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Local spirit takes top accolade at inaugural SA Rum Awards

De Vry Distillery's Die Warm Rasta Rum, produced in the Free State, has won the top award in the 2020 South African Rum Awards. Beating 44 other international and local entries, Die Warm Rasta Rum won both the Best Rum and Best Column and Potstill awards, and was named Most Exceptional overall.

Die Warm Rasta

Commenting on his win, distiller Pasch du Plooy said, "It’s a surprise and a great privilege to win this award, especially against some of the well-known, high quality international rum brands."

He added, "Rum is our first passion. The key is ageing. We mature Die Warm Rasta for up to three years in barrels which are a combination of charred oak from American Bourbon barrels and new French Oak. Between this, our climate and our top quality ingredients we are producing a rum that we are very proud of."

Pasch du Plooy, De Vry Distillery

Gold medal winners


A total of 20 rums, exactly half local and half international, won gold medals in the awards.

• 33 Eighteen
• Bacardi Anejo Cuatro
• Bacardi Carta Negra – Best Column Still
• Bacardi Ocho
• Cape of Storms Fyn Botanical – Best Flavoured/Sprced
• Cape of Storms Oak Infused
• De Vry Die Warm Rasta – Best Rum, Best Column & Potstill, and Most Exceptional
• Defiant Gold Eswatini
• Don Papa 10 YO
• Don Papa 7 YO
• Don Papa Sherry Casks
• Havana Club Anejo 7 YO
• Innocent Spirits Amber Barrel
• Mhoba American Oak Aged
• Mhoba Bushfire – Best Agricole/CACHAÇA, Best Potstill
• Mhoba Select Release White
• Pussers Gunpowder
• Red Heart
• Still 33 Captain Stone
• Sugargirl

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The judging panel comprised respected spirits industry experts Leah van Deventer, Kurt Schlechter, Chantelle Horn and Coco Reinharz.

Awards convenor and judge Leah van Deventer said, "We’re delighted with how well the local rums performed in this competition, taking 50% of the gold medals. It speaks to strong levels of emerging innovation and creativity in the independent South African distilling industry. Exciting times lie ahead for rum."
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