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Old 03-03-2008, 01:26 AM   #1
tym2relax
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Default Tasting competition question

This may be a silly question, so I'll ask anyway

When looking at the results of rum tasting competitions I see the various categories based on the aging years. Each has it's own winner and best of category. My question - is there ever a best of show or the like?

I wondered if the winner of say the 9-15 year could have been better than the winner of the +15 year or are more aged rums always best?
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:30 AM   #2
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I am not aware of a best of show award for rum. Rums are broken into categories so as to create some reasonable range of competition. Rum has such a wide range of variety that it deserves numerous categories. A single winner would be easier with single malts.

The oldest rum is not always best. I'm not sure judges could agree on a best overall award. A top award might be divided among many products with no one rum receiving a dominant share of votes. However, my experience is that judges generally look forward to the latter portions of the competition when many of the best rums are tasted.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tym2relax View Post

I wondered if the winner of say the 9-15 year could have been better than the winner of the +15 year or are more aged rums always best?
I've tasted rums which were in the younger age categories that were some of the best rums on the shelf.

My first drink of the day is usually a rum that hasn't been aged at all. Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc for example was awarded White Spirit of the Year by Paul Pacult and Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2005.

Like Robert pointed out, the public, and judges, tend to look for the oldest spirits when some of the best aren't always the oldest.

I'm looking into giving an award for Best New Spirit, which would be a huge misnomer since it would be like a new-to-car which has been around for some time, but it's new to me or the judges.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:23 PM   #4
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Also, in these competitions I see the winners of bronze, silver and gold but aren't there a number of rums that entered but did not receive any award? No list of all rums entering a competition?
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
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Best in Show would be the Beagle.

Each breed of dog is judged against a standard for that particular breed. Beagles are judged against a theoretical perfect beagle, and poodles are judged against a theoretical perfect poodle. The dog that comes closest to its' own breed standard is awarded best-in-show.

Beagles are never judged against the standard for poodles.

Awarding a single best in show for rums would be problematic. A 2-year aged rum is not a distinct breed, rather it aspires to taste as good as a 5-year aged rum. So it would be difficult to claim a such thing as a perfect 2-year old rum. There is really no easy way to level the playing field so that a 2-year old rum can be fairly evaluated against a 5 year old rum.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:37 PM   #6
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In the 2007 International Cane Spirits Festival Competition the winner of the 15+ category was Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Year Old and Santa Teresa 1796. If they were tasted alongside the 9-15 category winner, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, could there be a preference for the Diplomatico?

I understand the need for the categories. As a customer, not a judge, I wonder if there are stand out rums in a competition that could have been more favorable to more aged rums. That's all.

And my Shiba Inu would beat both the Beagle and the Poodle

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Old 03-03-2008, 11:16 PM   #7
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And my Shiba Inu would beat both the Beagle and the Poodle
Actually I was referring to the recent Westminster winner.

And with that I will relocate the dog discussion off topic.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:45 AM   #8
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Over the years one of the measures by which I've rated rums is how fast they are consumed on my boat. Most of the time, the younger rums are more readily consumed than some of the oldest. Not that they are better but they are more approachable when it's time to have a glass of rum.

But try to explain that to a distiller who enters a 20 year old rum in a competition.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tym2relax View Post
In the 2007 International Cane Spirits Festival Competition the winner of the 15+ category was Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Year Old and Santa Teresa 1796.
Your example makes a simple point. Roughly half the judges in that competition preferred the sweet, smooth, easy-to-drink Zacapa, while others preferred the complex, rich, long finish of the Santa Teresa. Some of these judges might certainly have found the Diplomatico RE as good as or better than the Zacapa 23 if they were evaluated in the same category.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertBurr View Post
Your example makes a simple point. Roughly half the judges in that competition preferred the sweet, smooth, easy-to-drink Zacapa, while others preferred the complex, rich, long finish of the Santa Teresa. Some of these judges might certainly have found the Diplomatico RE as good as or better than the Zacapa 23 if they were evaluated in the same category.
Thanks Robert for that insight. I appreciate it.
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