 Dark Rum – Gold

Overproof Aged Rum

Plantation OFTD – Best In Class

Traditional Aged Rum

Monymusk Gold – Best In Class
Mezan Guyana 2005 – Gold
Mezan Panama 2006 – Gold
Grander 12 – Gold
Tanduay Gold – Gold
Real McCoy 5 – Gold

Premium Aged Rum

Real McCoy 12 – Best In Class
Mount Gay 1703 – Gold
Plantation Xaymaca – Gold
Plantation Fiji 2009 – Gold
Plantation Peru – Gold
Mount Gay XO – Gold

Rhum Agricole Aged

Trois Rivières VSOP – Best In Class
Trois Rivières Cuvée de Moulin – Gold
LaMauny VSOP – Gold
Trois Rivières Eleve Sous Bois – Gold


2018 Consumer Rum Jury Awards

Consumer Rum Jury Gold Award

The Consumer Rum Jury consists of serious rum enthusiasts, rum collectors and rum travelers who enjoy the discovery of rums in all categories.

White Rum

Casa Magdalena Ron Blanco – Gold
Cane Run – Gold

Dark Rum

Naked in Jamaica – Gold
Maggie’s Farm 50/50 Dark – Gold

Aged Rums

Dos Maderas 5 + 5 – Gold
Plantation XO – Gold
Mount Gay XO – Gold
Dzama Cuvée Noire – Gold
Diplomatico #2 – Gold
Mount Gay 1703 – Gold

Spiced Rums

Brinley Spiced – Gold
Carmelita’s Dark Spiced – Gold
Black Magic – Gold

Flavored Rums

Brinley Coconut – Gold
Carmelita’s Grilled Pineapple – Gold
Runner’s – Gold


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

 

 

 

 

10th Annual Rum Renaissance Festival Announced

The hosts of the popular Rum Renaissance Festival in South Florida have recently announced details of their tenth annual event, to be held at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center on the weekend of June 9-10, 2018.

Rum Renaissance Festival - a celebration of cane spirits in the new world

Celebrating ten years, the Rum Renaissance Festival is poised to be bigger and better than ever with a new location on the water in Ft. Lauderdale.

The move from Miami-Dade County to Broward County offers a more convenient centralized location for residents of the eighth-most populated metropolitan area in the nation, currently surpassing six million people.

South Florida is the number one rum market in the world. It’s also the gateway to the Caribbean, Central and South American regions, where more than 90% of the rum available in the United States is produced.

The host hotel is the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina, located right on the water next to the convention center, with discounted room rates starting at $119 a night. Reserve online now to assure your reservation.

“South Florida is the number one rum market in the world.”

Continue reading

Mount Gay 1703 Master Select aged rum from Barbados

From one of the oldest rum producers in the world comes one of the finest rare aged rums ever bottled, Mount Gay 1703 Master Select.

Derived from double copper pot and single column still distillates, this spirit is a blend of 10 to 30 year old aged rums. 1703 Master Select is a  deliciously complex and concentrated nectar reflecting the life-long mastery of blender Allen Smith. Continue reading

2017 RumXP Awards announced at Miami Rum Festival

The International Rum Expert Panel today announced the list of outstanding rums from their 2017 RumXP Awards competition and Consumer Rum Jury trials held at the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo. Continue reading

Miami Rum Fest returns April 22-23, 2017

The annual celebration of cane spirits and global gathering of rum experts in South Florida — Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo — returns to the DoubleTree Miami Airport Hotel and Convention Center for the weekend of April 22-23, 2017 from 1 to 6pm. Continue reading

2016 RumXP Award Winners Announced at Miami Rum Festival

The International Rum Expert Panel today announced the 2016 RumXP Awards from their blind tasting competition held at the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo.

A wide variety of rums from more than 30 countries came to the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo to compete for top honors in the International Rum Expert Panel blind tasting competition.

Miami Rum Festival is once again host to the 2016 RumXP Awards international tasting competition with several dozen esteemed rum judges precipitating in the premiere rum competition, presenting prestigious rum awards to the best scoring products.

The event brought together a vast selection of rums from Sweden and Denmark, India, Reunion Island, Madagascar, Puerto Rico, Peru, Barbados, Mexico, Florida, Colorado, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica, Belize, Panama, St. Lucia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Haiti, Dominican Republic, The Bahamas and many more rum making countries, as well as Rhums Agricoles from Martinique and Cachaças from Brazil.

The distinguished panel of RumXP judges were sequestered for three days of blind tasting sessions carefully organized by the experienced competition staff before being analyzed and compiled by a veteran team of statisticians.

