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: Ron Zacapa 23 (2008)

By Christopher Null | November 17, 2008 |

What a gorgeous, lush rum this is. From the land of Guatemala comes Ron Zacapa’s old rum, aged at 8,000 feet above sea level (where the temperature averages 62 degrees) and blended from rums in the solera style. The rums in the blend range from a youthful 6 years to a hoary 23 years old…

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Review: Rhum Clement Premiere Canne, Vieux Agricole VSOP, Cuvee Homere, and XO (2008)

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2008 |

The celebrated Rhum Clement hails from Martinique, where just about everything seems to have an extra letter in it. I managed to get a small sip of the company’s top-shelf Clement XO at the recent WhiskyFest San Francisco, and the company was kind enough to fill me in on the rest of the line which…

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Review: Maui Platinum, Dark, and Braddah Kimo’s Da’ Bomb Extreme Rum

By Christopher Null | November 8, 2008 |

After my report on Sgt. Classick‘s Hawaiian-based rums, the good folks at Haleakala Distillers responded to remind us that Classick isn’t actually distilled on the island, and that its products are. In fact Haleakala is the only distillery on the island of Maui, and produces a selection of fine rums. None of these rums are…

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Review: Triple Eight Hurricane Rum

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2008 |

The folks of Triple Eight Distillery (whose vodkas I reviewed here) also produce a rum called Hurricane. Now Nantucket is not typically an area one associates with rum, but the folks in Massachusetts at least do a credible job with it. There’s nothing overly surprising about Hurricane Rum aside from its provenance. Named in honor…

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Review: Ron Atlantico Private Cask Rum

By Christopher Null | October 31, 2008 |

Unless you live in Miami, good luck getting your mitts on Ron Atlantico. For now, this fine Dominican rum is sold only in South Florida, though fortunately the company is planning expansion. Where and how quickly… that’s the question. The origin of Ron Atlantico is interesting: It’s a bourbon-dark rum that’s belnded from a selection…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2008

By Christopher Null | October 11, 2008 |

It’s official: WhiskyFest is awesome. Bouncing around the dozens of booths and hundreds of spirits being poured was tons of fun: More intimate than the enormous wine events and studded with wall-to-wall kilts. My final tally: 24 whiskeys tasted (plus a rum and a gin). That’s more than I was expecting to sample, but as…

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Review: 10 Cane Rum

By Christopher Null | September 19, 2008 |

Read any bar menu and you’re likely to find at least one cocktail containing 10 Cane Rum. Why’s it so popular? Let’s explore. For starters, unlike most rums, which are made of molasses, the 80-proof 10 Cane is made from pure, pressed sugar juice. Though it’s technically a white rum, it’s also aged in oak…

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Review: Sagatiba Pura Cachaça

By Christopher Null | September 3, 2008 |

“Fusing more than 500 years of tradition with advanced technology” brings us Sagatiba Pura cachaça, another big entrant into the rapidly proliferating cachaça craze. Sagatiba is a largely representative example of the spirit, 80 proof, fairly clean and noticeably sweet when sipped straight. There is citrus — lemon/lime and a bit of orange — on…

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Review: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

By Christopher Null | September 2, 2008 |

There’s a dearth of spiced rums on the market, and a severe shortage of ones that are any good. (We’re fans of Kilo Kai, but it remains terribly hard to find at retail.) Sailor Jerry is the personal recipe of Jerry Collins, a 1920s Hawaiian tattoo artist and apparently quite the rum connoisseur. Distilled in…

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Recipe: Leblon-Lychee Popsicle

By Christopher Null | August 28, 2008 |

I haven’t tried this yet, but it does sound awfully good. Recipe courtesy Leblon. Leblon-Lychee Popsicle 1 1/2 oz. Leblon Cachaça 4 oz. Coconut water with the pieces of young coconut meat 1 oz. simple syrup 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice 1 oz. Boiron Lychee Puree Add all ingredients into a shaker tin. Pour contents…

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