Rum competition wrapped in gold

More than 150 brands competed for recognition in the 3rd annual Polished Palate International Rum Festival in Tampa.

The entries, judged by a 10-judge panel over a 3-day period, covered rum, rhum and cachas├ža products.

This year’s event featured 15 cane-spirits categories. New to the competition were the grape-based spirits grappa and pisco, which were rated separately. All spirits were tasted in Riedel Rum Stemware and judged on appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and finish.

Jack Robertiello, co-host with event founder Dori Bryant, president of the Polished Palate, said, "Consumers are thirsting for more knowledge about rums and so events like the Polished Palate Rum Competition -- where writers, journalists, consultants, retailers and restaurateurs experienced in sampling the world’s best rums get a chance to rate them all together — is a giant step toward making the world of rum lovers better informed.”

The "best of category" winners:

White Rum: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver.
• Dark Rum: Temptryst Reserve.
• Rum Aged Up to 8 Years: Ron Barcelo Imperial.
• Rum Aged 9-15 Years: Tie between Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva and Pyrat XO Reserve.
• Rum Aged +15 Years: Tie between Ron Millionario Solera Reserva Especial and Ron Zacapa 23.
Rum Liqueurs & Creams: Tie between Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Liqueur and Santa Teresa Araku.
Overproof Rum: Pusser’s Standard.
Spiced Rum: Montecristo Spiced.
Aged Rhum: Tie between J.M. V.S.O.P. and Madras Deboussier Hors d’Age.
Flavored Rhum: Madras Orange Shrubb.
Rhum Liqueur: Madras Prune Liqueur.
Flavored Cacha├ža: Ypioca Red Fruit.

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