In addition to the professional RumXP judges, the Consumer Rum Jury, consisting of serious rum enthusiasts from across America and around the world, convened to sample and evaluate many fine rums for their own awards based on consumer preferences.

2016 RumXP Awards By Category

The results of these two international rum blind tasting competitions based on the categories and styles of rum are as follows.

• White Rum
Best In Class: Bayou Silver
Gold: Blue Chair Bay, Pito Rico Elite, Don Q Cristal, Ron Cartavio Silver

• Premium White Rum
Best In Class: Puerto Angel
Gold: Caliche, Fwaygo, Plantation 3 Star, Skotlander Rum VI, Koloa White

• Gold Rum
Best In Class: Siesta Key Gold
Gold: Wicked Dolphin, Puerto Angel Amber, Don Q Gold, Koloa Gold

• Spiced Rum
Best In Class: Siesta Key Spiced
Gold: Siesta Key Distillers Solara, Bayou Spiced, Siesta Key Limited Edition Spiced, Koloa Spiced

• Flavored Rum
Best In Class: Koloa Coffee
Gold: Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum, Don Q Pasion, Blue Chair Bay Banana, Koloa Coconut

• Overproof Rum
Best In Class: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof
Gold: Pito Rico 106, Don Q 151, Gunroom 130 Proof, Skotlander V

• Black Rum
Best In Class: Wicked Dolphin Black
Gold: Koloa Black

• Aged Rum
Best In Class: Bayou Select
Gold: Don Q Anejo, Marauda Steel Pan, Plantation Original Dark, Tiburon

• Aged Rum 5-8 Years
Best In Class: Ron Duran 7
Gold: Plantation 5, Cartavio 5

• Aged Rum 9-12 Years
Best In Class: Yolo Gold
Gold: Cartavio Solera 12, Ron Duran 12, Panama Pacific 9

• Aged Rum 15+
Best In Class: Pusser’s 15yr
Gold: Panama Pacific 23

• Premium Aged Rum
Best In Class: Plantation 20th Anniversary
Gold: Plantation Gran Anejo, Santeria Rum, Don Q Gran Anejo, Fwaygo Single Barrel

• Vintage Aged Rum
Best In Class: Mezan Jamaica 2000
Gold: Plantation Jamaica 2001, Plantation St. Lucia 2004, Mezan Panama 2006, Don Q 2005, Mezan Guyana 2005

• Agricole Unaged Rhum
Best In Class: Maison La Mauny Ter Rouj
Gold: Trois Rivières Cuvee du Moulin, Isautier Blanc, Maison La Mauny Blanc

• Agricole Aged Rhum
Best In Class: Trois Rivières VSOP
Gold: Isautier Vieux Louis & Charles, Isautier Vieux 7yr, Maison La Mauny XO

• Cachaça Unaged
Best In Class: Weber Haus
Gold: Germana Ultra Premium, Germana Palha, Novo Fogo Silver, Lundu Silver

• Cachaça Aged
Best In Class: Sebastiana Single barrel
Gold: Novo Fogo 2yr Oak, Sebastiana 3yr Double Barrel, Middas Carvalho, Germana Caetano’s

– – –

• The 2016 Consumer Rum Jury Awards

Best In Class: Siesta Key Toasted Coconut

Gold: Koloa Coffee, Plantation Pineapple, Pussers 15, YOLO Gold, Koloa Coconut, Duran 12

Silver: Mezan Panama 2005, La Mauny Spiced, Koloa Dark, Tiburon, Don Q Signature Release 2005

Bronze: Dzama Rhum Nosy Be 104, Balcones Texas Rum, Panama Pacific 9, Puerto Angel Blanco, Fwaygo White, Trois Rivières Cuvee Du Moulin, Blue Chair Bay White

Yolo Gold aged rum from Panama

“You only live once” is the motto of a person who enjoys a sociable and luxurious lifestyle — and it’s the theme behind this delicious Yolo Gold aged rum.

Produced in Panama by master of rum Don “Pancho” Fernandez, Yolo Gold aged rum rests for ten years in charred oak bourbon barrels, developing a complexity of flavor and a deep mahogany color.

Yolo Gold - From Panama, a masterful blend of aged rums gives Yolo Gold a richly complex and satisfying profile and deep mahogany color.

Yolo Gold is a ten year old dark mahogany colored aged rum created by master of rum Don Pancho Fernandez in Panama.

Philip Guerin’s enthusiasm for rum lead him to establish the brand along with his wife Jessica. With a lifetime of experience in marketing and brand development, they assimilated their talents, their passion and love for quality rum into this savvy Colorado-based brand.

