The Rum Barrel Awards 2022

Welcome to the first edition of The Rum Barrel Awards! For a while I was reluctant to make a sort of “rum of the year” post because it was already done by plenty of other people, but I decided I needed my own version so I had the idea to make it similar to a spirit competition format with categories – that way I can have some fun while pretending I’m a big deal.

There are 4 different categories for rums to win: best molasses rum, best cane juice rum, best white rum and best release of the year + a bonus category each year which will be chosen by me at the end of each year. The rums are “awarded” based on the score I’ve given when I reviewed them and if there’s a tie I will go by the “Flavour/taste” score, but if that’s also a draw I will just choose the one I personally prefer – don’t expect objectivity and fairness here.

The rums eligible for this must have been reviewed during the year in question, but don’t have to have been released the said year except for the “best release of the year” rum. Also rums can be present in multiple categories if their score allows it – for example an unaged cane juice rum can go in both “best cane juice” and “best white rum”.

The “best white rum” encompasses everything from unaged, aged & filtered to unaged to which aged rum was added – yes, I am categorising this by the colour in order to give more rums a chance.

Now let’s get started!

Best Molasses Rum 2022

Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve 2022

This is a multi-island limited edition blend from Elixir Distillers that is released every year since 2020 on the Black Tot Day. A homage brought to the termination of the daily navy tot on the 31st of July 1970. It contains rums from Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad as well as a perpetual blend that has been secondary aged in sherry casks.

Stills: pot still & column still;
Age: 2 to 30 years to undefined;
Casks: ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry;
ABV: 54.5%;
Flavour profie: tropical fruits, caramel, brown sugar and dusty old books;
Score: 93/100;
Full review: click here!

Best Cane Juice Rum 2022

Dram Mor Mauritius 7 Year Old – Secret Distillery

Dram Mor is a fairly new independent bottler from Scotland that deals with whisky and rum. This Dram Mor Mauritius is part of their Autumn 2020 Rum Release range and it seems like it’s sourced from Grays Distillery in Mauritius. This is a single cask with only 293 bottles available.

Still: column still;
Age: 7 years;
Casks: ex-Bourbon, ex-English whisky cask that previously held red wine;
ABV: 52.7%;
Flavour profile: orchard fruits, berries, pencil shavings and sandalwood;
Score: 90/100;
Full review: you should click here!

Best White Rum 2022

Hurricane Overproof Manx Rum

This rum is made on the Isle of Man at a small distillery called Outlier Distillery. It’s molasses based with 97% of the rum being unaged and the other 3% being rum aged in former Ardbeg casks and virgin oak for 2 years.

Still: pot still;
Age: 0 to 2 years;
Casks: ex-Islay whisky & virgin American oak;
ABV: 64%;
Flavour profile: vine leaves in brine, black olives, coconut and vanilla;
Score: 88/100;
Full review: seriously, click!

Best Rum Release Of The Year 2022

Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve 2022

Aaaaand the golden stave for the release of the year also goes to Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve 2022. It’s the only rum to have scored over 90 points this year so it’s very much deserved. This rum is complex, intense and layered with all it’s numerous components bringing a new dimension every time it’s sipped. The Master Blender, Oliver Chilton has really outdone himself with every release, so I’m looking forward to see how next year’s bottling will fare.

Stills: pot still & column still;
Age: 2 to 30 years to undefined;
Casks: ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry;
ABV: 54.5%;
Flavour profie: tropical fruits, caramel, brown sugar and dusty old books;
Score: 93/100;
Full review: come on, just click!

Bonus Category: Best UK Distilled Rum

Cotswolds Treacle Rum (2021 Batch)

Cotswolds Distillery is a whisky and gin focused distillery, but once in a while, more exactly in December of every year since 2020, they release a limited edition bottling of their own rum. They distilled the rum themselves and they aged it using former Cream Sherry barrels. This batch had only 800 bottles available.

Stills: pot still & column still;
Age: 2 to 3 years;
Cask: ex-Cream Sherry;
ABV: 51%;
Flavour profile: muscovado sugar, tobacco, maple syrup and black tea;
Score: 89/100;
Full review: maybe click?

Other Mentions:
Dram Mor Guyana 24 Year Old – Uitvlugt Distillery – 90/100
Hampden Estate Pagos Sherry Cask – 90/100
Foursquare Elysium – Private Cask Selection – The Whisky Exchange – 90/100

And so, this concludes The Rum Barrel Awards! The prize is a high five and maybe a pin so if any of the winners wants to claim them when they see me, then let me know. I have reviewed quite a few fantastic rums this year and I plan to do even more next one, just keep an eye out here and on my social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Many thanks to everyone following me and reading my opinions on rum, all the support was fabulous and greatly appreciated!

Rummy New Year to everyone!


Leave a Reply