New Zealand-based boutique rum house STOLEN Rum has come up Phelps again by taking home Double Gold at the Olympics of spirits, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
And the recipient is a slightly unusual new product, a 65% overproof Jamaican rum named ‘SX9’.
The win repeats the company’s success of Double Gold in 2010 when STOLEN brought home the same prestigious award for its Gold rum. This was followed by Gold in 2011 for STOLEN’s White variant.
The internationally-renowned competition is the most recognised in the spirits industry. It accommodates brands from around the world seeking to put their product to the test and is the longest-running and largest of its kind in the United States.
STOLEN founders Jamie Duff and Roger Holmes say award-winning is becoming something of a tradition for STOLEN Rum products.
“We’ve worked really hard on every one of our products to create something world class and we’re rapt that other people think the same,” says Holmes.
“Judging at the awards is based on a blind, consensual procedure, so the award has great competitive integrity. It’s an annual competition and is considered to be the most reputable and recognized competition in the spirits industry.”
This year the competition attracted a record 1,200 spirit entries from 60 countries. To date, all three STOLEN Rum products have a gold medal to their name from the competition making their parents “very proud”.
Holmes says that SX9 stays true to the STOLEN Rum ethos “whereby great rum tradition is appropriated from the best sources in the Caribbean and used to create a world-class rum”.
It is created in Jamaica using a traditional ‘pot-still’ distillation process and the unaged molasses-based rum is blended by hand for consistency. The result is a complex nose of lime and raisins with a young banana and pineapple finish in the mouth.
‘Overproof’ is the term coined for spirits with a concentration of alcohol higher than 50 per cent, and at a hefty 65 per cent SX9 packs more punch than Sonny Bill.
SX9 pays homage to the product’s Jamaican roots and is named after a funerary celebration called Nine Nights, when overproof rum is consumed to commemorate the life of a passed loved one and to send them off in style.
Duff explains that SX9 is ‘a specialty product’ that requires special handling by the best in the hospitality industry. “It’s such an obscure product, so rarely seen in the market, that it can be dangerous in the wrong hands.”
Consequently, the best place to tickle your tongue with a tipple of SX9 is in one of New Zealand’s world class bars.
To sample SX9, drop into Suite, Mea Culpa, Golden Dawn, 1885 Basement and Racket (Auckland), Matterhorn and Cuckoo (Wellington), 1806 and Berlin Bar (Melbourne), or Anchor and Eau de vie (Sydney). The drink of choice? A ‘Nuclear Daiquiri’, so named for obvious reasons.
STOLEN Rum White and Gold are available at all good liquor retailers, bars and restaurants nationwide.