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Old 07-21-2008, 02:34 AM   #1
Bill
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Default 2008 Rum Tasting Competion

Read with great interest the results that were posted. Unfortunately the listing wasn't clear about who won what for what, just a general listing of the gold, silver and bronze winners.

I am, of course, interested in the devil of the details, and wondered, Ed, if you are going to publish a more specific listing? Tasting notes? And to me, one of the most interesting details would be what rums were competing in each category, as well as the winners in those categories.

I often learn more from which rums lost that from those that won; it also helps us put the winners in context, ie seeing what rums were competing vs which ones won.

Ed?


Thanx....
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:22 PM   #2
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I doubt you'll see any rum competition list the products that did not win. That's unusual. Listing awards by category is obvious and I hope we'll see that break-down.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:16 PM   #3
Bill
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Thanks Robert, I was not aware of that. But why is that?

Seems like it would be a rare opportunity to publish the scores of all the rums which would be very interesting. I'm sure there were plenty of high scores of fine rums that just missed the medals. Not to mention I understand there were a couple categories with few entries - an award in these would mean less than one with a lot of competition. I guess I'm used to fishing contests and sporting events where all the entrants and their weights, times, etc. are published as well as the winners.

Just curious...
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:32 PM   #4
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The rums were entered into categories which included flavored and spiced, cachaca, white rum, dark, aged, premium, agricole and overproof.

All of the categories were well represented with the exception of overproof and agricole and for those categories the judges were instructed to tell me what, if any, medal those spirits deserved.

With the exception of dark and aged, the entries should be fairly obvious. Since most rums don't carry an age statement it is next to impossible to divide all of the rums into neat little categories based on age, nor should they be.

In keeping with my experience that you shouldn't get hung up on the age of a rum, and that more than a few rum marketers want to overstate the age of their product. I use the categories stated above.

In the dark or aged category it is very rare for a distillery to say that their rum is dark but not aged. On the other hand if I make a category for dark rums aged less than 3 years, and another category aged between 3 and x years, I'm leaving myself open to criticism from the distiller that has a superb three year old rum who is now competing with rums aged up to x years.

Then consider the white rum category where a three year old white rum is competing against an unaged white rum. If I delineate more categories in the dark rum categories why not more categories in the white rum category?

Ultimately, all of the distillers would like to have about 12 categories so that their rum would be at the top of their own category. The maker of a five and sight year old rum won't ever enter both of his products in this competition since they would be competing against each other.

I expect some people to question the results which is why I make the process as transparent as possible. In the three years that I've been hosting these competitions I haven't heard any serious complaint from the people who enter the spirits in this competition and most distillers agree that this is the most fair competition in the industry. And while not every judge agrees with the consensus of the group, overall the judges feel that this methodology is as fair as it can be for the spirits, the producers and the judges themselves. It's not easy tasting 35 spirits in a day, even with breaks to cleanse your palate and lunch, but in the end it is the best we, as a group, can do and we are proud of our work.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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Ed you've answered all the questions I didn't ask, but not the one I did. Or did you? Am I to understand that all the rums took home some kind of medal? In that case all the rums competing were listed. If not, I remain curious as to why all the competitors and scores are not listed?

As it seems the listing of just the medal winners (but not the losers) must certainly be appreciated by the distillers who pay to enter. If they won, it makes a great quote. If they lost no one knows. As transparent as this might be for the entrants and judges, it's rather opaque for the rest the rest of us who learn very little of what the judges thought of all the rums tasted or how they scored - information that would be very interesting and useful.

I'd love to see a competition where the selection, testing and reporting of scores is completely reported and divorced from the distillers. Think this will ever happen?

Oh, and not to be a dummy, but what separates the dark, aged and premium categories? Thanks....
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:25 PM   #6
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Bill, as to the idea of listing "losers", as you put it.

Having been a judge of wine and other produce in the course of my career I cannot think of one judging event that wished to list the "losers" with names and scores. Are you concerned with who came in last at the baked pie judging at the Ohio State Fair?

Tasting Competitions are a snapshot of what the judges perceive as the best of that event.

The proof for me in competitions is to see a consistency of standards applied.

I believe that Hamilton is running a fair and consistent competition ..and that airing all scores and names of those who didn't score a medal does not lead to a greater appreciation.

One medal at one judging does not make a hero for me. Nor does a rum that has not won a medal anywhere mean it may not "fit the bill" in a particular setting.

When I see a particular product show up repeatedly at different competitions, then I take notice.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
but what separates the dark, aged and premium categories? Thanks....
These categories were selected by the distillers when the various rums were entered into the competition.

It wouldn't really be fair to judge a premium aged rum against a rum which has only been aged a year or so and then colored dark.

In response to the other questions previously posted. The final scores aren't posted since I don't feel they really tell much beyond the preferences of the judges. What is more revealing, as Rum Runner points out, is the consistency with which a particular rum shows in competitions and in public discussions such as this one.
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