Favorite Rum Brands And Top Sellers

By West Africa Cooks, 5 November, 2017

What rum brands are there on the market?

Rum is an alcoholic spirit drink that is very much on trend in western markets today particularly drinkers are asking for golden and dark rums. Captain Morgan, Bacardi and Appletons are some of the many top rum brands people are enjoying in bars around the world and buying to take home. These rums are great on there own as a sipping drink, perfect mixed and features in many classic cocktails.

What Is Rum?

Rum or "Ron" in Spanish; "Rhum" in French or "Aguardiente de Caña"in Portuguese is subject to very few international rules. In short, to be a rum it should be produced from a sugarcane product; juice, molasses or syrup and fermented and distilled in a cane producing country. Finished rums can then be sent to non cane producing countries to be aged or blended. Colour can vary through all shades from clear through golden to dark mahogany. To legally be a rum in the EU the finished product must be a minimum of 37.5% ABV or 40% in the US. Within the EU, flavouring is not permitted and caramel can be added but only to add colour.

Rum as a category offers huge variety and differences in the production processes have a profound impact on the flavour and colour of the finished product.

Flavours vary due to production process, the length of fermentation, whether it is aged and if so how long, type of cask used, climate and of course blending. All of this makes rum an exciting drink for you to explore.

Production And Flavours

Once the cane is harvested, it is then crushed to extract the juice. The sugarcane juice can either be fermented immediately (most common in Rhum Agricole and Caçhaca production) or boiled into a syrup to crystallise the sugar for use by the sugar industry, which then leaves behind a thick dark residue called molasses.
Yeast is added to convert the sugars into alcohol. When using the sugarcane juice fermentation can occur straight away, however molasses needs to be diluted with water as the concentration of sugars is too high and would simply kill the yeast. The length of time of the fermentation will effect the end product with light rums being fermented from 12 hours to 2 days and heavy dark rums up to 12 days.
Distillation can be carried out in either continuous column or pot stills; this will have a huge impact on the flavour of the rum produced. In general, a column still will produce a lighter, delicate style of rum and a pot still will provide a heavier, fuller flavoured rum.
Most rum is aged; the type of wood, length of time and climate all effect the flavour of the finished product. Due to the availability of ex-bourbon casks, American Oak is mainly used, but distillers also experiment with a number of different casks, ex Cognac or Port for example.

Most rum is aged in individual casks but some, mainly Spanish style rums, use the solera system where barrels are stored in long rows and stacked several levels high. As rum is drawn from the bottom barrel it is refilled from the barrels above, with new rum being added to the top barrels, creating a blend of vintages.

The majority of rum is aged where it is produced, in hot humid climates. Interaction with the wood is accelerated and the ageing process takes less time than a colder climate - whisky in Scotland for example.
Almost all rums available are a blend of a number of rums, this gives the master blender the opportunity to create a perfect balance of weight and flavours.

The Different Flavour Profiles

With little or no real legalisation around the production and labelling of rum, the debate on the most accurate way to categorise it rumbles on.

Some say by colour - white, golden and dark, which certainly works in a lot of situations, but it doesn't tell you enough about the flavour profile when you are selecting a range; in
theory you can just add a little more caramel and a gold rum becomes dark without changing the flavour.

We believe the most accurate way is by the flavour profile and the clearest way to group these is by the language spoken in the country of origin.

Listed below are some of the world top sellers and your favorite brands.

White Rum

Clear and colourless rums which either spend no time in wood or are aged briefly in wood to round the flavour but are then filtered to remove the colour.
Perfect in: Mojito

Bacardi Carta Blanca

The world's first original and authentic premium aged White Rum. Made with passion, care and skill and still blended to the exact same flavour profile as it first was in 1862. Light, dry and versatile, it is the base for many classic cocktails such as the Mojito, Daiquiri and Cuba Libre or mostly named Rum and coke. Bacardi top U.S. rum by volume market share and has done so for years.
Size: 1.51 70cl 15cl ABV: 37.5%

Captain Morgan White

Light and crisp, this crystal clear White Rum is balanced and creamy, slightly sweet with just a hint of fruit. Softened by ageing in white oak barrels for over a year, its unique essence is deliciously different, but with authentic Rum character.
Size: 70cl ABV: 37.5%

Expedition White

A fine White Rum; light, delicate and ideal for cocktails and long drinks.
Size: 1.51 70cl ABV: 37.5%

Havana 3Y0

Light and dry; the result of blending aged, aromatic and extra light sugarcane to produce a selection of young Rums which are allowed to rest in white oak barrels before final blending, resting and filtering. Gives any Daiquiri a touch of class.
IWSC: Bronze 2015
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Santa Teresa Claro

This Venezuelan White Rum is a unique blend of light and heavy Rums aged in American white oak for over 2 years. Plentiful fruit notes make it an ideal cocktail ingredient.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Wray & Nephew Overproof