This dark amber aged rum offers aromas of charred wood and toffee before a hint of burnt sugar balanced by a vegetal sweetness over cigar box. On the palate, cinnamon brûlée leads then fades to reveal a cognac-like wet wood into the long dry vanilla finish, well balanced between sweet and dry, offering a subtle hint of raw cocoa in the aftertaste.

Yolo Gold aged rum is the winner of numerous medals, including a Gold Award at the International Rum Expert Panel Tasting Competition in 2015.

Yolo Gold carries a list price of $44.99 for the 750ml bottle.

Cartavio rum from Peru expanding U.S. distribution

From the fertile valley of Cartavio in northern Peru, a modern distillery produces pot still and column still rums from local sugar cane, aged in a variety of woods to create a number of award-winning expressions. This is Ron Cartavio aged rum.

Cartavio aged rum - Fine aged rums from Peru are finding greater distribution in the USA as Ron Cartavio reaches into new markets each month.

Ron Cartavio aged rums from Peru are imported in the USA by Jim Driscoll of Ekeko Wine and Spirits in Houston, Texas.

Although Peru is not generally known for producing some of the world’s best rums, U.S. importer Jim Driscoll of Ekeko Fine Wines and Spirits is hoping to change that perception and help Ron Cartavio aged rum earn the reputation he believes it deserves.

Ekeko has been importing pisco and wine from Peru for the past three years. On a recent trip to Lima, he and his wife Carole were amazed to discover the quality of this local Peruvian brand of rum.

“We first time we tasted Ron Cartavio aged rum, we knew we had to share this with our friends in the U.S.A.,” said Jim. He went to work right away promoting the Cartavio Selecto five year old aged rum and the Solera 12 year old. But Jim believed the one rum that would surely turn heads — that would truly amaze rum enthusiasts — was the 18 year old Ron Cartavio XO, a special aged blend created by Master Distiller Federico Schulz to celebrate the company’s 80th anniversary back in 2009.

One of Jim’s first major presentations was at the Miami Rum Festival and Trade Expo. Thousands of consumers and members of the trade tasted the rum that weekend in April, with excellent results.

In the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP) tasting competition, Ron Cartavio XO earned the Best In Class Gold Medal in the premium rum category. And Ron Cartavio XO also took a Best In Class Gold Medal in the Consumer Rum Jury awards.

“For a rum to win both the rum expert’s top award and the consumer jury’s top award was unprecedented,” said Jim. “These accolades and recognition — along with the great feedback we received from the people of Miami and the rum experts — reinforced our belief that Ron Cartavio XO is certainly one of the best rums in the world, even if few people knew about it yet. I could see I had a big job cut out for me.”

Parlaying on their recent success, Ekeko has begun opening up distribution for Ron Cartavio aged rum all over the United States, starting in Florida, Texas, California, New York and Illinois. They also added accessible silver and black expressions to their line of rums imported in the country.

Now, with more than 20 awards and greatly increased visibility, Ekeko will bring Ron Cartavio to the California Rum Festival in San Francisco in September. Festivities will continue with exotic cocktails and educated rum tastings at Longitude in Oakland, a bar that specializes in rum and cocktails.

To say that Jim Driscoll is optimistic about the success of Ron Cartavio aged rums is an understatement. “We expect to begin distributing Ron Cartavio in Georgia, the Carolinas and Washington state within the next few months.”

With undaunted entrepreneurial spirit, genuine passion and a love for these Peruvian discoveries, Ekeko is working hard to earn Ron Cartvio a coveted place on the menus of fine bars and restaurants, as well as the shelves of liquor stores across the country.

Additional information about Ekeko Wine and Spirits can be found at www.ekekowineandspirits.com

To stay abreast of developments in the world of rum, subscribe to Rob’s Rum Guide e-news.

Bruno Mars’ SelvaRey rum expands distribution

From the wilds of Panama, SelvaRey (King of the Jungle) rum is flexing it’s distribution muscle as this award-winning brand today announced its expansion into new territories across the USA.

SelvaRey rum expands - The King of the Jungle of Panamanian rums, Bruno Mars' SelvaRey brand has announced greatly expanded distribution across the United States.

Bruno Mars has announced expanded distribution of his acclaimed SelvaRey Rums, including the aged white rum and cacao flavored rum made by Don Pancho in Panama.

Both the aged white rum and the delicious cacao flavored spirit drew critical acclaim from rum experts, reviewers and the public at the Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo last year.

