Haiti flies high

David Longfield reports on the inaugural Drinks International Rum Challenge, featuring rums from Latin America and the Caribbean
27 August, 2008
Page 32 
The rum category is currently experiencing something of a boom, led by the golden and barrel-aged rums. The range of styles on show in the Drinks International Rum Challenge provided varied fare for the judging panel.

Chairman of judges Ian Burrell, London restaurant owner and rum ambassador, said the medal-winning rums had to come through some demanding judging criteria. "It was a deliberate policy," he said. "There are a lot of products out there winning unjustifiable awards."

So the winners of the six Gold, three Silver and three Bronze medals in the Rum Challenge performed particularly well, and the eight Commended rums would no doubt have been fighting for the medals in other competitions.

With the pace of competition hotting up in the category, Burrell expects to see a greater variety of producers topping the medal tables in future.

"Over the coming years you are likely to see more producers winning the top awards," he said. "Producers will begin to release more reserve rums as they look to get a foothold in the market - especially among the premium products."