SpiritsHandpicked by IWSC

14 award-winning rums

Rum is riding high, with appreciation for the sugar-cane spirit continuing to rocket all over the world. Here are 14 of the best rums to try from the IWSC 2022

Words by IWSC judges

rum cocktail with sugar cane, lemon and lime
Handpicked by IWSC

Rum: a spirit that comes in a range of styles and plays a key part in some of the world’s most adored drinks. We’re talking the Mojito, the Daiquiri, and the Piña Colada. But don’t stop there: the spirit continues to gain more followers who are interested in sipping and savouring the drink in its pure, neat form. And there’s an increasing array of exceptional rums from all over the world to try, with Gold-and-Silver medal winners in abundance at the IWSC 2022.

Wherever it’s made, sugar cane remains the key base ingredient, be that in the form of molasses or sugar-cane juice (the latter used to make rhum agricole). Molasses can be made into almost all styles of rum, from white to golden, dark and spiced – and below we’ve gathered up some of the best rum made from molasses, with 14 bottles that stole the show at this year’s IWSC.

a collection of rum casks resting

There was Plantation’s ‘heavenly’ Jamaica 2007, a rum ‘brimming with aromas of salted caramel and mango, leading to a rich display of vanilla and coconut spice’ – this particular spirit was distilled and matured at Jamaica’s Clarendon before being transported to France to rest in ex-Cognac casks. Another standout bottling was Sugar House’s overproof, a white rum from Scotland delivering a bouquet of cherries, vanilla and coconut. And Equiano was another star in the show, a rum from Barbados that judges declared to be ‘rich, rounded and balanced’ and with a particularly fruity finish.

If you’re looking for more of that fruity, Christmas cake flavour from the spirit, consult our list on the best spiced rums. But for top examples of white and dark rums made from molasses from this year’s IWSC, read on.

a daiquiri cocktail in coupe glass with lime garnish

HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE SPIRITS?

We run a tightly structured, rigorous spirits tasting process. That means that each spirit sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC spirit judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the drinks industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.

HOW DO WE SCORE THESE SPIRITS?

Only the best spirits sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, spirits have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.

MORE FROM CLUB OENOLOGIQUE

Club O is an exclusive community and the go-to platform for wine and spirit lovers. Our flagship Club Oenologique magazine offers even more insights for enthusiasts and collectors. Based in London, our editorial team tells informative, inspirational stories from the world of wine and spirits, gastronomy and travel, as well as covering recommendations and the latest trends in drink. You can take a look at our Explained series, for instance, where we’re tackling grape varieties, regions and styles of wine and spirits. Alternatively, visit our Ask the Sommelier section, where experts answer your wine-related questions.

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