Rum is a classic spirit. A staple of so many cocktail recipes, this rich liquor is a combination of molasses and sugar cane that makes for an often sweet spirit that goes great with many citrus flavors and additives.
Although no one is entirely sure where rum comes from, it’s been theorized that it was originally introduced in Europe from Cyprus, which was well known for producing sugar in the Middle Ages. And it’s only gotten more popular since then.
Since then, Rum has become a favored drink for the seafaring professions from across the ages, with sailors and buccaneers being the most associated with the drink, because of the few ingredients it needed to make a decent rum. Perhaps that is why it has taken so long for a large chunk of highbrow society to take a fancy to it.
Often overlooked in favor of seemingly more ‘refined’ spirits like vodka, brandy and whiskey, the premium market for high-quality drinking rum has seen an explosion in the last few years however, with a whole host of different names and brands pitching their take on what a good rum should be.
With such a boom in this particular alcohol market, and new ones being introduced every year, finding and keep track of your favorites can be a tall order.
Should you go with a spirit that’s simple, or do you be a little more experimental, and try one of the many fruity and sweet kinds of bourbon out there? Do you stick with the Caribbean, where arguably the best rums are made, or are there rums further afield you should be looking out for?
That’s why we’ve made this handy list of the best ones you can find out there. Whether as part of an excellent cocktail of your choosing, or simply for drinking neat, this list will help you decide which rums you’d like to try for yourself.
OUR TOP PICK
For a classic rum recipe from the home of the drink, Mount Gay Black Barrel is an exceptional recent addition to the Mount Gay name. Released only in 2020, this particular single blended rum has a ton of character to it.
With a blend of other Mount Gay rums, mixed to together and matured for up to seven years, before being finished for another six months in am heavily charred ex-bourbon cask, the Black Barrel name certainly makes sense with this rum.
With a beautiful mix of aged fruit that is both equal parts juicy and spicy, topped with just a hint of creamy caramel and soft vanilla, there’s plenty to sink your taste buds into with this blend. The aromatic scent of apple, citrus, toasted oak and other spices are just the icing on this alcoholic cake.
This is one rum that any connoisseur of this delicacy should try, whether on its own, or in a cocktail.
Booking for a rum that can be both sipped on its own, and a perfect addition to a cocktail? Then Chairman’s reserve St. Lucia Rum is an excellent choice for you.
Originally from Saint Lucia, perhaps unsurprisingly, this traditionally single blended rum was first made in 1999, and is an exquisite combination of mixed and still aged rum coming together to make an exceptional rum for Chairman’s Reserve.
The elegant scent that is both peppery and fruity to the nose, and a brilliant gentle tasted of caramelized apples, tobacco, vanilla with a hint of oak, this splendid fusion of spices and fruits is excellently complimented by a sugar hint that brings the flavors together.
And with a creamy and fruity aftertaste that will sit with you, you’ll see what makes this blend internationally recognized.
Plus, its fruit and spice combination makes it a great rum to add to any cocktail. This is a superbly crafted and versatile rum.
For a rum with no extra flavors added, you’ll want to Try Ten To One’s Caribbean White rum.
Originally manufactured in the Dominican Republic, Ten To One’s mission statement for their rum has been to bring high quality rum to the masses that doesn’t try to hide its pure flavor.
This white rum is their attempt at this impressive feat of flavor engineering, being blended in both a Dominican column still pot, and a Jamaican still pot, before being finished in an American Ex-bourbon barrel.
And with no added flavors, sugar, or even colors added, this still blended rum is still an absolute delight to taste, with an aroma of fresh fruit and earth, with a fruity taste that still comes through just the right amount, it's safe to say that Ten To One has outdone themselves with this blend.
This spirit will go brilliantly in any rum-based cocktail you can think of, and is also ideal as a drink to sip on in itself. The flavors are just complex enough to balance itself both on their own, and as part of a delicious mix. Enjoy however you please with this white rum!
For a rum that’s just bursting to the brim with flavor, you’ll want a taste of Diplomatico’s Reserva Exclusiva Rum.
