Seychelles rum ‘St André’ by Takamaka Bay wins silver medal at the "TOP RUM, Indian Ocean" contest
The 8 year old 'St André' rum wins silver medal in regional rums comeptition (Joe Laurence, Seycheles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The first edition of the "TOP RUM, Indian Ocean contest" which brought together rums from Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar and Reunion, took place this month in a Parisian palace in France.
The jurors gathered around these rums, some from the press specialized in gastronomy, spirits, as well as importers, distributors, oenologists, sommeliers, chefs and some fans ... all those who are able to taste alcohol, not just judging by their personal criteria, but assessing the quality in order to meet expectations of the target consumers.
The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the west of the Indian Ocean with a 90, 000 population, participated in this competition with the 8 years old St André rum, from the Takamaka Bay brand.
For this first regional competition, the St André rum was awarded a silver medal by the jury members.
In the aged rums category, one single gold medal was awarded out of the 16 aged rums entered in the competition but also 2 bronzes and 4 silvers, including the one for Takamaka Bay, in the 8 years old category.
“It's a product segment where there is a lot of competition; we have a good product whose quality speaks for itself. Receiving a prize in an event like this, tried by professionals, is a recognition for the company Trois Frères distillery,” said Richard d’Offay , chief executive and owner of Trois Frères distillery which produces the Takamaka Bay line of spirits.
|Rums of different ages from the Takamaka Bay line of sprits (Joe Laurence, Seycheles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY|
Following this first edition, contest organizers hope that this competition runs every year to help rums from Indian Ocean to become better known to the general public.
Caribbean rums have always taken the largest market share.
But the contest organizers hope the rums of the Indian Ocean region can also have their place in this sector.
"By discovering the charts’ results, I was pleased to hear that the winner was Takamaka Bay, a young distillery which already competes with the oldest. The remarks of the jurors were: "a fine rum, good, sometimes complex although not exciting." I highlighted to them that the potential is there, "said Aurélie Flammang, organizer of the TOP RUM, Indian Ocean contest.
Richard d’Offay has a different viewpoint on the fruit of his company’s labour.
"I do not think that the point is to improve the product... we know that we have extraordinary rum and this kind of competition is a matter of interpretation of the jury... we are making a rum that people love and this is our vision, but it's good that the judges appreciated it. It is also nice to win this award,"said d'Offay.
"All awards are important, but what we are looking for is to meet customer demand, which does not depend on the number of awards, but which is related to the relationship with the customer, if the bartender likes your product, he will find customers, but if he does not like it nobody will find out." said D'Offay.
Rum production in Seychelles as always been on a traditional craft basis, in a few local bars in different districts of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, which are the main islands of the Seychelles archipelago.
But in 2002, Richard d'Offay and his brother Bernard decided to take up the challenge by setting up a small two-man distillery of Takamaka Bay in the Seychelles industrial area of Providence on the main island of Mahe. They later expanded their workforce and opened a new base at La Plaine St Andre at Au Cap for rum production on the same island, which today has a workforce of 40 staff .
Nowadays the company produces quality rum, which is popular on the Seychelles market as we as being exported and can be found in the duty-free zone of airports around the world.
Takamaka Bay Rum is now retailing in Europe with distribution points in UK, Germany, UAE, China, Mauritius, Madagascar, Maldives, South African and Djibouti.
The aged rums for example, have spent a minimum of 4 yearsin wood casks.
Takamaka Bay plans in the future to diversify and produce a 12 years aged rum, but it takes a long time to get the quality for that explained d’Offay.
|Takamaka Bay products on display at La Plaine St André at the distillery in the Au Cap district (Joe Laurence, Seycheles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY|