Rum of the Year 2019 – Winner

Rum of the Year 2019 by the fat rum pirate reviewRum of the Year 2019 – Winner. No doubt the brands/producers shortlisted for this most prestigious award have been waiting with baited breath for this announcement. Winning this award must truly be the pinnacle of any rum producers career. After all you get absolutely nothing other than a pat on the back from me. Not even a fancy awards ceremony to ponce around at.

That said it doesn’t cost anything to enter this award. In fact you don’t actually get to choose whether you enter the award in the first place…….

It’s hard to believe that this is the 5th time I have sat down to write up Rum of the Year. For the first 3 years Foursquare Rum Distillery ran away with the crown and last year a collaboration between Worthy Park and Velier was crowned Rum of the Year.

This year the shortlist was down to 5 candidates. Not, I would say because I have had a “worse” year in terms of my rum journey. A lot of rums achieved 4.5 stars, so just missed out on possible selection for Rum of the Year. I still had a very enjoyable time reviewing all the rum and cachaca that came my way in 2019.

When I compiled my shortlist, I knew that at least two of the entries were definite outsiders. Not in terms of quality but in terms of the criteria I have used to select previous winners.

As a result it is unfortunate that I must discount the wonderful Velier Skeldon 1973 Full Proof Old Demerara Rum. Not, I must add due to any issues with the quality of the rum. The issue being is that it was released a long, long time ago and is no longer available unless you are willing to splash a good few thousand pounds on the secondary market. I think to name a rum – Rum of the Year around 10 years after it was released would be a touch pointless.Rum of the Year 2019 by the fat rum pirate review

The next rum which I discounted was for a similar reason. Whilst this rum is still available it is extremely limited and expensive. I would much prefer people who wish to take my recommendation for Rum of the Year go out and buy something affordable. Many people will baulk at a £700 price tag, regardless of how good the juice is. So I’m sorry Kill Devil/Hunter Laing but this year is not your year.  Out goes the 35 Year Old Kill Devil from Hampden Estate Jamaica.

So we are down to the last 3 contenders. This is where things begin to get very tricky.

All these rums are still available to buy. Admittedly they are all “limited” in one way or another. That said you should still be able to pick these up.

Pusser’s Rum has been a long standing favourite and near constant in my rum collection for a number of years. The new blend 15 Year Old which was released last in 2018 was a great addition/replacement to the range. Way better than the previous incarnation. At the London Rumfest I noticed an almost all black stubby Pusser’s bottle. I went over eager to try this new juice and/or to find out what it was.

Pusser's Rum 50th Anniversary Rum review by the fat rum pirateUnfortunately it was a plastic mock up bottle and no liquid was available to try. I did however learn that the bottle would be housing the Pusser’s Rum 50th Anniversary Rum Blend. This is an older version of their 54.5% ABV Gunpowder Blend. It’s a fantastic rum but it perhaps doesn’t sip quite as well as the other two remaining on the list. We really are splitting hairs now.

So we are down to the final 2 rums in the countdown. At this stage the only sure thing is that Foursquare Rum Distillery will be winning back their crown.

I’m torn and I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. One of these rums is a sure fire favourite. The other seemed to divide opinion a lot more.

Okay I’ll make that decision here is the final running order

5. Velier Skeldon 1973 Old Demerara Rum

4. Kill Devil Hampden Estate 35 Year Old

3. Pusser’s Rum 50th Anniversary Rum Blend

2. Foursquare Rum Distillery 2007

1. Foursquare Rum Distillery HereditasHereditas Foursquare Rum Distillery rum review by the fat rum pirate

In the end I opted for Hereditas because of the Sherry maturation. Which is the element which pretty much caused the split in opinion. I’ve not seen many people say Hereditas is bad but a lot would have preferred less Sherry.

Foursquare Rum Distillery 2007, is a fantastic rum there is no doubt about that but I feel Hereditas offers something slightly different.

I thought the Sherry element was just right and I found this to be ridiculously drinkable, even at the full ABV of 56%.

That being said do not think that this is Sherry heavy or a one trick pony. It is a far more complex and rewarding rum, than I think many people have given credit for.

As I said in the original review – Sweet but not Sweetened Rum and a worthy winner of Rum of the Year for 2019.

The crown is returned.




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