The 10 Best Rum Brands to Drink Right Now

Posted by Nehal Preet on January 31st, 2021

For the past few years, we’ve been hearing that rum is about to have its breakout instant. We've been told that whiskey drinkers will discover the joys of an alternative brown spirit (when properly aged, that is) as rum brands finally get their Pappy Rum Winkle-some limited-release, impossibly rare rum that'll spawn a thousand dudes posting selfies on Instagram after waiting in line for 24 hours to score a bottle. Well, it hasn’t quite happened yet, and that might actually be a good factor.

While there are some really expensive expressions out there on par with the most coveted bourbon or scotch, you can still get yourself a quality bottle of rum aged for more than 20 years for less than 0, which is something of a steal. Of course, it should be noted that age doesn’t necessarily equal quality, but a cautiously matured rum brings layers of flavour and complexity that can rival any whiskey. Read about Booze Delivery Ottawa, Booze Delivery Toronto, and much more related to the same.

One problem that rum has faced over the years is its reputation as an unregulated, duplicitous spirit. There are good reasons for that: Manufacturers sometimes put meaningless amounts on bottles, leading us drinkers to mistake them for age group statements, and sugar or other additives are sometimes used to adulterate taste without any notification. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the latter point; some rum with added sugar is actually quite good. And it’s not that rum is totally unregulated. On the contrary, there are specific rules regarding production, but they vary from country to nation, piling on confusion for anyone trying to figure out exactly what’s inside the bottle they spent their hard-earned cash on. Kenneth McCoy of New York’s The Rum House sums it up: “I think we should have an idea of how [rum is] made, and if it’s made with quality elements, not just additives, coloring, and sugar, sugar, sugars.”

The bottom line is that there is a rum for everyone, and likely from a distillery that's transparent about its process. If you are looking for something with zero additives, you are in good fortune. And if you prefer something sweeter to use for your Dark ‘n Stormy (more on that below), there’s a rum for that, too. Here are 10 of the best rum-and rhum agricole-brands, in all styles, to drink this summer.

Mount Gay
Barbados’s Mount Gay has been around in one form or another for about 300 many years, but expert blender Trudiann Branker has only held her title at the distillery for a little more than a year. Still, she’s produced a big impact upon some of the core expressions in the portfolio. The ages of the rum in the Black Barrel blend have elevated from two-to-seven yrs to three-to-seven years, and the finish time in seriously charred bourbon barrels offers been dramatically expanded from four weeks to six months, really amping up the flavors. For XO, the age range in the blend has shifted as well, and rum aged in cognac barrels is now included. Last year, Branker contributed her very first Master Blender Collection expression called Mount Gay Pot Nevertheless Rum, which was just distilled in pot stills, instead of the usual combination of pot and column stills. We ought to see more unique releases like this in the coming years.

The Real McCoy
Foursquare is another Barbados distillery known for making great rum, some of that is sold under other brand names. THE TRUE McCoy is one of those, and founder Bailey Pryor was drawn to get better at distiller Richard Seale’s no-bullshit approach-no glucose or flavor added. You can find currently three main expressions, aged three years, five many years, and 12 yrs in bourbon barrels. Most recently, a 14-year-previous rum joined the family in a release of just six thousand bottles. That commitment to transparency appeals to many dedicated drinkers.

Appleton Estate
Appleton Estate master blender Joy Spence, the first woman to hold that job title, believes there should be two categories of rum: flavored rum (with sugar) and true rum (no sugars added). In Fred Minnick’s publication Rum Curious, she is quoted as saying, “You need to add glucose? You can, but the two should be separated.” By law, Jamaican rum is not allowed to have sugar additional, and the quality of Appleton Estate’s earthy rums show why it’s not needed. The 12- and 21-year-old expressions are excellent (and the latter is relatively affordable, thinking of its age), and there are even older bottles like the 25-year-old Pleasure Anniversary Blend, which contains rum aged up to about 35 years and was created to commemorate Spence’s 20 years at the distillery. This is high-end rum for both serious sippers and people who want to make a good cocktail.

Alexandre Gabriel, owner of Maison Ferrand, takes a cue from his native France for his Plantation Rum brand. Sugar is sometimes added to the rum, and Gabriel compares this to the dosage used in champagne manufacturing. The company will be upfront about it (the website contains detailed information), which goes a long way in the spirits market. Various bottlings are sourced from countries around the Caribbean, most of which are usually aged for a second period of time in French cognac casks. And you can find so numerous bottles to explore from Plantation, including a range of individual cask expressions and vintage releases from nations like Fiji, Panama, and Peru. Two new releases coming out this summer are the Isle of Fiji rum, a permanent addition to the portfolio that's aged for two to 3 years in ex-bourbon casks and another yr in Ferrand cognac casks, and the Fiji 2005 limited-edition vintage, aged for 14 many years in bourbon barrels and another season in cognac casks.

