Despite a number of incredible bottles on the market these days, rum is still very much the underdog of the sipping spirits world. When barrel aged, it can be every bit as complex, pleasing, and collectable as bourbon, Scotch, or cognac. But this lack of attention is a good thing for us—for now, anyway. While some have already achieved Pappy-like status, many bottles of the best rum can be had for less than $50.
While rum is more well-known as a warm-weather spirit, popular in tiki-style drinks or sipped neat, there’s no wrong time of year to enjoy this spirit made from fermented and distilled sugarcane or molasses. There’s also no disputing the popularity (and history) of the spirit in Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, and Barbados. However, you can find distillers all over the world, from Louisiana to the Philippines.
Like vodka, gin, and even whiskey, it starts as a crystal-clear spirit. It can be bottled as is, aged, or even spiced. Rum is truly one of the most versatile, complex spirits. Similar to tequila, there are various kinds. They include the aforementioned un-aged white; slightly-aged gold; dark; spiced; various kinds of aged; over-proofed, known for its high alcohol content; and rhum agricole, a French Caribbean-style rum made from sugarcane exclusively. Obviously, there are more offshoots, but you get the idea. Rum is a complicated and complex spirit.
Since we believe you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t stock your home bar cart with at least a few bottles of different types, we collected a few of the best bottles you can find right now. Some are top-shelf, must-try bottles, and others are affordable mixers that you’ll be glad you have on hand when making a mojito, daiquiri, or another rum-centric cocktail.
Go out and snag a bottle or two.
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