Rum of the Year 2020 – Shortlist

Rum of the Year 2020 - Shortlist by the fat rum pirateRum of the Year 2020 – Shortlist. Now, we all know 2020 didn’t really go as we all might have expected. I’m not going to go too much into that here. I think we are all probably sick of hearing about it. I know I am.

Instead, we’ll just focus on all the great rum that came available in 2020. Luckily I haven’t been impacted by COVID-19 or the impending finalisation of Brexit, so far at least, in terms of available rum purchases. Some releases have been delayed but despite this, we still have a damned good shortlist for Rum of the Year 2020.

In terms of selection I’ve only picked one rum per producer. So any producers lucky (or skilled) enough to have been awarded more than one 5 star review this year, only get the one “entry”. Seems fair enough to me.

For the shortlist I will be picking 5 of my favourite rums from 2020. The order they are listed here, is the order I reviewed them in. It’s not a countdown, that will come in a few days time, when I select the Rum of the Year.

Rum of the Year 2020 – Shortlist

Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateDamoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995

The first rum to come from one of the powerhouses of the Rhum Agricole world. It’s not the first Rhum Agricole to make the list though, as it is actually made from a blend of 50% molasses rum and 50% cane juice rhum. Or so I have been told…….accounts seem to vary!

Either way regardless of how it has been produced it is a truly exceptional r(h)um. Sadly now very difficult to find. Though at auction it doesn’t seem to command the type of crazy prices we are seeing some bottles fetch.

Worthy Park Single Estate 2006 Aged 12 Years rum review by the fat rum pirateWorthy Park Single Estate Aged 12 Years

Here we have a release from a Jamaican distillery and a former winner of Rum of the Year back in 2018. Unlike that rum, this is an 100% distillery release and not a co-bottling. This really should have been part of the round up for 2019 but I just didn’t get around to reviewing it until March this year. Lazy bastard.

A great example of how far distilleries in the Caribbean have come in the last few years in terms of bottling their own products for export. Rather than relying on sales of “bulk” and less expensive rum for the domestic market.

This highlights the wonderful Worthy Park style of Jamaican rum making.

This review was followed closely by another Jamaican Distillery bottling………

https://thefatrumpirate.com/duncan-taylor-single-cask-rum-jamaica-long-pond-aged-15-years-cask-65Hampden Great House Distillery Edition

Another example of a great Jamaican rum producer going “solo” and producing their own distillery bottling. Hampden Estate have long been more famous for the various Independently bottled rums which have been sold, mostly in Europe.

This was only their third aged rum bottling ever and what a banger it was. A 2020 edition is now also available with a different blend. Definitely a rum that is on my “to buy” list.

Foursquare Rum Distillery DetenteFoursquare Rum Distillery Détente by the fat rum pirate

It wouldn’t be Rum of the Year without something from Foursquare would it? This was one of 3 rums which I awarded 5 star ratings to in 2020. The others being Nobiliary and 2008.

I also know that this particular bottling is a bit divisive. I like what Richard Seale is trying to achieve with this bottling though. It’s very much the evolution of the inaugural Rum of the Year winner Port Cask Finish.

So, what is the final bottling up for Rum of the Year 2020? Well, I’ll reveal that shortly but I must put in a couple of “honourable mentions” for 5 star rums which haven’t appeared in the Top 5 this year.

First up was a sublime bottling from Saint Lucia Distillers, which was released in January 2020 in partnership with The Whisky Exchange – Chairman’s Reserve Master’s Selection 2006 13 Year Old The Whisky Exchange Exclusive. A really excellent 50/50 split of John Dore and Vendome Pot Still rum. Sadly with only 286 bottles available it sold out pretty fast in early 2020.

Another Single Cask bottling, which was sadly only really available in the US was Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Fiji 2004. This is hands down the best rum I have had from the South Pacific Distillery and really showcases how excellent Fijian rum can be.

So lets see what the fifth and final selection for the shortlist is……….

Black Tot 50th Annivesary Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBlack Tot 50th Anniversary Rum

The Black Tot brand originally began with a blended bottling of various Royal Navy flagons which were part of the Navy ration given to sailors pre its abolition on 31st July 1970.

This blend is not intended as a re-creation of those particular rums. More of a modern interpretation. It uses predominantly Guyanese rum (around 75%) of the blend.

It’s fair to say that this exceeded all my expectations and is a truly remarkable bit of blending from Oliver Chilton – Head Blender of Black Tot Rum.

So there we have the shortlist for Rum of the Year 2020 here at thefatrumpirate.com. The winner will be published in a few days time so keep your eyes peeled for that.

 

 

 

 

 

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