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The Best Rums In The World, According To The International Wine & Spirits Competition 2021

Best Rums - Martinique

The International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) 2021 has revealed its picks for the best rums in the world. A total of eight rums were awarded Outstanding Gold medals, the competition’s highest rating.

Over the years, Barbados and Martinique have turned into the world’s top rum producers. At this year’s competition, Foursquare Distillery and, in turn Barbados, dominated, picking up five Outstanding Gold medals. With this year’s results, the Barbados-born distillery only adds to its reputation as the world’s finest rum distillery.

Martinique, however, didn’t let Barbados hog all the glory, as its Depaz Distillery’s VSOP Rum snagged the competition’s top rum rating, a 99, and won the Rum Trophy 2021. Also from Martinique, Campari Group’s Trois Rivieeres Rhum Blanc Agricole took home an Outstanding Gold.

Thirty more rums were awarded Gold medals during the competition, making for a total 38 truly outstanding offerings tasted over the course of IWSC 2021. As for which of the world’s best rums is best for you? That’s a question only you can answer.

Founded in 1969 by Anton Massel, the IWSC is an annual wine and spirits competition that has grown to become the largest such competition in the world. Spirits are evaluated on a 100-point scale and awards are given out for Gold Outstanding (98-100 points), Gold (95-97 points), Silver (90-94 points). and Bronze (85-89 points). Over the course of the event, more than 250 judges, drawn from all over the world, evaluate thousands of wines and spirits across 1,500 different categories.

Here are the eight best rums in the world according to the International Wine & Spirits Competition 2021:

Elixir Distillers – Black Tot 50th Anniversary Rum – Guyana (98 Points)

“A playful composition of flavour characters opens with candied fruit, candy floss, lemon and pear drop hints. This gives way to classic rum elements of pineapple, melon and chilli spice. A deliciously fun rum with a serious side.”

R L Seale & Company Limited – Foursquare Detente – Barbados (98 Points)

“Very well executed with a decent layering of burnt sugar, caramelised banana and a little toasted almond-all weighted expertly with some serious fruit at the finish. This is quite an exceptional rum. Absolutely delicious.”

R L Seale & Company Limited – Foursquare Redoutable – Barbados (98 Points)

“Dried lemon and grapefruit hints combine with heady wood aromas on the nose. The palate is explosive, with opulent notes of vanilla, raisin and woodsmoke. Ridiculously sumptuous, this is an absolute powerhouse of a rum that is quite simply, outstanding.”

R L Seale & Company Limited – Foursquare Sassafras – Barbados (98 Points)

“Kola nut, ginger, cinnamon and clove aromas emerge alongside wood polish and prune. The palate is smooth with a fabulous leathery, spicy character. A rich, powerful and very beautiful rum.”

R L Seale & Company Limited – Foursquare Shibboleth Barbados (98 Points)

“An approachable style which showcases plenty of roasted coffee and delicious chocolate, sprinkled with a touch of nuttiness. Very easy to sip, this is a good, solid drinking rum.”

R L Seale & Company Limited – Real Mccoy 12 Limited Edition – Barbados (98 Points)

“The nose opens with dried fruit and herbs before vanilla, woodsmoke and a touch of nuttiness evolve. The palate is bold, spicy and rich in dried tropical fruit notes and florals. A powerhouse rum with a fantastic mouthfeel; utterly divine.”

Campari Group – Trois Rivieeres Rhum Blanc Agricole – Martinique (98 Points)

“Exquisite green aromas fill the nose with grass and white pepper notes overlaying a herbal, vegetal character in the classic Agricole style. Unbelievably smooth, with little hints of peach, pineapple and agave ending in a citrus and pepper finish. Outstanding.” 

Depaz Distillery – VSOP Rum – Martinique (99 Points)

“Walnut skin and nuts, myriad spice, dried tropical fruit, aromatic wood and complex candy sweetness too. Well balanced and persistent with a full, deep and flavoursome palate. Funky and fabulous.”

