If you prefer to read about rum before buying or opening a bottle, you will want to read the guide we have prepared, with all the goodness of the best brands, styles and ways to drink this exquisite delicacy.
As we already did with the most expensive whiskies, here you will find all the information to become an expert rum drinker, including a glossary with the most used terminology, the selection processes of the top brands, the secrets of its elaboration, many interesting anecdotes and, of course, tips on where to buy rum and at what prices
Most Selected Rums in the World
- Hampden Estate Jamaica Rum – This rum is known for its rich, fruity and intense flavors, with notes of pineapple, banana, and tropical fruit. It is made from sugarcane grown on the Hampden Estate in Jamaica, and is considered one of the best rums in the world. It is also a great rum for sipping.
- El Dorado 25 Year Old Special Reserve Demerara Rum – This is a smooth and complex rum from Guyana that has been aged for 25 years. It has notes of vanilla, toffee, and caramel, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
- Ron Zacapa Centenario Sistema Solera 23 – This is a blend of rums aged between 6 and 23 years, from Guatemala. It has notes of caramel, chocolate, and vanilla, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
- Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum – This is a rare and limited-edition rum from Jamaica that has been aged for 50 years. It has a rich and complex flavor profile, with notes of toffee, caramel, and vanilla, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
- Mount Gay XO – This rum is from Barbados and aged for a minimum of 8 years. It has a smooth and complex flavor profile, with notes of vanilla, caramel, and spice, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
- Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva – This is a rum from Venezuela aged up to 12 years. It has a rich and complex flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
- Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica Rum – This is a full-bodied rum from Jamaica that is known for its intense and funky flavors, with notes of banana, pineapple, and tropical fruit. It is great for mixing in cocktails.
- Ron del Barrilito 3 Star – This is a rum from Puerto Rico aged for up to 10 years. It has a smooth and complex flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
- Ron Abuelo Añejo 7 Años – This is a rum from Panama aged for 7 years. It has a smooth and complex flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
- English Harbour 5-Year-Old Antigua Rum – This is a rum from Antigua aged for 5 years. It has a smooth and complex flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit, and is considered one of the best sipping rums in the world.
It’s worth noting that rum is a diverse category, and the best rum for one person may not be the best for another. Some of the sources you can use to learn more about rum and rum tasting include:
Please do your own research and verify the information I provided.
Añejo means “old” and refers to rum that is left to rest in various types of casks, barrels or containers for a period of time after distillation before being sold.
Brazilian white rum made from sugar cane.
Term for rums originating in Guyana. The name comes from the Demerara River, home of the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) facility, rather than the type of sugar.
Also known as “navy blue strength rum,” an overproof rum is a spirit with an alcohol content greater than 57.5%. Many are bottled and labeled “151”, which has an alcohol content of 75.5%. These rums date back to the 1730s, when the Royal Navy adopted rum as its preferred spirit on board. Rum delivered to the Navy was burned with gunpowder to test the proof of the rum. If burned, it was recognized as being of high strength or overproof.
A by-product that comes from sugar production. Molasses, a thick, dark brown syrup, is then mixed with water and yeast to produce rum.
Often added to bottle labels to suggest a higher quality or especially premium bottle of rum. However, there is no legal regulation on what makes a bottle a “reserve” and therefore both good and bad bottles of rum can come with this label.
Rhum agricole is a term used for rum that is distilled in the French Caribbean islands from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice instead of molasses. It is rare to find this type of rum produced in other parts of the world.
The traditional and most widely used method of producing and distilling rum. Almost all rums used to prepare a cubalibre are or should be industrial. It is made with molasses instead of sugar cane juice.
XO stands for “Extra Old” and refers to rum that has been aged in barrels for at least six years.
Our methodology for selecting and ranking the best rum brands
The global nature of this spirit made selecting the best a challenge. We delved into the myriad of white, dark and spiced rums to select the right brands and bottles for each occasion.
We took into consideration the liquor’s distillation method, the sugars and colorings added to the bottle (if any) and the authenticity of the brand itself. We then weighed a variety of expert opinions, popular choices and price points for each subcategory.
Rum Frequently Asked Questions
What is the smoothest rum?
The smoothest rum is Ron Zacapa 23 Años Centenario , an aged rum from Guatemala that is wonderfully complex and full-bodied. It is aged for up to 23 years in a combination of American whiskey, delicate sherry and fine Pedro Ximenez wine casks with notes of cinnamon and ginger.
What is the best rum to drink neat?
The best rum to drink neat is Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Cask Rum. This rum, from St. Lucia, is an extra-aged rum that offers deliciously rich flavors and sweet, honeyed notes. It is a limited edition bottle that is a favorite among rum connoisseurs.
What is the best Caribbean rum?
The best Caribbean rum is Cruzan Estate Diamond Dark Rum. This expertly crafted spirit has complex flavors and rich notes of oak and vanilla. Named after the original Cruzan sugar estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it is smooth and strong. Expect a traditional sweet nose with hints of smoke and oak.
What is the best rum for value for money?
The best rum in this category would be Mount Gay Eclipse Rum. It is a golden rum with a bright amber color and a strong flavor to match. It combines floral and fruity notes for a unique and distinctive aroma of banana, apricot and vanilla.
Is Bacardi a good rum?
Bacardi is a good regular rum. The rum brand produces widely available commercial rum with a balanced flavor that is easy to mix in cocktails. Bacardi is not among the best rums in the world, in our opinion, but it is a safe choice if you want a cubata without an overwhelming character.
Where to buy the best rums?
The million dollar question. If you don’t want to eat your head off, the easiest option is Amazon and a quick search filtering by type.
But we like to experience rum in its entirety, and that includes going to a liquor store in person, seeing the bottles, touching them, reading the label and consulting with the experts. We will soon add a map of the best liquor stores in Spain. Stay tuned and… to your health!