Rum of the Year 2019 – Shortlist

Rum of the Year 2019 by the fat rum pirate reviewRum of the Year 2019 – Shortlist

It doesn’t seem all that long ago since I was sitting down to write last years shortlist. A hectic mix of small children, the day job and keeping this blog going have certainly kept me busy. I even someone managed to make a footballing comeback in the over 40’s 11 a side as well.

I thought like last year I would compile a shortlist of the rums which I enjoyed the most over the past year. All of the rums were awarded 5 stars in the original review.

As usual there will be only one overall winner. I find when reviewers or websites similar to mine produce multiple awards it all just gets a bit too much. I think one gong is more than enough when I’ve “only” reviewed around 100 rums/cachacas over the past year.

All reviews I have conducted during 2019 are eligible for entry for the award. Rums which have been around for years – are unlikely to be noted as the overall winner. That’s my own fault for not getting around to them sooner. I want to try and keep things pretty recent. Also any single cask or very limited rums are usually discounted. Ideally any Rum of the Year should be available for you to buy after reading my thoughts. This might not always be possible as the popularity of certain rums, even when thousands of bottles are released, can lead to them selling out very fast. I think we probably know which Barbados rum brand and Italian Independent bottlers collaborations we are talking about……

So lets have a look at those 5 star reviews of 2019 and refresh ourselves on some of the exceptional rums we have had available in 2019.

Please note these are in no particular order other than the date I reviewed them. (That just made the list easier and quicker to compile for me – I’ve currently got a 18 month year old throwing a remote control at me and a 4 year old asking me why Thomas didn’t go to her Birthday Party)

So lets start at the beginning

The first 5 star review of the year took place in February. The rum concerned I only had sample of. It was absolutely brilliant to get the chance to try it – huge thanks to Lance Surujbally of The Lone Caner for gifting me it.

Step forward the legendary Velier Skeldon 1973 Full Proof Old Demerara Rum and Rum of the Year 2019 by the fat rum pirate reviewwow what a rum it was! 32 years of ageing perfection.

Due to the fact this rum is as rare as hens teeth now it is extremely unlikely it will win ROTY but it’s nice to reminisce over such bottlings.

So lets move on and see what rum or cachaca was next to get the 5 star treatment.

It took till the end of April for the next 5 star review to appear. This time we were of to Jamaica (via Scotland where it was aged) for a 35 Year Old Kill Devil release from Hampden Estate. As you can see, this wasn’t your run of the mill Kill DKill Devil Hampden Distillery Jamaica Aged 35 Years Rum review by the fat rum pirateevil release and they really upgraded the presentation. They also upgraded the price and this was only really for those with deep pockets at £700 for a bottle. It is still available to it stays in the running despite only being 198 bottles being available.

It seems I may have been a touch stingy with my marks during 2019 as there are a lot of 4.5 star reviews but not all that many 5 star ones.

Still lets move on and see if I gave anything else 5 stars last year. We haven’t as yet heard from some of the usual suspects.

Next we have a bottling which was part of The Whisky Exchange’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations during 2019. This was a Private Label Bottling from Foursquare Rum Distillery. A blend of pot and column distilled rum which had a double maturation in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. Some people found it a little too heavy on the Sherry but Hereditas Foursquare Rum Distillery rum review by the fat rum pirateI thought/think it’s fantastic! Foursquare Rum Distillery Hereditas.

The review of Hereditas came at the end of June. So we are halfway through the year and we only have three contender’s for the Rum of the Year crown.

Did the second half of the year get any better?

Next up we have a kind of “updated” version of a previous ROTY winner in the shape of Foursquare Rum Distillery 2007. Like the previous winner the 2004, the 2007 is a blend of Pot and Column distilled rum aged in ex-bourbon casks. No secondary maturations or any other fussing around. Just quality Single Blended rum.Foursquare Rum Distillery 2007 Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

So what do we have next? Well Foursquare had a few more releases up there sleeve in 2019. How did I find those – did they also get a 5 star review?

Let’s keep moving and find out.

Oddly enough we have only one further entry that got a 5 star review this year. Leaving us with a shortlist of just 5 rums. I think I had 10 last year.

