2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition

Miami Beach, Florida May 14-15, 2009


The 2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition was held at the Florida Room at the Delano Hotel on Miami Beach May 14 - 15th, just before the inagural Rum Renaissance event where the Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition was billed as the centerpiece of the event. This was an opportunity for sugar cane spirits to be judged in a format which has been refined since Edward Hamilton conducted the first International Sugar Cane Spirits Tasting Competition in Ybor City in 2006.
Flavored Rum - Bronze Medal
Bacardi Dragonberry
Don Q Mojito
White Rum - Bronze Medal
Aguardiente Cristal
Gold Rum - Bronze Medal
Bacardi Gold Rum
Dark Rum - Bronze Medal
San Miguel Rum
Flavored Rum - Silver Medal
Bacardi Limón
Don Q Coco
Don Q Limón
Don Q Pasión
Steele Rum
White Rum - Silver Medal
Cruzan Light Aged Rum
Don Q Cristal
Dark Rum - Silver Medal
Maui Dark Rum
Gold Rum - Silver Medal
Don Q Gold
Montanya Oro
Aged Rum - Silver Medal
Don Q Añejo
Ron Viejo de Caldas 3 Yrs
Tommy Bahama Golden Sun
Flor de Cana Rum 7 year old
Premium Rum - Silver Medal
Chairman's Reserve
Flavored Rum - Gold Medal
Castries Rum Cream
Rogue Hazelnut Spiced Rum
Hacienda Saruro
MaDoudou Vanille
Rum Jumbie
Rum Jumbie Coconut Splash
Seven Tiki Spiced Rum
White Rum - Gold Medal
Bacardi Superior
Diplomatico Blanco
El Dorado 3 Year Old Cask Aged White Rum
Montanya Platino
Temptryst Applewood Light
Temptryst Hickory Light
Temptryst Peachwood Light
Tommy Bahama White Sand
Agricole - Gold Medal
Batiste Rhum Agricole Blanc
Cachaça - Gold Medal
Boca Loca Cachaça
Cabana Cachaça
D J Cachaça
Dark Rum - Gold Medal
Bacardi Select Rum
Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
Rogue Dark Rum
Aged Rum - Gold Medal
Abuelo 7 year old
El Dorado 5 Year Old Cask Aged Rum
Flor de Cana Rum Gold 4 year old
Castro Rum
Cubaney 8 Años Solera Reserva
Premium Rum - Gold Medal
Abuelo 12 year old
Admiral Rodney
Bacardi 8
Barceló Gran Añejo Rum
Barceló Imperial Rum
Don Q Gran Añejo
Ron Viejo de Caldas 8 Yrs
Bacardi Reserva Limitada
Cubaney 15 Años Solera Reserva
Cruzan Single Barrel
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
Dos Maderas PX
Mount Gay Extra Old Barbados Rum
Opthimus 25 Años Summa Cum Laude
St. Nicholas Abbey 10 Years Old
Vizcaya Cask 21 Rum
Zaya

Here is a list of the 2009 judges.

Steve Armstrong - New Orleans, Louisiana United States - Steve has worked in the alcoholic beverage industry with Dixie Brewing Company and Don Lorenzo rums and currently imports Rum Jumbie and Ron Abuelo rums.
Paul Artrip - Virginia United States - rum connisseur and collector, food & beverage writer for regional Parrot Head clubs and his website The Rum Daddy.
Jose Ballesteros - Venezuela - Principal of Distilerias Unidas. Jose has been in the sugar cane spirits business most of his life and brings this experience to the judges panel. 
Martin Cate - San Francisco, California United States - Creator of Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco, CA, Martin is one of the leading figures in the modern Tiki bar scene. He is presently consulting for rum oriented bars and restaurants across the US.
Jacqueline Gréaux - San Quentin, California United States - Founder of the St Barts Spirits Company and importer of Batiste Rhum Agricole. Growing up on French St Barts, Jacquie grew up around fine food and drink and inherited a passion for rum from her grandfather.
Guy Grant - St Petersburg, Florida United States - Reseach machinist for the College of Marine Science (University of South Florida). Guy maintains a 1600 ton Ocean Master USCG license and collects all Rums, especially those from the Caribbean Islands.
Marian Iglesias - Miami, Florida United States - Marian is a marketing guru, a prominent strategist, and a rum lover. She heads KIWI Brand Consultants, a boutique branding firm credited with the successful positioning and launch of Zacapa rum in the US market.
Hank Koestner - Orlando, Florida United States - Hank is a cigar and rum lover who has accumulated more than 100 rums and loves the challenge of pairing them with cigars. As a frequent contributor to the Ministry of Rum Forums, Hank's insightful contributions are always appreciated.
John Lermayer - Miami Beach, Florida United States - Chief mixologist for the Morgans Hotel Group. John won the Bar Chef challenge at the 2008 Tales Of The Cocktail in New Orleans. He was recently voted one of the Ten Best Hotel Bartenders In The World by Travel & Leisure Magazine.
Roger Patteson - Oregon United States - Roger is a manager in the high tech industry, a rum connoisseur, and co-founder of RnD Rum Reviews.
Matt Robold - Orange County, California United States - Matt is a frequent contributor to the Ministry of Rum Forums who has demonstrated a good understanding of this varied spirit through his writing at RumDood.com: A Dood In The Life.
Dave Russell - California United States - sailor and co-founder of RnD Rum Reviews.
Joesph Schwartz - New York United States - Managing partner of Little Branch, Joesph has been a shining star in the New York cocktail scene for a number of years and continues to express his passion for the well-crafted cocktail in one of the leading cocktail bars in the US.
Eric Seed - Edina, Minnesota United States - Haus Alpenz, specialty spirits and wine importer. Haus Alpenz imports a line of distinctive line of classic cocktail and alpine spirits including Creme de Violette, Batavia Arrack and Velvet Falernum.
Arturo Sighinolfi - Miami, Florida United States - Arturo is the Southern Wine and Spirits mixologist and has judged Ministry of Rum Tasting Competitions in the past. His expertise with a wide range of spirits has earned him a reputation in the industry.

While there are other respected tasting competitions in the US and Europe, this is an opportunity for Sugar Cane Spirits to be judged on their own merit and in classes recognized by the Sugar Cane Spirits industry.

Sugar Cane Spirits were judged for their aroma, initial taste, body and finish on a scale of 1 - 25 for each attribute. Judges then added their scores for these attributes and gave a final rating which was used to calculate awards.

In order to limit palate fatigue the tasting competition is divided into four sessions with one break during each session. During the breaks the judges are encouraged to discuss anything other than the spirits they are tasting during that session. At least 20 judges at each tasting session ensures that no one or two judges can influence the results and that each spirit is judged on its own merit.

None of the judges are compensated for their travel or accommodation expenses during the competition. There are no corporate sponsors for this competition. Edward Hamilton and the Ministry of Rum are solely responsible for the competition and the results.

2008 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition - New Orleans results

2007 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition - New Orleans results

2006 International Cane Spirits Tasting Competition - Ybor City results

Want to stay informed of the 2010 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition?