Miami Rum Festival 2016 Awards Yolo Rum Gold ‘Best in Class’

2016 Miami Rum Festival RumXP Best in Class Medal
2016 Miami Rum Festival Consumer Rum Jury Gold Medal

RumXP International Rum Expert Tasting Panel selects Yolo Rum Gold as ‘Best in Class’ in the ‘Aged 9 to 12 Year’ category at the 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

The 2016 edition of the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival recently wrapped-up at the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center in Miami, Florida.  The festival, now in it’s 8th year, attracts rum experts, industry professionals and rum enthusiasts spanning the globe as one of the premier rum events in the world.  This year we were excited to make our second straight appearance at this world-class event hosted by Robert Burr along with his wife Robyn and his son Rob.  One of the highlights of the event is the International Rum Expert Panel tasting competition which occurs on the events first night.  The esteemed Rum Expert Panel (RumXP) boasts some of the most respected and revered rum experts in the world, and each year a multitude of rum expressions from around the globe enter the competition.  Last year Yolo Rum was able to score a RumXP Gold Medal for our 10 year aged Gold expression, and we were happy to compete once again with some of the world’s finest rums on rum’s biggest stage.  The RumXPs would not be let down, as we were proud to be recognized once again as one of the finest Rums on the planet.  This year, we were honored to be selected as the “Best in Class” Rum for the “Aged 9 to 12 Year” category.  On top of our “Best in Class” award, we were highlighted by the festivals Consumer Rum Jury as well.  The Consumer Rum Jury is comprised of 20 well qualified rum enthusiast consumers, collectors and experienced rum travelers, offering the perspective of the active and engaged rum buyer in their evaluations.  The Consumer Rum Jury gathers at the festival for blind tasting sessions under the supervision of the International Rum Expert Panel team.  We were incredibly excited to be chosen by the 2016 Consumer Rum Jury as a Gold Medal award winner.  It was truly a great honor to be recognized by such an elite group of rum experts as one of the finest rums in the world, by both the RumXPs and the Consumer Rum Jury.  Once again a phenomenal achievement for Yolo Rum’s master distiller and rum blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, one of the world’s most respected and honored “roneros.”

Phil is congratulated by Don Pancho
Don Pancho Fernandez with Jessica
Miami Rum Festival 2016 Best in Class award certificate
Miami Rum Festival 2016 Consumer Rum Jury Gold award certificate


Yolo Rum owner Phil displays Miami Rum Festival award
Yolo Rum founders Jessica and Phil with Miami Rum Festival award

Yolo Rum crew at 2016 Miami Rum Festival

Fifteen judges participated in six tasting sessions over the course of two days.  Judging over 100 of the finest rums in the world presented for evaluation this year.  The 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival Judges included:

Juan del Busto
Rum Collector / Spirits Judge


Marie King
Tonga Hut Los Angeles


Suzanne Long


Matt Pietrek


Martin Cate
Smuggler’s Cove San Francisco


Ian Williams
Washington, D.C.


Scott French


Nigel Sade


Additional photo credit to RumXP Judge Matt Pietrek of

The view from RumXP Bahama Bob Leonard

Additional photo credit to RumXP Judge Bahama Bob Leonard

Click here for a complete list of 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival RumXP Medal Award winners