Initially distributed in California and Nevada, SelvaRey has grown its network of distributors to include Southern Wine and Spirits in Florida, Hawaii and South Carolina; Savannah Distributing in Georgia; Fedway Associates in New Jersey; Empire Merchants in New York; Lipman Brothers in Tennessee; and Washington Wholesale in the nation’s capital. Availability in Ontario, Canada is scheduled for the fall season.

Selvarey White Rum offers a medium viscosity, suggesting it’s been well aged (up to five years) and filtered to remove most of the color. The nose reveals subtle hints of vanilla and mineral water with soft sweetness, buttered toast and a touch of fresh cane. The palate finds a delicate balance of grassy cane, vanilla and spices leading to a medium dry finish. At 80 proof, this is an exceptional white rum for fine cocktails and plays well as a sipper. SelvaRey’s aged white rum was a 2015 Double Gold Medal Winner and named best white rum by TheFiftyBest.com.

The cacao rum is a well-crafted five year old Bourbon cask blend, one of the few flavored rums that drinks like a sipping rum. On the rocks, Selvarey Cacao rum opens up with accentuated tones of creamy vanilla and toasted oak under semi-sweet chocolate. SelvaRey Cacao rum won the 2014 Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York City and the Gold Medal at the 2014 Miami RumFest.

In addition, the rums were rated 94 and 95 respectively by The Tasting Panel Magazine, the highest ratings ever in their categories in the magazine’s history.

Selvarey rums are created by Master Distiller Don Pancho Fernandez in Panama using his antique copper stills. The rums are bottled and imported by Pacific Plate Spirits of California. The suggested list price of the white rum is $24.99 for the 750ml bottle; $28.99 for the cacao.

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Blue Water Ultra Premium rums from Dominican Republic

Blue Water Beverage Brands recently launched their first two products at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo — Blue Water Ultra Premium white rum and Blue Water Caribbean Gold Premium Spiced Rum.

Blue Water Ultra Premium - Made in the Dominican Republic, two new spirits from Blue Water Rum include premium white and gold spiced expressions.

Blue Water Rum has recently released a premium white rum and an aged gold spiced rum, made in the Dominican Republic, which won a 2015 Gold RumXP Award.

The spiced rum took home a Gold Award in the 2015 RumXP international Tasting Competition.

The new brand, based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, expects to deliver a full line of white, spiced, aged, flavored and specialty rums in the near future.

Behind this private label brand is boutique rum manufacturer Oliver & Oliver International of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Originally from Cuba, Omar Vicente Ramirez is the Maestro Ronero who supervises the development of Blue Water’s rums. Blue Water chose Omar for his decades of experience and worldly knowledge of rum.

Blue Water Ultra Premium Rum is a white 40% ABV distilled using a column still, then rested in a stainless steel vat leaving its color as pure as the blue waters of the Caribbean.

On the nose we find light alcohol with accents of sweet marshmallow and creamy vanilla over mineral water with vague cinnamon and aguardiente notes. On the palate, a very smooth entry builds up warmth in mid-palate, offering slightly sweet creamy vanilla marshmallow before building some warmth with echoes of fresh cane in the finish.

Blue Water Caribbean Gold Rum is a multi award-winning spiced rum of 35% ABV. This rum gets its color from aging in American Oak barrels for three years before being delicately infused with fruits and spices. It makes great cocktail and also plays well as a sipper on the rocks.

On the nose, we find zesty orange slice candy with baking spice leading to a hint of egg custard over sweet vanilla, with a suggestion of orange blossom water and double-bubble gum. A whiff of cinnamon is detected. On the palate, a medium sweet entry with bright orange and vanilla over baking spices dries out mid-palate, leading to an astringent note of anise which balances the sweet component.

The signature cocktail they have created with the spiced rum is “96 degrees,” named after the 96 Degrees In The Shade song from world famous recording reggae artists Third World.

96 Degrees

  •     2 oz Blue Water Caribbean Gold Spiced Rum
  •     1 oz Old Jamaica Ginger Beer
  •     several slices of fresh cucumber

method: Shake the rum with the cucumber slices and ice. Strain in a highball glass with fresh ice, top with ginger beer. Garnish with cucumber.

Blue Water rums are presently available for purchase in St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies and Anguilla, British West Indies. Blue Water is expanding these brands into neighboring islands, including the exclusive and influential St. Barth’s, French West Indies and St. Kitts and Nevis. Blue Water intends to continue expanding these brands throughout the Caribbean Region and, ultimately, export them into the United States as early as 2016.

