John Watling’s Distillery’s Single Barrel rum was awarded a 2019 double gold medal at the International Rum Conference. The distillery’s Pale Rum was awarded a silver medal.
John Watling’s Single Barrel rum was awarded the highest prize or “double gold medal” in the Special Harvest/Single Cask category. Single Barrel is an exceptionally smooth rum with full-bodied pot-still character. Aged for six years in once-used Bourbon barrels, it is bottled directly from the barrel at a cask strength of 66.2 percent or 132.4° proof.
During the six-year aging process, John Watling’s Single Barrel lost more than five percent per year or 25 percent of the distillate in the barrel due to evaporation, known as the “Angel’s Share”. In colder climates, spirit losses amount to an average of two percent per year. Therefore, the aging process in The Bahamas is accelerated by 2.5 times; John Watling’s Single Barrel is equivalent in age to a 15-year-old Bourbon, Scotch and/or Cognac.
Each barrel is unique and hand-selected by John Watling’s master blender for its taste and aroma, which opens up over time. John Watling’s Single Barrel is the quintessential sipping rum.
John Watling’s Distillery earned a silver medal in the White Rum category for its Pale Rum, which is exceptionally smooth with light-bodied pot-still character. Aged for two years in once-used Bourbon barrels at the Buena Vista Estate in Downtown, Nassau, John Watling’s Pale Rum is hand-blended in small batches using more than 175 years of Spanish, French and English rum-making know-how. The result is a rum with a slightly woody character with herbal notes, hints of citrus and a cane aroma. Its taste is smooth and its finish, dry.
John Watling’s Pale Rum is enjoyed in the finest cocktails and is perfect in mojitos, hand-shaken daiquirís, Hemingway’s and bossa novas.
A five-judge panel conducted blind tastings and evaluated each of the rums for visual, olfactory, taste and general impressions. Both John Watling’s Single Barrel rum and Pale Rum competed in the Molasses or Cane Derivatives Classification. All John Watling’s rums are crafted from hand-cut, choice sugarcane molasses sourced from different British Caribbean islands.
The International Rum Conference, formerly known as the Congreso del Ron, and which was held in Madrid, was moved to Coral Gables, Florida, in its eighth year, to be closer to the core rum-manufacturing territories.
It is co-directed by industry veterans Javier Herrera and Jorge Galbis. The conference was held September 25-28 at the Biltmore Hotel. It consisted of a two-day industry enrichment seminar, two-day grand tasting and a tasting competition.
Since 2012, the International Rum Conference – Rum Tasting Competition has selected and awarded the best sugarcane-based products from around the world. The competition is organized by the International Rum Conference LLC based in Coral Gables, Florida, with the objective to increase awareness and to assist consumers and the trade to distinguish how to enjoy the best rums from around the world.
At the conference, John Watling’s Distillery, located at 1789 Buena Vista Estate Ltd., partnered with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, which continues to educate consumers on how, despite Hurricane Dorian’s impact on Grand Bahama and Abaco, The Bahamas continues to welcome visitors to its many islands. The International Rum Conference also provided the National Association of The Bahamas (NAB) with a booth for Hurricane Dorian relief. NAB is a voluntary organization working for a better Bahamas.