Holmes Cay
Holmes Cay is focused on one issue: releasing the best one cask rum it can find, with no sugar or even adulterants added. These bottles are pretty high-octane, with ABVs ranging from about 55 percent to a hefty 64 %. But add a little water if that seems a bit intense, and the tastes really start to shine. There are two fresh releases from the brand name. The first is a 2004 vintage from Fiji, which is 100 percent pot still rum aged for 12 yrs in ex-bourbon barrels, and then another four years in American oak casks in the UK. The second release is Guyana Port Mourant Demerara 2005, that is distilled in a double wooden pot nevertheless (the brand says this is the only one currently in use) at Demerara Distillers, before being aged for 15 many years in utilized United states oak barrels in the united kingdom. These are rums that you should take your time with, the way you might with a complex scotch whisky.

Diplomático is produced in Venezuela from molasses and sugarcane honey, which the distillery describes like “the syrup left over after the first boiling of sugarcane,” with a higher sugar content than molasses. Reserva Exclusiva is really a dependable spirit to have in your home bar, made in a variety of still varieties and aged for up to 12 yrs in oak casks. The higher-finish Ambassador is also quite good, a rum aged for a minimum of 12 years in white oak before becoming finished for just two many years in PX sherry casks. The latest release, Pot Still Rum, is the third in Diplomático’s Distillery Selection. The trilogy is meant to showcase the different methods of distillation, so this one focuses singularly on copper pot stills. As permitted by Venezuelan law, there is some sugar put into the rum during getting older, however the sweetness complements a palate full of banana, oak, and vanilla.

Rhum JM
On the island of Martinique, the rum produced is known as rhum agricole, and this indicates an important distinction. Instead of using molasses to make the spirit, sugarcane fruit juice is fermented and distilled into something that is relatively familiar but decidedly different. Attempt Rhum JM’s whitened rum to really experience how special the spirit will be, with grassy and earthy notes that complement this pleasantly dry, unaged rhum. The brand takes its cues from cognac in terms of age group designations, with VO, VSOP (aged three years), and XO expressions. There are also some excellent classic releases to try, which range from 10 to 15 years old and bottled at cask strength.

Don Q
Bacardi may be the biggest rum distillery in Puerto Rico, but Destileria Serralles makes what might be the most popular as far as the locals are concerned: Don Q. This inexpensive rum is named after Don Quixote and has been around since the end of Prohibition. The brand name has a slew of various expressions, which includes an añejo consisting of a blend of rum aged from three to ten years, a couple of single barrel releases, and an interesting Vermouth Cask Finish that spends four to six weeks in Italian oak vermouth barrels after growing older in American oak for five to eight yrs. One of the most recent releases has been the Double Aged Sherry Cask Finished rum, which adds another layer of dried fruit sweetness to the spirit.

When you think of a Dark ‘n Stormy, Goslings would like you to think of its rum, and its rum alone. In fact, the brand provides trademarked the cocktail’s name, insisting that it must be made out of Goslings Dark Seal rum and Goslings ginger beer. Needless to say, you’ll (probably) be safe making it with whatever rum you fancy at home. But there exists a reason Goslings is as popular since it is: It’s cheap and it goes down easy. Goslings doesn't have a distillery; instead, the Bermuda-based organization sources barrels from some other countries, age groups and blends in Bermuda, and ships the rum to Kentucky for bottling. The rum in Black Seal is aged in bourbon barrels for several years, but that dark color is amplified by the addition of molasses from one of the distillates in the final blend, according to Malcolm Gosling. If you’re looking for something more complex, check out Papa Seal Individual Barrel, a delicious 15-year-aged rum that is released in very limited numbers.

Rhum Barbancourt
Like Martinique, Haiti produces rhum agricole made from sugarcane juice instead of molasses. Rhum Barbancourt is the largest and best known rum producer on the island, with a range that's affordable and accessible with different age statements, providing solid options for sipping on its own or putting to use within an interesting cocktail. These include the high-finish Estate Reserve, a 15-year-older spirit that is best liked neat or maybe with a large ice cube; 3 Star, which is aged for four years despite the title; and Pango Rhum, an aged rum that's flavored with macerated pineapples and mangos.

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Nehal Preet

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Nehal Preet
Joined: April 21st, 2020
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