The Top 10 Rums of 2022

The Top 10 Rums of 2022

The resurgence of once hard-to-find brands like Foursquare and Hampden — along with an increasingly impressive showing from independent rum bottlers — are driving the rum world to some incredible heights. If your last encounter with rum left you with a cloying, sugar-drenched taste in your mouth, it’s time to dip back into the category. Quality continues to impress — and, for the most part, prices are wholly reasonable. (Only one rum on our list topped $100 a bottle for 2022.)

While you can’t go wrong with any of the rums on our top 10 list for 2022, you can find more great options on our previous top 10 rums of 2021, 2020, and 2019. You can also search multiple stores at wine-searcher to find the best prices on all these products and more.

1. Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Belize 2006 – Boutique bottler Holmes Cay produced a number of top-shelf rums in 2022, but this one was the best, a 16 year old column still spirit that tastes like it came from a pot still. Robust and full of coffee and spice notes and plenty of fruit, the complex rum exudes notes of toffee, raisin, ginger, and more on its incredibly lengthy finish. 122 proof. $130

2. Foursquare Mark XI “Sagacity” Single Blended Rum – A beautiful blend of Barbados’s best: pot and column still rum, aged in both bourbon and Madeira casks, bottled as 12 years old. This little brother to the distillery’s winning Redoutable is pungent with those oxidized Madeira notes but balanced with a towering amount of fruit, vanilla, and baking spices – but bottled at a more approachable abv than its sibling. Turns out it never needed the extra booziness at all. 96 proof. $70

3. Hampden “The Younger” Rum 5 Years Old 2021 – Though a mere 5 years old, this is a Jamaican beauty that shows how expressive comparatively young rum can be. Ultra-ripe fruit notes mingle with some grassy elements up front, letting oak, brown sugar, and vanilla fill in the gaps later in the game. A powerhouse of flavor with a surprisingly reasonable price tag. 94 proof. $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

4. Equiano Rum Light – Mauritius-based Equiano has emerged as one of the most exciting rum brands on the market, in large part because of its unique approach to blending. This light rum takes Foursquare’s Barbados pot still rum, ages it for three years, and blends it with its own column still rum made at home in Africa. The results are beautiful, a light-on-its-feet spirit with tons of expressive fruit and spice that’s perfect for mixing. At 40 bucks it’s a screaming deal. 86 proof. [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS] [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]

5. Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Jamaica 2014 EMB – Another killer from Holmes Cay, this 8 year old pot still rum from Jamaica’s Clarendon Distillery is bristling with tradition, running from ruddy hogo to overripe fruit in the end. Peppery and racy, with a warming afterglow thanks to its 61% abv. 122 proof. $85

6. Papalin Jamaica Rum 7 Years Old – There’s a complex backstory behind Papalin – this blended rum was distilled at two separate sites in Jamaica – but don’t let that stop you. This elegant spirit features banana, peach, and lemon notes before cruising into a silky and not too sweet palate. Restrained on the funk, which is a nice change of pace for Jamaica. 94 proof. $60

7. Grander Panama Rum Trophy Release 20B08 – Grander has been pumping out “trophy releases” twice a year since 2020. This first release for 2022 is one of its best, a Panamanian monster featuring six blended barrels, one finished in Scotch barrels. Complex and sweet, the whiskey influence is evident but not overpowering, offering contrasting notes of fruit and woody cereal late in the game. A definite change of pace from the many uber-tropical offerings around. 105.2 proof. $45 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

8. Rum & Cane XO Rum Asia Pacific – Newly imported Rum & Cane dropped its three initial U.S. releases this year. Arguably the best of them is this unique blend of Fijian and Indonesian rum, matured in oak barrels and Djati wood vats. Curiously Asian in approach, with notes of lemongrass and ginger complementing more classic clove and banana elements. Overall, it’s fairly mild but versatile and refreshing. A perfect mixer. 92 proof. $50

9. Foursquare Mark XVIII “Indelible” Single Blended Rum – How about another (belated) round with Foursquare, this one using zinfandel wine casks to age some of this blend of 11 year old rums. Berry notes are to be expected and are welcome before a hefty oak character works its way into the mix, balancing out the finished product. 96 proof. $80 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]

10. Botran Ron de Guatemala No. 18 Reserva de la Familia – Guatemala’s Botran relaunched in 2022, and this sweet little number, aged in four types of barrels, is at the top of its lineup. Hints of anise and plenty of coffee work well with the chocolatey, brown sugar-driven core. It’s not overwhelming in complexity but makes up for it with impressive balance and versatility. 80 proof. $45 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

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