Originally made in Venezuela, this family-run distillery has created an exceptional spirit, being produced in its local area in harmony with the land and people, founded at the feet of the Andes mountain range in the area.
This gold rum mix is distilled in a copper pot still from molasses until up to 12 years, allowing for the blend to mix for a layered flavor. As you open up the bottle, the scent of citrus peel, licorice, toffee, and a whole host of other flavors greet you, letting you know that this rum is something special.
And with a menagerie of different flavors in the rum itself, from rum and raisin ice cream, to fruit cake, to cocoa, to dried ginger, to so much more, this is a rum that’s great for a special occasion.
With such an array of amazing things to taste, this is a great rum to sip straight, or to add to make that extra-incredible cocktail.
This is a rum that can’t just be summed up in words. The only way to get a good sense of it, is to try it yourself!
Looking for something tropical for your taste buds to tackle? Then try this tantalizing Tale of Two Islands rum by Barrel.
Crafted from the spirit capital of Kentucky, made in a traditional Jamaican copper pot still, and finished in an Islay whiskey cask, this unique rum has an intense flavor that cannot be compared.
With a deep, almost honey-like color, the sweet passion fruit flavor, with hints of lemon oil and honey, punch through the aromatic combination of savory tahini, saltine cracker, button mushrooms and the sweet molasses that fill your nose before you take that first incredible sip.
It’s the perfect blend of both classy flavors and presentation, plus that classic rum personality that can bring the spice to any occasion, that sets this rum apart from other kinds of Rum.
This spirit can be enjoyed straight, for those who are brave enough, or slightly mellowed down with a few drops of spring water for a more fruity taste experience, for those who are wanting a slightly gentler experience in their aromatic rum-tasting session.
For a rum with a more delicate flavor that goes well with anything, you might want to take a sip of Don Q’s Rum Cristal.
Distilled in Ponce, a town found in the south of Puerto Rico, the distillery has been passed down tohrough six generations of rum-makers. If it’s been this long and Don Q is still going strong, you know it's a name you can trust.
This 1-5 year aged exquisite spirit is both layered, and the distilling processes it uses are environmentally conscious of the area it is grown in.
Thanks to its distillation process, this rum has a smoothness to its texture unlike almost any other kind of rum. It’s a delicate flavor that pairs well with anything citrus you might want to add to it. This rum is excellent in cocktails!
Not only is it an exceptional rum, but Q Cristal rum also works excellently as an amazing vodka substitute for any cocktails that you might want to spruce up a little. This spirit has got a lot of potential for any drink you want to come up with!
For a sweet take on rum away from the Caribbeans, you might want to give Plantation’s Isle of Fiji Rum a try.
Using locally sourced sugar cane and molasses from the island of Fiji itself, this spirit is aged twice, once in a classic bourbon cask on its home tropical turf, then sailed to south France to be matured again in a French oak cask.
This combination of Pacific and European aging processes gives the rum an intense scent that disguises its distinct, fruity and raisin taste that makes this liquor unique amongst its competing peers.
Enjoy this golden drink straight for a sip, or add to a cocktail or mixer of your choice. This rum is as perfect for a great time as its colourful packaging suggest!
For a rum that has taken its time to be prepared for your lips, this 10 year aged rum from Don Papa’s range will be right up your alley.
Partly inspired by the tale of Papa Isio, who played a vital role in the Philippine revolution against Spain that took place in his lifetime, this rum is a celebration of its country of origin’s history, both what has come before it in its past, and prosper for the future
Darker and more intense than its younger 7-year counterpart in Don Papa’s lineup, this rum was aged in an American ex-bourbon barrel, and has a distinctly strong taste that mixes both delicious vanilla with dried tropical fruit.
This is a very powerful rum that, perhaps a little surprisingly, works well with many ways of serving. You can simply sip it straight, you can add it to cocktails for that powerful punch. It can even be a dessert liquor! Pour it over your ice cream, and experience this versatile spirit for yourself.
