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Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Oct 27

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016

With 2016 being the 10th annual UK RumFest and a landmark year for the “world’s oldest and most famous Rum festival”, Ian Burrell and the Rum Experience team decided to bring back the Golden Rum Barrel Awards, sponsored this year by Green Engineering and with it I was honoured to be asked to be involved in this year’s judging panel.

So imagine my surprise to learn that not only was I one of the collective of judges for the first time, but that Rum.Charlosa was also one of the five nominees in the category for the Best UK Rum Website 2016. Now I remember sitting at the 2013 Golden Rum Barrel Awards, which also happened to be the last awards ceremony, watching A Mountain of Crushed Ice receive that year’s Rum Blogger of the Year award and saying to RumwiththeMrs that I’d be over the moon, if I was just shortlisted to be a nominee.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Best UK Rum Website Nominees

Now, while I’ve been running this site for a number of years, I’d be lying if I tried to suggest that I’d been particularly prolific or even steady in putting out content of late, either on the site itself or over social media. However, I do try to keep abreast of my fellow bloggers and put out stuff were I can and express myself through my photography.

So I sat down with RumwiththeMrs and we voted accordingly, while trying to maintain a degree of impartiality by putting ourselves last, in our own category. So, bearing in mind the excellent company that we were keeping, with the other nominees:

I for one was content to know that we’d been nominated and that we’d simply have the opportunity to enjoy the evening, while mingling with the likes of Appleton Estate’s Joy Spence, Foursquare Rum’s Richard Seale, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Martin & Rebecca Cate of the Smuggler’s Cove over a 3 course meal with rum.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 - RumwiththeMrs with Appleton Estate's Joy Spence

As it happens, Rumbustious Times and The Fat Rum Pirate were unfortunately unable to attend the awards ceremony, but we did get to sit on the same table as our other friends, the Rum Diaries Blog and The Floating Rum Shack, along with the Brand Consultant for Spirits Elite and Bacardi’s UK Brand Ambassador Metinee Kongsrivilai. So all in all a good night as far as I was concerned.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Winners of Best UK Rum Website Award

Photo Courtesy of the Floating Rum Shack

So it’s fair to say that I wasn’t expecting what happened next when they announced the winner of the Best UK Rum Website 2016.

We won… And to top that, I was even presented with the award by the lovely Joy Spence.

Rum heaven… I’m still in shock several days later as I write this

Now the only problem with attending an awards ceremony, that you’ve been nominated in, but with no expectation of winning, is that you rarely practice any kind of speech. So you can only hope that you don’t make a fool of yourself when you do have to talk. As such I kept mine short – at least that seemed to go down well…

What wasn’t so great though in hindsight, was that I forgot to thank my lovely Wife for all her support and patience over the years with this hobby of mine. Therefore, I think it only fitting that I say a huge thank you to my RumwiththeMrs and what better way for a blogger to say it, than via a website available for everyone (of responsible drinking age) to see.

Despite forgetting to thank her though, RumwiththeMrs made it quite clear that she was proud as rum punch of the achievement- she shouted it from the top of Facebook. Thank you my Wife 😀

I’d also like to thank my fellow nominees for their graciousness and genuine congratulations – that’s among the reasons why I consider them such excellent people to know and spend time with as friends.

Lastly, I’d also like to thank both Ian Burrell for being such an amazing representative for rum and for giving us not only the UK RumFest, but also the Golden Rum Barrel Awards and also the entire judging panel for their votes. We’re aware it was a close run thing, but between which nominees we were unable to ascertain. And as corny as it might sound, simply being nominated made us all winners in my mind.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Best UK Rum Website Award

The full list of category nominees and the respective winners for the 2016 Golden Rum Barrel Awards are:

Most Influential Rum Blender over the last 10 years
Joy Spence (Appleton Rums, Jamaica) – Winner
Alexandre Gabriel (Plantation Rum, France)
Juan Gavito Sanchez (Bacardi, México)
Tito Cordero (Diplomático Rum, Venezuela)
Nestor Ortega (Santa Teresa, Venezuela)

Distillery Ambassador over past 10 years 
John Georges (Angostura Distillery, Trinidad) – Winner
Jose Sanchez Gavito (Bacardi, Mexico)
Joy Spence (Appleton Estate, Jamaica)
Richard Seale (Foursquare Distillery, Barbados)
Roberto Serralles (Serralles Distillery, Puerto Rico)

