IWSC announces Steve Rush as the recipient of Barbados Rum Experience bursary

IWSC news

Fri 15 Sep 2023

By Kristen Dougall

The IWSC is delighted to announce that Steve Rush, from the United Kingdom, has been selected as the lucky winner of our Barbados Rum Experience bursary. This inaugural bursary is in partnership with Foursquare Rum Distillery.

The IWSC and Foursquare Rum Distillery were on the hunt to find the next ambassador of Barbados Rum. Over 30 applications were submitted from across 15 countries, our judges, Richard Seale, founder of Foursquare Rum Distillery, Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador and founder of The Rumfest and Laura Richards, Editorial Director of Club Oenologique, had the difficult decision of whittling down the strong list of applicants to just one lucky winner.

The judges were unanimous with their decision to award Steve Rush as the first recipient of the IWSC’s Barbados Rum Experience bursary. Steve has been working in the drinks industry for 13 years and has made a name for himself as one of the most influential people in the whisky industry. A freelance spirits write, content creator and social media “drambassador”. Steve has built up an impressive following of engaged spirits lovers, through his insightful content and also his virtual tastings, “Tweet Tastings”. Over the last 10 years Steve has become just as passionate about rum as he is about whisky. After a trip to Jamaica, Steve fell in love with everything the category has to offer, from the history, the stories and the vibrancy.

The IWSC were searching for an experienced drinks writer/communicator, with a keen interest in rum, to offer them a once in a lifetime chance to learn more about the history of this iconic spirit, and there is no better way to do that than in its homeland, Barbados.

Steve’s real enthusiasm for expanding his rum knowledge was clear from his application, he stated, “This opportunity would not only allow me to expand my knowledge so I can do the category more justice on the writing and content front, but it would also help expand my ambitions and horizons on the ambassadorial front.”

Our judges were impressed by Steve’s clear vision for how he would communicate any newly acquired knowledge from the trip, direct to his established audience. The judges believed that the introduction of a true rum category to a whisky audience will be an important part of the growth of authentic Barbados Rum.

Steve’s winning application really demonstrated his growing passion for rum, which he described as “now the most exciting spirits category”, which is why our judges believe he will make an excellent ambassador for Barbados rum. 

Congratulations Steve, we can’t wait to hear all the exciting things you get up to at the Barbados Rum Experience in November.