Gosling brings a distinctly dark rum to the table with its Black Seal Rum.
Being made in Bermuda as far back as 1806, this dark rum has a lot of history behind it, and a lot of flavor to go with it.
Being distilled in both continuous and pot stills. The name comes from the black wax that sealed the original Gosling bottle, although they have since added an black seal to their label to boot for that extra character.
This rum is full of surprises. Although it looks like it is simply stored in a dark glass, it's the dark rum that brings that rich color out. With hints of vanilla, butterscotch and caramel, this is a subtle sweetness that is sure to be a trip for your taste buds
Serve it straight on the rocks, or add it to a mixer with ginger beer to make a classic Dark ‘n’ Stormy, or any other rum cocktail you can think of. You can’t go wrong with Goslings Black Seal Rum.
Another classic blend of rum flavors, Sailor Jerry is exactly what any good rum aficionado should be looking for in a good spirit.
Originally made in the States, and part of an age-old tradition of flavor blending, Sailor Jerry only adds the finest spices to its proven rum distilling process. Plenty of research has gone into the history of maritime rums, to bring l rum fans the definitive spirit for sailors across the open waves.
With hints of cinnamon and clove spices amongst a whole host of other flavors, this blend is as popular now as it was when it was first made decades ago.
Try this rum with as many cocktails and drinks as you can think of. Add it to a Long Island iced tea through some extra spices into a mojito with this blend. Or just go for the simple classics, and add a little Coca-Cola or ginger beer to this rum with fresh lime for a simple one-two punch of sweet and spices.
Looking for the perfect rum to go in that dream daiquiri you’re preparing. Then Denizen’s Aged White Rum is the way to go. Coming from an unexpectedly European source, this rum from the Netherlands is a bold new take on the classic spirit of choice from across the world.
The aroma of strong green sugar cane will be the first thing you notice in this powerful rum. This classic rum recipe is great for throwing that classic Jamaican fruitiness at you that you expect from a good rum, without being so overpowering that you never want to take another sip.
This is a rum you want to throw in your cocktails, as it goes well with all sorts of loud flavors that are popular in a good mix, especially citruses.
A fresh take on classic rum flavors from the US Virgin Islands, Cruzan Estate’s Diamond Light Rum is a versatile spirit for any occasion.
Don’t let the chardonnay color of the liquor fool you; this rum blend has all the character and flavor you’d expect from the drink of choice from sailors across the world and history. The intense scent of molasses will fool your sense, before they are hit with the sweetness of the rum as it goes down.
Because of the balance of its flavors, we recommend having this rum as a staple of any cocktail you want to make. Just make sure that you’ve got plenty of lime juice and sugar handy to bring out the best in this US home-grown spirit.
If you’re looking for a Mexican take on the classic rum formula, then Uruapan Charanda’s single blended white rum is the way to go for anyone looking to try something new in their cocktails.
Originally blended in Michoacan in Mexico, this rum is a simple, yet effective blend of column distilled molasses with paper pot-prepared sugar cane juice.
With its ingredients grown in the volcanic soil that surrounds the area, there's a certain richness that’s in this spirit ththat'sats a great little addition of spice and party time into any drink it is a part of.
It's a great spirit mixer to have at any cocktail party. And with a remarkably low price, there’s no excuse not to have this rum on the rocks or in a mojito.
If you say you’re a fan of rum, and if you haven’t tried Brugal’s single Añejo Rum yet, you know exactly what spirit you need to add to your grocery next.
Made in the Domincan Republic, this rum has taken Western Europe by storm, especially in the UK. With flavors like this rum has, who can blame them?
Aged five years in a former bourbon cask, there’s a great blend of classic rum flavors in here. From the faint trace of aged wood, to vanilla, to even a hint of chocolate and butterscotch, this rum’s flavors are a fantastic blend of different kinds of sweetness and aromas that just lend themselves to getting a party atmosphere going!
There you have it - 14 of the best rums in the world. The only thing you need to think about now is which you want to try first!
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