Fabio Rossi owned Rum Nation International’s Rum Nation Guatemala XO was crowned Rum of the Year at the 2021 London Spirits Competition. It also took home the award of Best in Show by Country which solidified its position as the best spirit to come from Italian shores. In a competition that saw entries from over 70 countries, spirits were judged on their quality, value and packaging.
The entries at the annual London Spirits Competition are judged based on what people would most like to drink, pick from a shelf at the liquor store or order during their bar visit. The spirits were tasted by spirit experts, spirit buyers and bartenders from some of the top establishments in the UK like Coupette, TGI Fridays, the World’s Best Bar for 2020- Connaught Bar and more.
The 2021 edition of the London Spirits Competition had a stellar line-up of judges that included Giorgio Bargiani, head mixologist at The Connaught Bar, Daniel Susko, Head of Bars at Annabel’s and The Birley Club and Marie Cécile Kasmi, senior bartender at Lyaness. The judges have a distinguished career in the drinks business and know just the right spirit that people would like to drink.
Rum Nation Guatemala XO with this prestigious award is now a clear choice for people to grab as a drink, on its own or in a cocktail. The Rum Nation Guatemala XO has a mahogany appearance with a delicate but rich nose. There are aromas of ripe dates, vanilla and chocolate. The palate contains a whole array of fruits including raisins, dates, dried plums, with notes of vanilla and cola. A touch of toasted nuts, and a refreshing hint of candied orange, too. A sweet and warm finish with the winey and raisiny note of the sherry casks becoming particularly evident, but also with a very noticeable note of sweet liquorice.
Rum Nation Internationals Journey
The journey started in 1990 during founder Fabio Rossi’s visit to Scotland for commercial purposes. He chanced upon old barrels of British Guyana and Jamaican rums stacked together. The tasting experience had such an impact on him that although he had no prior knowledge about rum he set out to create a brand.
With Silvano Samaroli’s help, a close associate and whiskey broker, the business path and the insights to lean on were drawn. Upon gaining a vast knowledge of the different styles of rum, the bottling process was started. In 1999 Rum Nation was born after a patient development process that lasted close to nine years.
The Origins and the Names
With the selection of rums coming from different countries, the onus was on naming them right. The Caribbean, Central and Latin American regions were all close to heart because of Fabio Rossi’s extensive travel to these countries. Most of these countries also produced great rum which naturally added another dimension to the story. The naming process started with a postal stamp being placed on the label of each bottle, stamps of the country where the rum originated.
Today, the bottles and labels have been restyled but the graphical embellishment continues how it began. Among the countries that have a rum dedicated to their style from Rum Nation include British Guyana, Barbados, Panama, Jamaica and Guatemala. All the rums have specifically been created with the rum-making style of those countries in mind. Proud representatives of the slow savouring drink of the world.
Rum Nation produces five collections of rums from different regions and islands in the Central Americas.
The Barbados Collection includes the vintages from Barbados XO to the Barbados 8-year-old. Rum Nation International’s Barbados collection is characterized by its well-balanced and expertly aged character. The balance is achieved with a blend of pot and column distilled rum, which slants more towards the column than the pot.
The Demerara Collection: A name dedicated to the rums originating from Guyana, the Demerara collection from Rum Nation International is very similar in style to the Jamaican rum but is distinguished by its smoky almost burnt flavour. A clean and light style of rum.
Rum Nation International, Source Instagram
The Jamaica Collection: Jamaican rums are known for their ageing process. This comes down to the country’s year-round toasty climate that helps speed up the process. Apart from the obvious difference in taste, Jamaica is also credited with putting rum on the global drinks map.
The Panama Collection: Panamanian rum is best described as the magic that happens because of the confluence between the cool breezes of the Pacific Ocean and the heat of the Caribbean country. The evolution of the rum as it ages is brilliant and that is exactly what pulls people towards Rum Nation International’s Panama selection.
The Peruano Collection: Produced from sugarcane grown in the North Peruvian region of Lambayeque, the Peruano collection from Rum Nation International consists of four rum vintages, all eight years old.
Matured through the years with research, rigorous selection and careful tastings from all the great rum producing countries in the world, Rum Nation International sits at the pinnacle of the drinks business with the Rum of the Year award.