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: Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum – Belize 2005 and Barbados 2009 Port Cask

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2020 |

Two new rum offerings from the independent bottlers at Holmes Cay, including a second go-round with Barbados, Holmes Cay’s first release that undergoes a secondary casking (this one’s finished in Port). Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Belize 2005 – Produced at Travellers Liquors Distillery in Belize, this 15 year old rum is column distilled and…

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Review: Admiral Rodney Rums – Princessa, Royal Oak, and Formidable

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2020 |

Admiral Rodney is a line of St. Lucia-based rums from Spiribam, which is best known as the home of Rhum J.M., Clement, and other island rums. Admiral Rodney hasn’t been readily available in the U.S., but that changed last year when Spiribam brought the brand here in earnest. Three editions were launched in 2019 —…

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Review: Mount Gay Master Blender Selection – The Port Cask Expression

By Drew Beard | October 31, 2020 |

For everyone keeping track at home, we’re now on the third release of Mount Gay’s Master Blender Collection. They kicked things off in 2018 with an excessively unusual Islay whisky cask-finished rum but reverted to the more traditional in 2019 with a less adventurous, but rather tasty, all pot-still offering. The 2019 release was the…

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Review: Centenario Rum 18 Years Old Reserva de la Familia

By Drew Beard | October 24, 2020 |

When we reviewed the core lineup from Centenario Rum back in 2018, we mentioned that this Costa Rican-based distillery produces a massive number of expressions, from 7 to a whopping 30 years old. Well, sure enough, there was an 18 year old expression that we missed at the time. Centenario Rum Reserva de la Familia…

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Review: The Kraken Black Roast Coffee Rum

By Christopher Null | October 19, 2020 |

The Kraken has been a big player in the spiced rum space since it launched in 2009, owing variously to its evocatively maritime bottle, dark black color, and exceptionally high quality. Now, The Kraken is launching a curious line extension, a coffee-flavored version of its rum, available as a limited edition. The Kraken Black Roast…

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Review: Bacardi Coquito Coconut Cream Liqueur

By Christopher Null | October 15, 2020 |

What’s coquito? In a nutshell, it’s Puerto Rico’s answer to eggnog, and Bacardi offers this limited edition bottling of the stuff as a ready-to-drink holiday tipple. (Believe it or not, the holidays are nigh.) “Following the traditional recipe closely, Bacardi Coquito combines the signature Bacardi Superior white rum with toasted spices, coconut cream, vanilla, and…

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Review: Rhum J.M. 10 Years Old Vintage 2008

By Christopher Null | October 10, 2020 |

At the top of Rhum J.M.’s Martinique-based lineup stands this infrequent bottling, a vintage-dated rum that spends 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels before bottling. This expression (still column-distilled rhum agricole from estate-grown sugarcane, with no sugar added) hails from the 2008 vintage; you’ll find various other vintages on the market (including 2001, 2003, and 2006).…

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Review: Chairman’s Reserve 1931 Rum

By Christopher Null | October 3, 2020 |

At the top of the Saint Lucia-based Chairman’s Reserve rum lineup is this bottling, Chairman’s Reserve 1931, “a tribute to the rum philosophy and craft” of its founder, Denis Barnard, who founded the distillery in 1931. This blend of column and pot distilled rums spend 6 to 11 years in a combination of bourbon and…

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Review: Equiano Rum Original

By Christopher Null | September 20, 2020 |

While I’ve had rum from both Africa and the Caribbean, Equiano bills itself as “the world’s first African and Caribbean rum.” Equiano (now billed as Equiano Original) is distilled at Gray’s distillery in Mauritius, then matured in ex-Cognac casks for 10 years. From there, it’s blended with rum from Barbados’s Foursquare distillery, which is aged…

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Review: Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum – Fiji 2004 and Guyana 2005

By Christopher Null | August 19, 2020 |

Holmes Cay, which launched its first independently-bottled rum in last year’s Barbados 2005 release, is back at it with two new expressions, one a 2004 from Fiji 2004 and the other a 2005 demerara from Guyana’s Port Mourant. Both are bottled from single casks of 100% pot still rums, bottled at cask strength with no…

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