Dedicated to the Understanding and Appreciation of the Noble Spirit - Rum

2010 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition

The 2010 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition was held August 5-6, 2010
prior to the San Francisco Bay Rum Festival which took place at

   adjacent to the   
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The judges on Aug 5, 2010 (back row) Dominic Venegas, Forrest Cokely, Martin Cate, Warren Bobrow, Jacqueline Gréaux, Chris Braun, Shirley Copeland, Frank Jakubka
(front row) Camper English, Robin Levinthal, Dave Russell tasting conducted by Edward Hamilton
photo courtesty Shirley Copeland - Served Raw

Press Release - 2010 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition

Flavored Rum - Bronze Medal
Rogue Hazelnut
Flavored Rum - Silver Medal
Chairman's Spiced
The Lash
Clarke's Court Spicy Rum
Flavored Rum - Gold Medal
Castries Rum Creme
Cruzan 9
Santa Teresa Araku Ron y Coffee Liqueur
Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Liqueur
White Rum - Bronze
Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum
White Rum - Silver
Clarke's Court Pure White Rum
Denizen White
Santa Teresa Ron Claro
White Rum - Gold
Don Q Cristal
Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 year old White
Cachaça - Gold Medal
Cabana Cachaça
Agricole - Silver Medal
La Mauny 1749 Agricole Rum
Sugar Cane Juice Spirits - Silver
Agua Libre Dark Rum
Sugar Cane Juice Spirits - Gold
Agua Libre 'Fresh Squeezed' Rum
Dark Rum - Bronze
Maui Dark Rum
Gold Miner Dark Rum
Dark Rum - Silver
Montanya Oro
Rogue Dark
Dark Rum - Gold
Ron Abuelo Añejo
Don Q Añejo
Flor de Caña 4 year old Gold
Mount Gay Refined Eclipse Barbados Rum
Santa Teresa Gran Reserva
Aged Rum - Bronze
Clarke's Court Old Grog
Aged Rum - Silver
Chairman's Reserve
Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7 year old
Santa Teresa Selecto
Aged Rum - Gold
Ron Abuelo 7 Años Reserva Superior
Zaya Gran Reserva Rum
Premium Rum - Bronze
Clarke's Court #37
Premium Rum - Silver
Cruzan Single Barrel
Mount Gay Extra Old Barbados Rum
Santa Teresa 1796
Premium Rum - Gold
Ron Abuelo 12 Años
Botran Añejo Reserva
Don Q Gran Añejo
Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection
In this blind tasting, judges are served samples of each rum in uniform tasting glasses. Each spirit is then judged on four qualities: aroma, initial taste, body and finish, by a panel of between 15 and 30 industry professionals including distillers, mixologists and spirits journalists who have demonstrated their expertise with sugar cane spirits. Each judge awards points for each of these attributes then gives an overall score of 0 to 100 points for each spirit. The scores for all of the spirits in each category are divided by the highest score.
Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals are awarded according to the natural grouping of the results.

While there are other respected tasting competitions in the US and Europe, this is a unique opportunity for Sugar Cane Spirits to be judged on their own merit by people who know sugar cane spirits and share their passion with the industy.

Judges include industry professionals including writers, consultants, distillers, importers and distributors. Here is a partial list of confirmed judges for this competition.

Warren Bobrow - Morristown, New Jersey - Warren's writing has appeared in Saveur, Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, Served Raw and is the Editor of the Wild River Review where he writes the Wild Table Column. He whetted his appetite for rum, rhum and ron aboard his family's yacht in the Caribbean.
Chris Braun - California - During the 20 years Chris spent living and working in France he developed an appreciation for fine libations. He has judged the Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition the last three years and works as a wine and spirits broker.
Martin Cate - San Francisco, California - 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.
Forrest Cokely - Costa Mesa, California - Forrest is a member of the Ministry of Rum Connoisseur's Cabinet, blogs at A drink with Forrest and is employed at Hi Time Wine Cellars where he writes the spirits pages of their monthly newsletter. He is also an accomplished cocktail designer.
Shirley Copeland - San Francisco, California - co-founder and managing editor of Served Raw, an online magazine focused on off-the-radar food and drink experiences. Shirley is passionate about crafting original cocktail recipes and hunting down new, rare spirit discoveries.
Camper English - San Francisco, California - Camper is a cocktail and spirits writer who is the Contributing Spirits Editor for 7x7 Magazine and a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle and Tasting Panel Magazine. His work has been published on three continents. Alcademics
John Gibbons - Milwaukee, Wisconsin - John Gibbons is an independent spirit ambassador, cocktail enthusiast, and rum collector. He has worked with Bryant's Cocktail Lounge, Bittercube and Great Lakes Distillery. His rum collection has grown to nearly 100 unique rums from all over the world.
Jacqueline Gréaux - San Quentin, California - 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.
Frank Jakubka - Livermore, California - For more than 20 years Frank has studied and crafted his knowledge of wine and spirits in the winemaking, hospitality, and sales industry. He enjoys teaching, judging and creating food, wine and spirits and holds the prestigious CSW and WSET A/C certifications.
Robin Levinthal - Washington - Robin began her adult life studying art through which she discovered her passion for food. Working as a chef in the Caribbean led her to discover rum. A Top Chef contestant, Robin is currently working as a consultant to the food and drink industry. Crave Food
Jordan Mackay - San Francisco, California - Jordan has written about wines and spirits for a number of magazines including the New York Times, 7 x 7 and a host of other media.
Dave Russell - California - sailor and co-founder of RnD Rum Reviews.
Dominic Venegas - San Francisco, California - Dominic is a consultant to the beverage industry who honed his knowledge at the illustrious John Walker and Co retail spirits store.

Sugar Cane Spirits are judged for their aroma, initial taste, body and finish.

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.

2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition - Miami 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

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