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: Chairman’s Reserve Legacy Rum

By Christopher Null | July 13, 2021 |

The latest edition in the St. Lucia-based Chairman’s Reserve Rum series is this, simply called Legacy, a blend of rums from Chairman’s two pot stills from John Dore and Vendome as well as its Coffey column still. It includes both traditional molasses-based rums and sugarcane juice rum made entirely from its Roseau estate and fermented…

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Review: Amrut Old Port Deluxe Rum and Two Indies Rum

By Drew Beard | June 27, 2021 |

Amrut is best known in the U.S. for its whisky, which is famously hyper-aged in the hot and humid Indian climate. In addition to whisky, however, Amrut is also quite the rum producer. In fact, they are the 7th largest rum brand in the world. During our conversation with Assistant Distiller Ashok Chokalingam back in…

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Review: Foursquare Probitas and Mark XIII 2008 Single Blended Rum

By Drew Beard | June 18, 2021 |

Rum has undergone something of a resurgence in the last decade, and while it still pales in comparison to the whiskey boom, there are lots of unique and interesting brands finding more and more markets and winning more and more fans. One of the distilleries responsible for the growing excitement around rum is Foursquare in…

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Review: Ron Abuelo XII Anos Two Oaks and XV Anos Finish Collection

By Christopher Null | June 10, 2021 |

It’s hard to believe but it’s been 12 years since we’ve seen any of the rums of Ron Abuelo, at the time earning a well-deserved Best Value award for its incredible quality to price ratio. Now Ron Abuelo has been back at work pushing its products into more exotic (and pricier) categories, with the recent…

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Review: Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum – Guyana 2003 and Jamaica 2011

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2021 |

Two new single barrel rums from the sourcing maestros at Holmes Cay, the first releases for 2021. (Four more are hot on their heels.) Let’s dive in. Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Guyana Uitvlugt 2003 – Guyana Uitvlugt (pronounced eye-flot) 2003 was distilled at Guyana’s Diamond Distillery on a French Savalle four-column still. The Uitvlugt name…

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Review: Hampden “Great House” Rum Distillery Edition 2020

By Christopher Null | June 1, 2021 |

At the end of 2020, Jamaica’s Hampden Estate Distillery launched the first in a new annual series of rums that are designed to enhance its profile on the market. The distillery, which has been running for hundreds of years, only began producing products under its own label in 2018. (Before that, it sold off virtually…

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Review: Tanduay Double Rum

By Christopher Null | May 18, 2021 |

The Philippines-based Tanduay Rum is out with a new expression called Double Rum. It’s a blend of two rums, a “premium” rum that’s 16 years old and a “traditional” rum that’s 5 years old. These two rums are then blended (no proportion is offered) and aged for a further 2 years in once-used bourbon barrels.…

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Review: Ten To One Single Cask Reserve Rum 17 Years Old

By Christopher Null | May 9, 2021 |

Ten To One, a blender of unique multinational rums, is out with its first reserve bottling, paying tribute to the company’s birthplace of Trinidad and Tobago. Ten To One Single Cask Reserve is a limited bottling of just four hand-selected casks of 17 year old Trinidadian rum. Clearly well-aged with a rich nose that evokes leather,…

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Review: Rhum J.M. VO

By Christopher Null | April 24, 2021 |

We’re filling out our coverage of Martinique’s Rhum J.M. line, finally looking at an oddity called Rhum J.M. VO. The hitch: It’s aged for 3 years in toasted new American oak barrels rather than used bourbon barrels, which are the norm. The result is a rather sharp and heavy rum, at least on the nose,…

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Review: Cotton & Reed White Rum, Dry Spiced Rum, and Allspice Dram

By Drew Beard | April 10, 2021 |

Cotton & Reed opened its doors in 2016 in Washington, D.C.’s trendy Union Market neighborhood, becoming the first rum distillery ever in the District. The distillery prides itself on making interesting rums with flavors specifically geared toward cocktails, although neat sipping is encouraged, as well. They also promote a “restrained approach to sugar,” meaning these…

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