Nearshore Americas

Jamaica Comes Out on Top as Caribbean Rum Producers Hit Sweet Spot

The Caribbean is the world’s top rum-producing region according to The Rum & Cachaça Masters competition, with Jamaica’s Worthy Park Estate taking top spot with its Rum-Bar White Overproof Rum.

Judges from the competition, which is run by The Global Spirit Masters, noted the winning rum’s distinct “tropical fruit” and “pronounced grassy and vegetal” notes commonly referred to as Jamaican funk. Rum-Bar White Overproof Rum is a blend of three pot still distilled rums and packs a punch at 63.5% ABV.

The tasting took place at Vinegar Yard in London, UK, where five panels of judges from across the media, alcohol and hospitality industries gathered. The 220 spirit expressions were broken into 24 separate categories by age, price and type.

Rum-Bar White Overproof Rum scooped the prize of Rum & Cachaça Taste Master 2022 with judge Nicola Carruthers, deputy chief at international spirits trade magazine The Spirit Business describing the tipple as having a “lovely and long” palate with “nice hints of coconut.”

Other notable entrants include Gold medal-winning Takamaka Rum Overproof from the Seychelles, and Plantation Gran Añejo by Maison Ferrand, which is distilled in Guatemala and Belize.

The majority of the world’s rums are produced in the Caribbean, though the Philippines, an outsourcing giant, and Korea, are also major producers. 

A factor within the rum production of some Caribbean nation is their sugarcane production, a fading but still important agricultural activity.

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In 2020, Jamaica produced 519,100 tonnes of sugarcane, while renowned rum manufacturer Cuba has produced on average 1.4 million metric tons of raw sugar annually over the last five years. This is down from a high of 8 million tons in 1989, according to Reuters. This year, Cuba is predicted to have its worst sugar season ever as an inability to financial irrigation and maintain equipment due to US sanctions have taken their toll.

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