It began in 2012 with an idea: to lift up rum. The aim was to celebrate the glory of rum, to honor the greatest rums just as wines and spirits and so many other categories are honored.
Rum Journal’s Rum Awards is now in its sixth year, having grown into one of the world’s most important and influential measures in the rum category.
And every year, the judging by the Rum Journal special panel of judges gets more difficult, as rum continues to grow both in diversity and quality.
The most striking advancement of late has been the rum world’s renewed focus on the art of barrel aging, from special finishes to long-term aging.
This year’s final judging, performed at the terrific Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar in Miami, was the product of a year’s worth of tasting and research that ultimately evaluated more than 200 rums from the Caribbean and around the world.
As always, the Rum Awards is led by the awards for Rum of the Year and Rhum Agricole of the Year, along with 10 other categories across the world of rum.
Congratulations to all the winners.
Rum of the Year: Angostura No. 1, Trinidad
The premium aged rum category gets almost exponentially more competitive each year, but this year an old favorite returned to take back the Rum Awards crown. Trinidad’s Angostura No. 1 series, which won Rum of the Year with its first edition back in 2014, simply wowed this year’s panel of judges.
The latest expression of Angostura No. 1 is the result of aging Trinidadian rum for 10 years in American oak casks and then another six in French oak casks that formerly held cognac. The result is a masterwork, a rum that reaches the highest achievement in the rum world – an exquisite roundness and smoothness without sacrificing personality. Congratulations to the House of Angostura. It’s also a sign of the increasing importance of the art of barrel aging — and barrel diversity — a theme that we’ll see across this year’s awards.
Runners Up: Papa’s Pilar Sherry Finish (Gold Medal) (Florida), Facundo Exquisito, Puerto Rico (Silver Medal), St Lucia Distillers 1931 (Bronze Medal).