Tasting Awards


Our Tasting Awards are the most precise, accurate and up-to-date competition for sugarcane spirits in terms of organisation and diffusion.

Applying to ISS Tasting Awards provides a 3-in-1 service

A tasting competition
• Full-remote
• 30 days of judging
• World’s best experts
May the best ones win
A sensory & technical analysis service
• Nose / palate / finish detailed aromas
• ISO certified analysis
All applicants receive their full analysis
A public datasheets search engine
• The most detailed product sheets
• The ultimate purchase guide for consumers & buyers
All applicants receive their full analysis

How do we stand-out from others competitions ?

Others competitions
ISS Awards
Judging comfort

1 day for 50-100 samples

30 days for 50 samples


Localized (physical gatherings)

Globalized (full-remote)


Often generic

Specific to nowadays market segments


Winners listing

In-depth aromas analysis
Public product sheets (purchase guide)

We take a game changing approach in operating spirits competitions, while at the same time aiming to educate through transparency and precision.

Cyrille Mald, CEO

Judging process

The most advanced and up-to-date process

Judges receive coded samples that do not reveal the brand or expression and have one month of evaluation to complete their extended analysis. We then gather and process the results.

Unanimously acknowledged experts

Our experts have been selected for their recognised knowledge as well as their geographic location, to lower the potential for cultural bias to a minimum.

1 month of evaluation phase

In order to lend the Judges the best conditions to evaluate all the products, we allow them 30 days to complete their analysis.

Blind tastings

The samples are anonymous in terms of brand and specific expressions. Discussion of individual samples is prevented through the use of judge specific codes for each product.

Tracked & secured online notations

All results are gathered on our secured online account. Judges are not allowed to communicate about the results unless very specific issues and only with the Jury’s panel manager.

Exclusive results sheets

All results are eventually compiled in our sugarcane spirits world base, which includes fully detailed product sheets with advanced in-depth organoleptic analysis. This method is exclusive to the ISS Awards.

Our Jury’s panel is composed of some of the most skilled, dedicated and influential sugarcane spirits experts all around the world. Learn more about them on their profile sheets.


Following market reality

International Sugarcane Spirits Tasting Awards are limited to 16 categories to lend more visibility to the prize winners.

We categorized taking into account markets & consumers main concerns : sugar rate, base of distillate, age statements and production origin.

Rum – unsweetened
Rum with absolutely no voluntary sweetening, no sugar other than natural sugar extracted from casks during aging because of their previous contents.
Fresh pure cane juice rum
1.1.2.From 3 to 6 years old
(Aged Rum) years old and up
(Extra-Old Rum and Vintage Rum)
Molasses rum, syrup rum, mixed rum
1.2.2.From 3 to 6 years old
(Aged Rum) years old and up
(Extra-Old Rum and Vintage Rum)
Rum having undergone voluntary sweetening, regardless of the sugar level measured. Are excluded from this measure rate of natural sugar extracted from casks during aging because of their previous contents. Molasses rum, syrup rum, fresh pure cane juice and mixed rum.
2.1. White
2.2. From 3 to 6 years old
(Aged Rum)
2.3. 7 years old and up
(Extra-Old Rum and Vintage Rum)
Pure cane juice distillate from Brazil.
3.1. White / unaged
3.2. Less than 3 years old
(Armazenada, envelhecida, premium)
3.3. 3 years old and up
4. Craft rum, Clairin…
Batch rum 100% fractional distillation (pot still, pot still with rectification)
5. NAS, Gold, Solera
NAS = no age statement. Gold = less than 3 years old. For Solera, here if minimum age is less than 3 years old.
6. Spiced rum
7. Macerated rum, “rhum arrangé”, shrubb…
This category is considered global despite the fact that each of these specialities’ aromatic profiles are clearly very distinct from each other. Thus, with a view to simplification and the avoidance of multiple lists of Finalists, production methods are only considered here.


Limited winners, valuable prestige

Number of awarded entries are limited by the rules, not by the amount of participants.

With less than 200 awarded products each year, we grant winners the most exclusive prize on the market.

Canne d’Or

Best of year

The ‘Canne d’Or’ is the highest prize awarded at the International Rum Awards, the most prestigious award in the Rum Industry. It is granted to the best rum of the year chosen from among the best Finalists.

Gold medals

Best of its category

The Gold Medal is the ultimate prize for each spirit type. It rewards the very best of each category, based on the global score.


Top 1/3rd of category

The title of ‘International Sugarcane Spirits Awards Finalist’ is a reward in itself that Finalists may use. To ensure proper exposure, each category shortlist is capped at 10 finalist disregarding the number of entries.

Best of Region

Highest score among all region's entries

9 prizes for the highest regional score to showcase the diversity of the rum entering the competition. Regions are : Africa, Asia, Caribbeans, Europe, Indian Ocean, North America, Central America, South America, Oceania & Pacific

Special awards

On judging committee decisions

Special prizes are awarded upon Jury’s collegial decision and may vary each year. They are not subject to additional entry fee and it’s not possible to choose to participate or not. A few examples of prizes: best organic product, best value-for-money, best independent bottler, best single cask…


For all entrants

Get your products evaluated under our proprietary detailed tasting review.

