In light of the high standards of entries, the judging panel selected 13 UK bartenders to proceed to the second stage of Chairman's Spice Lab, instead of the expected 10 finalists.
Congratulations to the top 13 bartenders:
Alexandru Sandu of Raoul's Bar (Oxford)
Daniel Laycock of Manahatta (Leeds)
Gethin Jones of Cultureplex (Manchester)
Hugo Borralho of Bristol and Bath Rum Distillery (Bristol)
James Benziane of The Basement Bar (Edinburgh)
John Mcdermott of Brass Monkey (Nottingham)
Josh Linfitt of Propping Up The Bar (Cornwall)
Karl Stanley of Science & Industry (Manchester)
Kyra Elton of Science & Industry (Manchester)
Peter Konkoly of COYA Mayfair (London)
Sam Worrall of The Amsterdam (Glasgow)
Samantha Cox of Arcane (Manchester)
Warren Deroche of Artist Residence (London)
The UK finalists will receive a Chairman's Reserve spice kit which contains six pre-set spices (cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, almonds, cinnamon and dried orange), a bottle of Chairman's Reserve Original or White Label.
Finalists now have two months to fine-tune their spiced rum recipe. They'll be able to add their three additional spices as described in their submission, while also creating a recipe card and sample to be judged by the international jury in September.
The winning bartenders (one selected from Europe/Asia, one selected from the USA and one selected from Saint Lucia) will be invited to Saint Lucia to create their limited edition of Chairman's Spiced Rum in collaboration with the Chairman's Reserve R&D team and master blender.
An exciting launch of the limited edition spiced rum will be released internationally in 2021. A portion of profits will be donated to local associations in Saint Lucia to support those in hospitality hit hardest by Covid-19.