Complete list of Gold and Gold Outstanding winners:

NameProducerCategoryScoreMedalCountry
VSOP RumDepaz DistillerySpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> 6-10 YO (Declared)99Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021France (Martinique)
Black Tot 50th Anniversary RumElixir DistillersSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> No Age Statement98Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021Guyana
Foursquare DetenteR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 6-10 YO (Declared)98Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021Barbados
Foursquare RedoutableR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)98Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021Barbados
Foursquare SassafrasR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)98Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021Barbados
Foursquare ShibbolethR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)98Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021Barbados
Real Mccoy 12 Limited EditionR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)98Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021Barbados
Trois Rivieeres Rhum Blanc AgricoleCampari GroupSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> No Age Statement98Spirit Gold Outstanding 2021Martinique
Gold Miner Barrel Reserve 10 YO RumDesert Diamond DistillerySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Column Still -> 6-10 YO (Declared)97Spirit Gold 2021USA
Trois Rivières – Triple Millesime 1999-2000-2010 RumBBSSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> 6-10 YO (Declared)97Spirit Gold 2021France
10 Year OldR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 6-10 YO (Declared)96Spirit Gold 2021Barbados
Admiral Rodney HMS Royal Oak RumSt Lucia DistillersSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Column Still -> No Age Statement96Spirit Gold 2021Saint Lucia
Clairin Sajous RumSpirit of HaitiSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Pot Still -> Unaged96Spirit Gold 2021Haiti
Flood RumBeenleigh Artisan DistillerySpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> No Age Statement96Spirit Gold 2021Australia
Maison La Mauny VSOP RumBBSSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> Up to 5 YO (Declared)96Spirit Gold 2021Martinique
Master Blender Collection: The Port Cask ExpressionMount GaySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> No Age Statement96Spirit Gold 2021Barbados
Mount Gay XOMount GaySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> No Age Statement96Spirit Gold 2021Barbados
Mutiny Spiced RumRooshineSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Flavoured/Spiced/Infused/Botanical -> No Age Statement96Spirit Gold 2021Dominican Republic
Rosemullion Chocolate RumRosemullion DistillerySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Flavoured/Spiced/Infused/Botanical -> Up to 5 YO (Declared)96Spirit Gold 2021England
9 Triple 3 RumFour Monkey DistillerySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> No Age Statement95Spirit Gold 2021USA
Caribbean White RumTen To OneSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> Unaged95Spirit Gold 2021Jamaica
Clément Rare Cask Tokaje Finish 3 YO RhumHéritiers H. ClémentSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> Up to 5 YO (Declared)95Spirit Gold 2021Martinique
Cuban Spiced RumHavana Club InternationalSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Flavoured/Spiced/Infused/Botanical -> No Age Statement95Spirit Gold 2021Cuba
Cuvée Castelmore BlancHéritiers MadkaudSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> Unaged95Spirit Gold 2021Martinique
Doorly’s 12 Year Old RumR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)95Spirit Gold 2021Barbados
Eminence – Blended Aged White RumHattiers RumSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> Up to 5 YO (Declared)95Spirit Gold 2021England
Foursquare 2009R L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)95Spirit Gold 2021Barbados
Gold Miner Barrel Reserve RumDesert Diamond DistillerySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Column Still -> 6-10 YO (Declared)95Spirit Gold 2021USA
Kiss Detroit Rock RumBrands For Fans SwedenSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)95Spirit Gold 2021Dominican Republic
Mount Gay Black BarrelMount GaySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> No Age Statement95Spirit Gold 2021Barbados
Old J Spiced RumSignature BrandsSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Flavoured/Spiced/Infused/Botanical -> Unaged95Spirit Gold 2021Dominican Republic
Real Mccoy 12 Year OldR L Seale & Company LimitedSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> 11-15 YO (Declared)95Spirit Gold 2021Barbados
Rhum Agricole Blanc L’espritDistillerie NeissonSpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> No Age Statement95Spirit Gold 2021Martinique
Rhum Ambre St DominiqueSVS La MartiniquaiseSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Column Still -> No Age Statement95Spirit Gold 2021France
Rum Fire White Overproof RumHampden EstateSpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Pot Still -> Unaged95Spirit Gold 2021Jamaica
Vieux Plantation RumDepaz DistillerySpirit -> Rum -> Agricole/Cane Sugar -> Column Still -> No Age Statement95Spirit Gold 2021France
XO: The Peat Smoke ExpressionMount GaySpirit -> Rum -> Molasses -> Mix of Column & Pot Still -> No Age Statement95Spirit Gold 2021Barbados

For a complete list of all medalists, head over to the IWSC’s official website.

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