Our judges evaluate texture, features, and potential defects. In addition to a global base-100 scoring, we process harmonised and detailed nose, palate, and finish aromas. This method has been developed exclusively for ISS Awards.

Showcase your yearly rating to worldwide consumers & professionals.

Our Product Sheets Database is made publicly available from our website. Sheets are renewed from one year to another and are meant to be the ultimate reference guide for sugarcane spirits consumers & buyers worldwide. Nevertheless, archive notations are also displayed for multi-year entries and are a consistency marker throughout years.

Imprint the international market and benefit from our online traction.

The ISS Awards communicate throughout the year and use targeted PRs in order to ensure notoriety and awareness about our Product Sheets Database.

Stand-out on shelf and increase purchase impulse with our official QR code

In addition to the digital artwork we provide you, you can order our official QR code label rolls. This dedicated QR code directs straight to your product sheets on our database providing full tasting notes while still in purchase context.

Additional winning opportunities free of charge

Participation to Regional Award & Special Prizes are included for all entries.

1 000€+ Earned Media Value
(estimated average based on brand image, media exposure and reach)

For all Finalists

All of the above applies.

Enter the exclusive list of the world’s 100 best sugarcane spirits.

The ISS Awards recognise excellence, and we ensure this by the selection of the best judging experts, as well capping the number of products we award. Being shortlisted is already amongst the highest recognitions your product can get.

Receive your printed official certificate

We provide you with your Official Certificate to be displayed in your sales folders, website, at your office, production facility and anywhere else you need to showcase your excellence and build your company culture.

Ready-made exclusive marketing tools for promoting your award

You’ll be able to download a ready-to-use toolset for digital media as well as your medals digital artworks.

Enjoy international exposure through our partners & influencers network

On top of being displayed in our website results database, Finalists are announced and pushed through social & physical media campaigns as well as exclusive PRs and newsletters directed to the most influential industry representatives, including distributors, buyers and investors on each market.

Stand-out on shelves with our official medals

In addition to your medals digital artworks, you can order printed label rolls to let the consumers know how excellent you are.

Official trophy available for order

We give you the opportunity to order your personalized Official trophy. This trophy will be offered if you attend the Ceremony.

2 000€+ Earned Media Value
(estimated average based on brand image, media exposure and reach)

For all Winners

All of the above applies.

Make your product recognized as one of the 30 world’s best.

Your product being ranked, through extensive blind tasting and by the most acknowledged experts in the segment, as the best in its category, you can officially brag about having produced one of 30 world’s best sugarcane spirit, period.

Ensure a worldwide extended media coverage

This ranking being very limited, we can ensure to properly shout about the winners through dedicated campaigns on all channels and markets.

Attend the Canne d’Or Ceremony free of charge

All winners will receive 2 invitations to the Canne d’Or ceremony and will also benefit from exclusive and limited discounts for extra guests.

4 000€+ Earned Media Value
(estimated average based on brand image, media exposure and reach)

For the Canne d’Or winner

All of the above applies.

Get your product recognized as “the world’s best sugarcane spirit of the year”

You will get worldwide exclusive PRs and media features for your product as being officially designated “the best sugarcane spirit of the year” by industry most influential perks. Media coverage includes filmed interviews and photo shooting. Let us make your excellence a star of you.

4 invitations to the Canne d’Or Ceremony

And 10 specially discounted seats for extra guests. Gather your team and family to your world success !

20 000€+ Earned Media Value
(estimated average based on brand image, media exposure and reach)

Entry infos

Key dates

July 30, 2021
October 15, 2021
Entry phase
August 2, 2021
October 22, 2021
Samples delivery phase
November 15, 2021
December 15, 2021
Judging phase
January 5, 2022
Results announcement

To be announced
To be announced
January 5, 2022
March 5, 2022
PR phase

Entry fees

Entry fee includes fully detailed public product sheets with aromatic profiles within our search engine, as well participation to regional prize and special prizes.

1st entry
325 € excl. tax
2nd entry
295 € excl. tax
From 3rd entry and up
265 € excl. tax

The fees are paid at online registration. If the payment was eventually to be rejected, we couldn’t validate the participation.

• For France-based companies: 20% VAT.
• For EU-based companies outside France: there is no VAT if you provide your intra-community VAT number, otherwise 20% VAT.
• For companies based outside the EU: there is no VAT.

Preparing your entry

We require a certain amount of information in order to display proper product sheets to the public. Make yourself a quick registration process by ensuring you have the elements ready.

High-res packshot
An high-res artwork (min 1000x1000px) of your product, front view, white background
Sugar rate
We require the voluntarily added sugar rate.
Complete aging steps
All aging steps broken down by duration, wood types and cask size

Ready to enter ?

Apply now online and get your excellence recognized.