Brugal wins three Gold Medals at Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

On Tuesday, May 19, the Brugal brand of rum, an iconic spirit of the Dominican Republic, announced Brugal wins three Gold Medals from the RumXP International Tasting Competition held at the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

Brugal wins three Gold Medals - With three new RumXP gold medals, Brugal's fine line of rums from the Dominican Republic are gaining more respect and appreciation among professionals and consumers worldwide.

Brugal rum, the leading brand from the Dominican Republic, was awarded three new gold medals from the RumXP competition held at the recent Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

RumXP Gold Awards went to Brugal White Extra Dry in the white rum category, to Brugal Añejo in the gold rum category and to Brugal 1888 in the premium aged rum category. Brugal XV was also awarded a bronze medal from the Consumer Rum Jury at the same time.

The annual RumXP Tasting Competition forms part of the Rum Renaissance festival and is among the most prestigious events of its type in the world, bringing together an experienced panel of 12 rum judges who conducted blind taste tests to evaluate the finest cane spirits from every region, every style and every category of the rum world.

Assistant brand manager Sarah Knowles said: “Last year, at Rum Renaissance 2014, Brugal won the Ultra Premium Reserve Rum ‘Best In Class’ RumXP award for Brugal Papa Andres Family Reserve, starting an award trend.

“This year’s RumXP awards continue to add prestigious accolades for our other expressions, which are more readily accessible to a larger consumer base. Brugal has produced a family of high quality rums distilled, aged and bottled in the Dominican Republic since 1888. We are very excited to receive these RumXP acknowledgments and honoured to garner this respect from the rum community.”

With a current ad campaign promoting “Respeto!” Brugal certainly is gaining the respect of rum professionals and consumer worldwide. The company has been making fine rums in the Dominican Republic for more than 135 years. In 1920, the company’s first warehouses were built for the ageing of rum in oak barrels.

The company sells more than 80% of all rum in the Dominican Republic, is a leading brand in the Caribbean region and ranks one of the top selling rum brands in the United States. The Edrington Group took a majority stake in the brand in February, 2008.

Other notable Brugal luxury expressions include Siglo de Oro family reserve and Papa Andres Ultra Premium aged rum.

Plantation Rums score big at Miami Rum Festival

It has been another banner year for Plantation Rums, based in Cognac, France. The company announced today that their products were awarded four Gold and four Best In Category awards from the International Rum Expert Panel judges at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

Plantation Rums - Plantation Award Winning Rums

Master Blender Alexandre Gabriel announced his Plantation Rum expressions recently won the most RumXP awards at the international tasting competition held at the Miami Rum Festival.

This is the third year in a row that Plantation Rums have received the most awards in this prestigious international RumXP blind tasting competition.

Receiving RumXP Best In Category awards were Plantation Original Dark, Plantation Original Dark Overproof, Plantation Jamaica 2001 and Plantation Pineapple. RumXP Gold awards went to Plantation 3 Stars White, Plantation 20th Anniversary XO, Plantation 5 Year Old Grande Reserve and Plantation Guyana 2005.

Consumer Rum Jury Impressed

The Plantation 20th Anniversary XO aged rum also won a Gold award from the new Consumer Rum Jury in their premiere tasting competition, comprised of 20 well qualified rum enthusiast consumers, collectors and experienced rum travelers, offering the perspective of the active and engaged rum buyer in their evaluations.

Plantation Rums have a unique identity

This unique brand of rums is produced in France, headed by Alexandre Gabriel, Proprietor of Maison Ferrand and Master Blender for Plantation Rum. For the past two decades, Alexandre has been traveling to the Caribbean’s best distilleries to acquire rums that he believes will benefit from further aging in Cognac barrels at his facility in France.

Each rum in the Plantation Rum portfolio is made according to its country’s traditional technique and expresses the rum characteristics and flavor of its country of origin. While the rums are born in the traditional fashion, produced in rum distilleries and aged in barrels in the tropical sun, they undergo a unique aging process not used by any other rum producer in the industry — the rums are plucked from their country of origin at just the right moment and brought to the Ferrand estate in France where they are refined for several more months in small French oak Ferrand barrels. These special Plantation Rums that make up the portfolio are either blends or vintages and come from Barbados, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Trinidad.

Some of these special vintage bottles are considered by rum enthusiasts around the world to be highly collectable items.

“It’s such an honor that our rums would be considered among the very best in the world by this esteemed group of RumXP judges,” said Alexandre Gabriel. “The Plantation brand is enjoying steady growth in North America thanks to our team of seasoned professionals, a growing appreciation of our expanding range of unique aged rums and this type of consistent recognition by leading rum experts of the world.”

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