As Caribbean rum week wraps up, the world’s rums duked it out to see what bottlings and brands would be crowned the best in the world.
This year, agricole rhum and molasses rums competed for top honors. Rhum Neisson 21 90th Anniversary Edition championed the rum category.
Seven rum experts from across the world judged a spread of rums and new releases. Applicants were limited down to 59 finalist rums across eight categories including VSOP, Hors d’age and several premium categories. Winners of each of the eight categories face off for the honor of being crowned the world’s best rum.
“This was the most impressive field of rums we have ever had,” said Alexander Britell, co-founder of the Caribbean Rum Awards St Barth. “And once again, Martinique’s Rhum Neisson took home the top honors.”
This is the second year in a row the Martinique rum brand has been crowned world champion and the second year Flor de Cana has come second to Rhum Neisson. This year, the aged rhum agricola beat out Nicaragua’s Flor de Cana V Generaciones 30-Year expression. (Which, notably, is still an incredible rum and well worth your attention — it took home Double Gold in the Uber Premium Molasses Rum Category.)
Let’s dig deeper into the double gold and gold winners of 2022. In the rhum blanc agricole category (under 50 degrees) Rhum La Favorite 50 won double gold while Rhum HSE 50 took home gold. In the over 50 degrees rhum agricole category, Montebello “Cuvee the Bolokos” was awarded double gold and Rhum JM55 gold.
Moving into older age statements, Rhum HSE VSOP and Rhum Neisson VSOP won double gold and gold respectively in the VSOP category. In the XO statement, Rhum HSE XO and Rhum Severin XO were awarded double gold and gold.
In Hors d’age (a category “beyond age”, often showing age statements of up to 100 years), Reimonenq 9 ans took home a double gold standing while Trois Rivieres triple Millesime stood at gold.
In the ultra-premium category (rums retailing at over $400), Nilsson 21 and JM Signature were recognized as double gold and gold Uber Agricola rums. Holmes Cay Belize 2005 was awarded double gold and Ron Diplomatico 2005 gold Premium Molasses rums.
Finally, in the uber-premium molasses category, Flor de Cana 30 was awarded double gold and Havana Club Union gold.
The competition concluded a week of rum-centered festivities on the island of St Barth, including master classes with rum icons, the two-day Tradwine Rum Expo in Gustavia, a gala dinner with rum cocktail pairings, and ti-punch parties. Final judging took place at Christopher Davis’ Rhum Room St Barth.
“After 2 years of various Covid-19 travel interruptions our festival has triumphantly returned with 25 Rum Events over 4 days with over 20 different brands being represented from the largest to the the newest distilleries in the Caribbean,” said Christopher Davis, proprietor of the Rhum Room St Barth and co-founder of the Caribbean Rum Awards St Barth. “The support from the St Barthelemy Collectivité this year allowed us to have a major rhum festival and next year will attract even more brands and visitors to experience this kind of Rum/Rhum/Ron experience that is not available anywhere else in the Caribbean.”