Step forward Pusser’s Rum Company with their Pusser’s Rum 50th Anniversary Rum Blend. A more aged version of their standard Gunpowder Proof this, almost quite literally blew my socks off. Probably the best example of a Navy Style rum I have tried to date. Excellent stuff and a great way to celebrate the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Black Tot Day on 31st July 2020. Truly Up Spirits!

So there we have the Rum of the Year 2019 – Shortlist at

I’ve got to say I am quite surprised to note which rums I didn’t give the full 5 stars to. We are missing the likes of Foursquare Rum Distillery Patrimonio, Velier’s Tiger Shark and some pretty epic Independent bottlings from the likes of The Duchess, Kill Devil, That Boutique-y Rum Company and BB&R.

It’s also interesting to note that last years winner Worthy Park are not included in this list. That may be partly my “fault”. I’ve got their official 12 Year Old release requested for Christmas. So it may just be a timing issue on my part that they haven’t been able to be entered this year. That said I did enjoy their Boutique-y Rum release – even though the distillery wasn’t disclosed……

So was 2019 not as good a year as 2018? Well it seems I gave less 5 star reviews but I noticed a lot of 4 and 4.5 star reviews. I’ve certainly enjoyed a lot of the rum and cachaca I have tried.

Result to follow shortly………..please let me know your Rum of the Year 2019.



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8 comments on “Rum of the Year 2019 – Shortlist

  1. Have been very impressed with the Cadenhead releases over the past few years.
    My Rum of the Year go’s to their Venezuela 14yo Cask Strength Series.

  2. To echo what someone else said below, thank you for another year of great reviews. I really rely on bloggers like you and the Lone Caner et al when it comes to choosing rum. As for my favourite rum of the year it’s hard to go past the Baker Williams cask strength from Mudgee in central western NSW. I have no idea how it, and all the other Australian rums taking over my bookcase, stack up against the Foursquares etc of this world and to be honest it’s not something I dwell on. Maybe tomorrow’s arrival of the Forsyths 2006/2017 WPM will change all that.

  3. Never actually tried any pussers, I am curious about the 50th anniversary release, but since its near Christmas and the wife and child have bled me dry I’m only allowing myself 1 bottle and at the cheaper end of the scale. It comes down to the Pussers or FS sagacity. Decisions decisions…….

  4. I really want to try the Pusser’s 50th Anniversary, but unfortunately the three online retailers that have it don’t ship internationally. I hope it becomes more widely available. Pusser’s Gunpowder is one of my personal favorites.

    I liked Tiger Shark, but not as much as the first in the series.

    My personal rum of the year is Clairin Le Roche. It changes profile every time I drink it. Sometimes, it tastes like burnt plastic, sometimes beef jerky, sometimes barbecue corn chips.

  5. Thank you very much for this blog, I learn a lot from it, as my tastes seem to align with yours. This was my first year of rum exploring, and you have led me to some amazing purchases and many hours of joy. Happy holidays to you and your family, please keep sharing your rum expertise for years to come!
    I am not keeping up yet with rum releases, as it is not really easy (or even possible) here in Russia, but for my first rum year (release year aside) I would name two clear outliers, two rums that leave me in awe: TCRL Fiji 2014 and Hamden Overproof. My first Fousquare ECS (2005) is on the way now, and I feel it might shake me too!

    • Thank You very much for your kind words!

  6. The first 4-5 times that I tried the Foursquare Rum Distillery Patrimonio I thought it wasn’t very special or very interesting, definitely not worth the price, but now after 4-5 months I find it to be the best rum of the year. Maybe it just needed some air or maybe it was me who needed time 😉 or maybe both, but I also find this behaviour on other Foursquare releases, they grow. Anyone else with similar experiences?

    • I can’t comment on Foursquare rums but I quite often find a rum needs a bit of air in the bottle for it to settle down. Fat Rum Pirate referred above to some people finding the Hereditas too heavy on the sherry. I bought an Australian rum this year that was aged in sherry casks and the first couple of times I had it it tasted & smelled more like sherry than rum but once about an inch or so of air got into the bottle the sherry wafted off leaving behind a delicious rum.

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