SVG’s Captain Bligh XO adjudged ‘World’s Best Rum’ at World Drinks Awards
February 25, 2014

SVG’s Captain Bligh XO adjudged ‘World’s Best Rum’ at World Drinks Awards

He may not be internationally acclaimed for his association with liquor, but a rum named after Captain William Bligh earned St Vincent and the Grenadines international gold at the World Drinks Awards last week.{{more}}

The Captain Bligh XO brand, produced by St Vincent Distillers at Mount Bentinck, Georgetown, was adjudged the World’s Best Rum and World’s Best Gold Rum, at the 14th edition of the event in London, United Kingdom.

The rum joins a prestigious group of liquors with gold medals, including the World’s Best Brandy – Ironworks Pear Eau de Vie, World’s Best Calvados – Roger Grout Reserve 3 Years, World’s Best Cognac – Francis Abecassis ABK6 Cognac VSOP, World’s Best Gin – Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin, and World’s Best Vodka – Bainbridge Legacy Organic Vodka.

Sunset Very Strong Rum, also produced by St Vincent Distillers, won a bronze medal for Best Overproof Rum.

Phillipa Greaves, marketing manager of St Vincent Distillers Ltd told SEARCHLIGHT that the company was pleased.

According to Greaves, Captain Bligh has had other successes in the past, but this latest tribute is “the biggest by far.”

The rum won the gold award at the 2001 Rum Fest; in 2002, first place at the International Rum Festival; and in 2009, at the International Spirits Competition (also known as the SIPS award), it won a gold award.

“We’re delighted and thankful for the award, and it is an award that all Vincentians should be proud of,” Greaves said.

“It is a rum made by Vincentians…. The distillery is Vincentian owned and the majority of our staff has been in the rum making process in excess of 16 years, so one can safely say that they are all skilled craftsmen where rum producing is concerned. So, the accolades that everybody has been giving to me really belong to the employees,” Greaves added.

General manager Kenrick Greaves, in a press release issued by the company also said: “Captain Bligh has consistently received top awards in global competitions, and the designation of this superb spirit as the World’s Best Rum is well deserved. This is the culmination of our efforts to put St Vincent rum on the world stage.”

According to the release, the rum was declared the world’s best on February 20, following three elimination rounds, where the spirits were judged according to balance, character, complexity, quality and functionality.

In their comments about Captain Bligh, the judges noted that the “delicate rum shows a lovely balance of light wood, providing vanillas and a hint of cocoa.”

The judges further noted that the rum is elegant and smooth, with toffee and caramel flavours, which linger on the finish.

The real Captain Bligh, a British naval officer born in 1754, is more popular for the mutiny that took place on the HMS Bounty, where he was set adrift by sailors under his command in 1789.

Surviving that ordeal, Bligh again took command of another vessel, the HMS Providence between 1791- 1793. It was during this period he successfully brought the breadfruit plant to St Vincent from Tahiti.

In 1808, as Governor of New South Wales in Australia, Bligh faced a second mutiny of sorts, as he attempted to stamp out what was considered as corruption in the rum trade in the region, resulting in the “Rum Rebellion.”

Bligh subsequently returned to the United Kingdom, where he died in 1817.