Friday, October 4, 2019

Bahamas Tourism Partners with Bahamian Rum Distillery at International Rum Conference Featuring Hurricane Dorian Donation Drive

Group Photo at John Watling's_Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) Booth at Rum Festival 2019 L-R John Watling's, Mario Del Valle_ BTO, Adrian Kemp_ John Watling's, Guillermo Garcia-Lay, Rob Del Rosal, Pepin Argamasilla and Jose Patuondo and  BTO's Tina Lee

John Watling’s Distillery wins double gold and silver medals for its Bahamian rums 

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL –September 30, 2019 – The sales team of the Bahamas Tourist Office, Florida recently partnered with John Watling’s, a Bahamian distillery showcasing at the International Rum Conference 2019, to promote the 14 Bahama Islands still open for business.

The International Rum Conference, formerly known as the Congreso del Ron, which moved from Madrid to Coral Gables, Florida, invited the National Association of The Bahamas (NAB), a Florida based Bahamian association, to its two-day event, and encouraged attendees to make donations to NAB for relief efforts toward those affected by the catastrophic Hurricane Dorian.

The event also saw John Watling’s, a Bahamian company located in downtown, Nassau, awarded the highest prize or DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL in the Special Harvest / Single Cask category for its Single Barrel rum.  John Watling’s Distillery also earned a SILVER MEDAL in the White Rum category for its Pale rum.

According to organizers of the newly named “International Rum Conference,” the event was moved to the United States, “in the spirit of getting closer to the core rum manufacturing territories.” The two-day Conference took place September 27th and 28th  at the Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida.  Events included a two-day Industry Enrichment Seminar, two-day Grand Tasting and a Tasting Competition.

Guillermo Garcia-Lay with John Watling's Winning Rums

“When invited to this conference we saw it as a great opportunity to speak to those attending on how The Bahamas is still open for business on 14 of our Islands, despite the devastation that we experienced on the Islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama,” said Tina Lee, District Marketing Manager, Bahamas Tourist Office, Florida.

The Marketing Manager also said, “We are grateful to John Watling’s and the organizers of the International Rum Conference for the invitation to participate, which is indicative of their strong support of our destination, and their commitment to work with us in promoting our Islands that are open and assisting us in the rebuilding of our two islands affected by the hurricane.”

NAB members manning booth for Hurricane Dorian Relief Donations at International Rum Conference 2019 L-R Dr. Sandra McDonald and Deanna Christensen

It has been said that since 2012, the International Rum Conference – Rum Tasting Competition has selected and awarded the best sugar cane-based products from around the world. The competition is organized by the International Rum Conference LLC based in Coral Gables, Florida with the objective to increase awareness and to assist consumers and the trade to distinguish how to enjoy the best rums from around the world.

Engagement at John Watling's_Bahamas Tourism Booth during Rum Conference 2019

In the past, John Watling’s rums have been bestowed medals, awards and honors from “The Fifty Best” in New York City; Barlife Magazine in Prague; Rum Bahamas in Nassau; Taste of the Caribbean in Miami; Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago; Congreso del Ron in Madrid and have been declared both Exceptional and Recommended.

For more information on The Bahamas including Hurricane Dorian updates and Islands still welcoming visitors, go to

For information on John Watling’s Distillery, visit or