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Members of the International Rum Experts Panel (RumXPs) dominated the nominations and the social media awards given out recently at the annual dinner ceremony that is part of the RumFest UK experience in London.

All the outstanding social media sites nominated for Golden Rum Barrel Awards -- and their respective writers, journalists and bloggers -- are members of a unique consortium of international judges of rum tasting competitions around the globe.

The awards, nominated by outstanding members of the spirits and beverage trade, recognize excellence in reporting and writing about developments in the category of rum throughout the world.

Nominations for Rum Blogger of the Year (Europe) 2011 included A Mountain of Crushed Ice (Helena Tiare Olsen, Sweden), The Floating Rum Shack (Peter and Pauline Holland, London), Rum Pages (Rene Van Hoven, Amsterdam) and Refined Vices (Tatu Kaarlas, Finland, now Australia).

The winner of the category is Peter and Pauline Holland of the Floating Rum Shack.

Nominations for Rum Blogger of the Year (The Americas) 2011 included Rum Connection (Mike Streeter, Florida), Rum Dood (Matt Robold, California), The Rumelier (Bob Davies, Turks & Caicos Islands) and R 'N D Rum Reviews (Dave Russell and Roger Patteson, California).

The winner is Mike Streeter of Rum Connection.

All nominees and winner are members in good standing of the International Rum Expert Panel, often referred to as RumXPs.

There are currently 36 members of this RumXP group scattered around the world, bringing unique and varied international perspectives to their jobs of judging rums and writing about rum products and events. They are authors, lecturers, trainers, historians, journalists, consultants, collectors, proprietors, mixologists and promoters of rum.

The largest gathering of RumXPs is the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival in April, where they gather to participate in the largest and most esteemed rum judging event in the world, the RumXP Tasting Competition, consisting of three days of blind-tasting flights of rums from around the world.

All products are scored on appearance, aroma, taste and finish. Their totals are averaged to determine the winning spirits.

Members of the Rum Expert Panel often travel to distilleries, rum festivals, notable rum bars and resorts around their world to further their knowledge of rum distillation, maturing, blending and tasting.

"Judging rum products in an international tasting competition is a great job, if you can get it," commented Robert Burr, publisher of Rob's Rum Guide and organizer of the Rum Renaissance Festival.

"As a group, we are especially proud that our members swept the competition in London recently. Together, we're having a profound impact on the upswing in the popularity of rum and sugar cane spirits around the world, and we're just getting started."

For more information, visit the RumXP web site at: http://www.rumxp.com/

Source: Robert Burr - Rum Examiner

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