Martinique shines @ Caribbean Rum Awards

Martinique’s Rhum Neisson
Martinique’s Rhum Neisson
Rhum JM Martinique
Rhum Habitation Saint-Etienne Martinique
Rum Distilleries map of Martinique
Press release

Martinique’s Rhum Neisson Armada 88 bested Nicaragua’s Flor de Caña 30 by taking home the title of “World Champion” at the Caribbean Rum Awards for 2021. The 4th edition of the CRA took place in St-Barts November 1 to 7, 2021. The awards ceremony of this rum fest is the crowning event of blind-tasting competitions which included a cigar & rum paring, three elegant dinners and other festivities.

“It makes us so proud of our agricultural AOC Martinique rums, which have long been considered among the world’s best,” said Bénédicte de Geronimo, Martinique’s Tourism Commissioner. Ms. De Geronimo went on to say that “Rhum Neisson and several other Martinique distilleries embody excellence, a quality that I actively promote and encourage. It also confirms our island stature after Martinican cellar master Daniel Baudin was crowned the world’s Best Rum Master Distiller by the International Rum Conference held in Florida in 2019.”

For the first time, the winners of the Uber Premium Rhum Agricole and Uber Premium Molasses Rum category faced off. It is an exclusive completion between aged rums over $400 per bottle that are produced either with sugarcane juice or with molasses. And Martinique’s Rhum Neisson Armada 88 sugarcane elixir was declared the best rum in the world. The final competition included a total of 52 rums from across the region.

Judges of the blind-tasting competition included Christopher Davis; Alexander Britell; Guy Britton, EVP and Managing Editor of Caribbean Journal; Martinique’s own Guy Ferdinand, renowned chef and proprietor of Le Petibonum; Peter Berntsen, COO of Miami-based Empire Social Lounge; Simons Chase, co-founder of Cuba Journal; Jose Antonio Hernandez-Solaun, Miami-based rum expert, sommelier and international cigar sommelier; and guest judge Bianca Saloum, a Guadeloupe-based rum connoisseur.

Other top performers taking home a pair of double gold medals included Martinique’s Rhum HSE, Neisson’s Rhum Blanc, plus the island’s Rhum HSE VSOP, Rhum JM XO and Rhum HSE 2003.

The festival was hosted by what’s considered the world’s leading rum bar, the Rhum Room St Barth and the celebrated Quarter Kitchen and Cocktail Lab and their proprietor, global rum expert Christopher Davis, co-founder of the Caribbean Rum Awards St Barth. The rum festival or CRA’s other co-founder is Alexander Britell, editor and publisher of Caribbean Journal.

This year’s event was sponsored by WIMCO Villas, Tradewind Aviation, Martinique Tourism Authority, Accutron, Les Ilets de la Plage, Empire Social Lounge and SC Capital.

The Double Gold and Gold winners:


Premium Rum – Ron Eminente, Cuba
Uber-Premium Rum – Flor de Caña 30, Nicaragua
Rhum Blanc 50 Degrees and Below – Rhum Neisson Blanc, Martinique
Rhum Blanc Over 50 Degrees – Rhum Bielle 59
VSOP – Rhum HSE VSOP, Martinique
XO – Rhum JM XO, Martinique
Hors d’Age – Rhum HSE 2003, Habitation Saint Etienne, Martinique
Uber-Rhum Agricole – Rhum Neisson Armada 88, Martinique


Premium Rum – One Drop 10 Year Old, The Bahamas
Uber-Premium Rum – Don Q Reserva de la Familia Serralles, Puerto Rico
Rhum Blanc 50 Degrees and Below – Rhum Damoiseau Club, Guadeloupe
Rhum Blanc Over 50 Degrees – Rhum Neisson Bio, Martinique
VSOP – Reimonenq JR Cuvée Spéciale, Guadeloupe
XO – Rhum HSE XO, Martinique
Hors d’Age – Karukera Cuvee Christophe Colomb 1493, Guadeloupe
Uber-Premium Rhum Agricole – Karukera Fut 65 Single Cask, Guadeloupe

For the complete medal awards including Silver and bronze, Click here

About Martinique | The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. Hot off the press: Early November Martinique won top recognitions for its world-class rum at the Caribbean Rum Awards. In October Martinique was declared a Gold winner in Travel Weekly’s Magellan awards in the Caribbean - Overall Destinations-Eco-Friendly "Green" Destination category. In September 2021, Martinique’s exceptional biodiversity was recognized by UNESCO, which added the entire island to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The destination was named the world's top emerging destination by TripAdvisor for 2021. In late 2020, Martinique’s traditional Yole Boat was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List and the Isle of Flowers also earned Silver honors in Travel Weekly’s 2020 Magellan Awards as an Art & Culture Caribbean Destination. In December 2019 and for the second year in a row, Martinique was named “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” by the Caribbean Journal. The island was also recognized in January 2019 by and in first place in their list of “The 19 Best Winter Getaways.” Martinique was also showcased in the Caribbean Journal’s Best Caribbean Islands to visit in 2019. Martinique has also been featured in Travel + Leisure and the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.”


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency