Rum is a distilled spirit traditionally made from sugarcane juice or molasses and typically aged in oak barrels, although experimentation with other barrels also takes place. Rum is most widely associated with the islands of the Caribbean and Latin American countries, but it is made in many countries around the world, including Scotland, Sweden, and the U.S. In Spanish-speaking countries rum is called ron, though no one knows for sure where the word “rum” itself was born. White or silver rum is either unaged or is lightly aged, then filtered to strip out the color; it is generally intended for use in cocktails. Gold or amber rum is aged in oak barrels, though there are no agreed upon standards on how long this term, nor any real distinction between the terms. Dark rum is usually made from caramelized molasses, aged for a longer period of time, and usually in barrels that have been more deeply charred. Overproof rum can hit up to 160 proof and is intended for use in cocktails, including the Volcano, where the overproof rum is floated on top and ignited. Spiced and flavored rums are also quite popular.

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Review: Santa Teresa 1796 Speyside Whisky Cask Finish

By Drew Beard | December 2, 2023 |

The quality of Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum has remained impressively consistent, at least across our two tastings in 2013 and 2020. Presumably, it’s been that way since Hacienda Santa Teresa, Venezuela’s oldest rum producer, first launched the brand back in 1992. And during all that time, the 1796 Solera expression has stood alone. Until…

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Review: Flor de Cana Rum – 12, 18, and 25 Years Old (2023)

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2023 |

Seven years ago, I wrote a review of four rums from Nicaragua’s Flor de Cana, referring to the 7, 12, 18, and 25 expressions with “years old” attached. That was laziness on my part: Flor de Cana has long used only vague numbers attached to terms like “slow aged” rather than providing a real age…

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Review: Appleton Estate Rum Hearts Collection 1993 and 2002

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2023 |

Appleton has been cranking out luxe special editions for the last few years, but none are more prized than its Hearts Collection, which comprises single-vintage pot still rums of exceptional age. The Hearts Collection began three years ago and soon comprised vintages from 1994, 1995, 1999, 1984, and 2003 — though we didn’t get a…

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Drinkhacker’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2023 |

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some festivities in the form of holiday revelry. Naturally, the holidays mean gift-giving time is nigh, and you’re going to want recommendations for what to wrap up and stash under the tree. As always, this year we want your gift-giving to make a statement, but we…

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Review: Ron Diplomatico Ambassador and Single Vintage 2007

By Christopher Null | November 19, 2023 |

Venezuela’s Ron Diplomatico has numerous expressions, with these two releases part of its newish Prestige Range, which continue to push the rum world upmarket. Let’s dig in to each in turn. Ron Diplomatico Ambassador – Diplomatico’s highest-end expression is “straight from the barrel”… but only 47% abv, which raises an eyebrow or two. Finished in…

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Review: Angostura Rum – 7 Years Old and 1919 (2023)

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2023 |

We recently caught up with Angostura‘s rum-making operation in Trinidad & Tobago, seven years since reviewing their nearly complete lineup. This time out we’re only examining two of the rums — both in the middle of the collection — to see how things have (or haven’t) changed over time. Both are 80 proof. Angostura Caribbean…

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Review: Mount Gay Single Estate Series 23_01

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2023 |

Mount Gay has been dropping its luxe Master Blender releases at a steady clip for years now, but this fall the Barbados-based rum operation is doing something new: Launching a new annual release called the Single Estate Series, a first of its kind rum that will feature sugar cane farmed by Mount Gay itself. In…

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Review: La Maison & Velier Rums, 2023 Releases

By Christopher Null | October 9, 2023 |

The other day a mysterious little box landed on my doorstep, filled with small samples of spirits bearing strange names with all-caps labels attached to them. ISAUTIER CANE. FLAG SERIES TRINI. RIVERS. What I soon realized I had in hand was seven samples of fine rums from La Maison & Velier, which distributes some of…

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“Best White Dog of My Life”: An Interview With High Wire Distilling’s Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall

By Jonathan Glover | October 7, 2023 |

On the eve of their 10th anniversary, Drinkhacker sat down with Ann Marshall and Scott Blackwell of Charleston’s High Wire Distilling. What began as a short Q&A pinpointing a few of the James Beard-nominated distillery’s highlights quickly evolved into an hours-long conversation about agriculture, friends, family, and just plain ol’ culture. The recurring theme during…

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Review: Bhakta Jamaican Rum 1990

By Christopher Null | September 25, 2023 |

Raj Bhakta‘s eponymous spirits line started out as an Armagnac purveyor, but it’s since expanded to whiskey and, now, rum — all of which are designed to showcase these spirits at the peak of their maturity. The product is a blend of two single vintages of Jamaican rum, a 25 year old column still rum…

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