Most Influential Rum bar in the UK over past 10 years 
Trailer Happiness (London) – Winner
Mahiki (London)
Mojo’s (Leeds)
Mojo’s (Manchester)
The Liars Club, Manchester

International Rum Brand Ambassador 2016 
Alexx Mouzouris (Don Q Rum) – Winner
Daniyel Jones (Angostura Rum)
Dickie Cullimore (Bacardi Rum)
Meimi Sanchez (Havana Club)
Miguel Smith (Mount Gay Rum)

UK Rum Brand Ambassador 2016 
George Frost (Duppy Share) – Winner
Jon Lister (Diplomatico Rum)
Jonathan Almonte (Botran Rum)
Metinee Kongsrivilai (Bacardi Rum portfolio)
Sean Duprey (House of Angostura)

Rum Bar Team of the year 2016 
Mahiki, London – Winner
Trailer Happiness, London
The Merchant House, London
Rum & Sugar, London
The Liars Club, Manchester

Best UK Rum Web Site 2016
Rum Charlosa – Winner
Rumbustious Times
Rum Diaries Blog
The Fat Rum Pirate

Best New Rum Brand in the UK 2016
Foursquare 2006 Single Blended Rum – Winner
Don Q Signature release 2005
Nine Leaves Rum Angel’s Half French Oak Cask
Velier Hampden Jamaica 2010
Wild Tiger Rum
Foursquare 11 year Zinfandel Cask

Rum Influencer of the Year 2016
Luca Gargano (Velier Rums, and Ambassador of Pure rums) – Winner
Federico Hernandez (Midwest & California Rum Fests)
Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove voted Best bar in USA)
Richard Seale (Foursquare Distillery)
Jeff Beachbum Berry (Tiki Historian, Author and Latitude 29 Bar owner)

Rum Menu of the Year 2016
Cubana (Sheffield) – Winner
Rum & Sugar (London)
Rum Kitchen (London)
The Merchant House (London)

Boutique RumFest Brand of the Year
Nine Leaves – Japan – Winner

Consumer’s Favourite Rum
Diplomatico rums – Venezuela – Winner

And last but not least Ian Burrell was himself presented with an engraved glass hip flask by Richard Seale, in celebration of all that he has done for the category of rum. I believe that the engraved message read as “To the great ambassador and an even better friend”. It was a wonderfully fitting end to a great night.











Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2013 Oct 09

The Rum Experience RumFest


Saturday 12th 2013, The May Fair Hotel

RumFest 2011 - Tasting Glasses
Returning for a fourth year, the Golden Rum Barrel Awards recognises exquisite, stand-out rums and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the rum industry over the last year. Winners will be carefully selected by Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell and a panel of experts, with a special RumRatings Award for Best Rum at UK RumFest voted for by the public at the RumRatings website. The awards form part of UK RumFest’s intimate after party, where the public and trade professionals can keep the rum flowing with Havana Club and Don Q serving up delicious cocktails, mouth-watering canapés will be offered for all helping to soak up the rum fuelled day and music played out at the stunning five star May Fair Hotel, within the heart of London.


Boutique Rum of the Year sponsored Imbibe Magazine

Rum Experience Hall of Fame Award

Rum Distillery of the Year

Master Blender of the Year sponsored by Green Engineering

Rum Blogger of the Year sponsored by Don Q Rum

Best New Rum (UK) Award for Best Rum at the Show (as voted by the general public at

Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador comments, “This year’s Golden Rum Barrel Awards takes on a new exciting turn opening its doors to a wider and wanting audience who will witness awards given to those making huge waves the industry. We have carefully selected individuals and brands who are at the top of their game and work endlessly to promote their rum brand. It also happens to be the perfect way to continue the party on after Saturday RumFest celebrations.”

Returning to the UK’s capital this October, the world famous UK RumFest takes place on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October 2013 taking each visitor on a voyage of rum discovery at London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre. The seventh annual UK RumFest showcases over 400 of the rarest and most exquisite rums from across the globe, as well as cocktail demonstrations, intimate seminars and masterclasses hosted by industry aficionados. The delectable Tropical Food Market will feature mouthwatering food from all over the world, plus live music and main stage presentations creating an incredible two days of rum infused fun. This year UK RumFest presents for the first time the Connoisseur’s Cove area giving the discerning drinker the opportunity to delve further into rum’s rich culture and sip, savour and discover some of the rarest rums on the market. Limited tickets are available with standard tickets priced at £25 plus booking fee or the Connoisseur’s Cove tickets priced at £45 plus booking fee, all available with more information from the UK RumFest website.