ISS Awards: The Competition Begins

This is the competition’s first year, and it already boasts more than 260 registered references. The International Sugarcane Spirits Awards can build on a sound footing, with most prestigious brands participating and unfreezing their budgets. We have met our expectations, or even exceeded them in terms of media coverage.

ISS Awards

Our international jury members will each be able to taste a splendid variety of more than 50 samples, and they will have a month to evaluate them,”comments Cyrille Mald, chairman of the competition.

This contest, whose jury is as of today composed of 36 hand-picked sugarcane spirit experts from 20 countries, is the first of its kind. Jury members will be able to taste each (anonymised) reference at home, under the best possible conditions, and they will have a month to submit their evaluations.
Thinking not only of the total number of references, the organisers, who at the end of each edition issue a buying guide, have already derived a few important lessons on current market trends, including the most obvious ones: more transparency and less sweetening.

The ISS Awards Redefine Their Categories

This is a new market trend that has emerged – the low number of participants in the Sweetened Rum categories. As a result, the organisers now consider having one Sweetened Rum category (defined as those rums that have been artificially sweetened, irrespective of their sugar levels), instead of the previous three groups (semi-dry, sweet and enhanced).

“With 21 registered references out of 263 in total, and 0 in the 3 Enhanced Rum categories (rums containing 20+ g/L of added sugar), the 9 categories initially meant to feature sweetened rums did not allow us to organise a fair competition in this edition. We have therefore decided to merge them. This decision takes effect now and will apply to the ongoing edition as well as the next ones,” explains Cyrille Mald.

“The ISS Awards should reflect market evolutions. So, this simplification is a direct result of our positioning, and it will be implemented in accordance with the transparency to which we have committed,” says Louis Marti, development manager for the competition. “On the other hand, there has been a high number of registrations in the following categories: Pure sugarcane juice white rums, Aged molasses rums (non-sweetened) and Arranged rums, which, again, reflects the existing situation in terms of the most dynamic categories,” he also says.

The ISS Awards now distinguish 16 categories:


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