This crystal-clear Rum is legendary and in the country known for its Rum, it is the Rum of choice. In fact, it currently accounts for more than 90% of all Rum sold in Jamaica. It is equally enjoyable in an authentic Jamaican Rum punch, a Mai Tai, a Daiquiri, or in any popular mixer.
Size: 70cl ABV: 63%

Dark Rum

Usually made from molasses and generally aged for longer in heavily charred barrels, dark rums have a fuller flavour with a pronounced molasses, caramel overtone.
Perfect in: Planters Punch

Admiral Benbow

A nose of buttery toffee, allspice and a hint of peppercorns. Black pepper, baking spices and molasses on the palate with a long vanilla finish.
Size: 70cl ABV: 37.5%

Bacardi Carta Negra

Robust fruity notes of ripe banana, caramelised pineapple and molasses, and 1 to 3 years in heavily charred oak barrels gives a robust caramel flavour, with a smoky oak finish.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Brugal Anejo

The nose is full of caramel and dark brown sugar, buttery toffee and a little spice with pepper and vanilla. The palate is smooth and rich and rather dry with buttery spice notes and dark sugar, a little oak. The finish is of good length with dark sugar.
Size: 70cl ABV: 38%

Captain Morgan Original

A blend of pot still and continuous still Rums from Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados. Aged in oak for a dark, full-bodied colour and distinctive rich taste that are unmistakable.
Size: 1.5l 70cl ABV: 40%

Lamb's Navy Dark

First made in 1849, Lamb's is a blend of no fewer than 18 superior Rums from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana. Deep mahogany in colour with a warm blend of spices and pleasant dryness on the finish.
Size: 1.5l 70cl ABV: 40%

Morton's OVD

Originally imported in 1838, OVD is made from the finest Demerara sugar from cane grown on the banks of the famous Demerara River in Guyana. Dark and aromatic with immensely rich flavour OVD is often described as 'pure Caribbean.'
Size: 1.5l ABV: 40%

Pusser's Gunpowder Proof

With a rich vanilla smell to the nose and a slight toffee that lightens off with a hint of sweetness. A heavy burn on the palate to begin with but a mellow warmth develops with a sweet vanilla flavour. Complex flavours yet surprisingly smooth Rum - timeless classic of strength and boldness at to original admiralty strength.
Size: 70cl ABV: 54.5%

Wood's 100 Old Navy

Made from the finest sugarcane, grown along the banks of the River Demerara in Guyana, this is a combination of spirit made in both pot and continuous stills and matured for one to three years in oak before being blended.
WSC: Bronze 2015
Size: 70cl ABV: 57%

Golden Rum

Also know as "amber rums", golden rums are medium bodied and spend time in wood. They sit between white and dark with a fuller flavour than white rums. Caramel may be added for colour consistency.
Perfect in: Cuba Libre

Appletons Estate

The Signature Blend is a delicious blend of the best 15 aged Golden Rums. This blend has a warm honey colour and a lush fruity, bold, rich taste with notes of orange peel. It is a perfect everyday Rum, enjoy with Ginger Beer for a Jamaican Mule. 100% Jamaican from cane to cup.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Bacardi Carta Oro

Amber in colour, mellow and smooth, with impressions of vanilla and a glance of walnuts, spices and tropical fruits on a subtle background of oak.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Bacardi Ocho Anos

After ageing for more than 8 years in carefully selected oak barrels, blending to perfection gives notes of prunes, apricot, nutmeg and vanilla over a clean woody background of oak. Smooth and rich on the palate, very full with a long and expansive finish.
SFWSC: Gold 2015
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Havana Club Especial

A blend of old and young Rums that results in a rich, warm gold-coloured Rum. Its character combines the lightness of White Rums and the robust aroma of Dark Rums. IWSC: Bronze 2015
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Havana 7Y0

The epitome of Cuban Rum. The lengthy and natural ageing process in white oak barrels infuses the Rum with its powerful and complex flavours to produce a stylish and exceptionally rich Rum.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Mount Gay

This Barbados Rum has a brilliant golden amber colour, distinctive floral and fruity notes of apricot and banana on the nose and a subtle smokiness, imparted by the toasted Kentucky oak barrels in which the Rum is aged, on the palate.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Zacapa 23

Zacapa uses a unique Sistema Solera process, based on a centuries-old Spanish way of ageing Sherries, to blend Rums of different ages in a sequence of barrels which previously held American Whiskies, sweet Sherries and fine Pedro Ximenez wines. Refined by craftsmanship and devotion, the whole process is artfully overseen by Master Blender Lorena Vasquez Ampie.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Spiced Rum

Golden or dark rum with the addition of spices and natural flavourings. Commonly used flavours include cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and pepper.
Perfect with: Ginger Beer

Bacardi Carta Fuego

Sweet, tropical fruit, buttery caramel and vanilla notes give way to a smoky liquorice and molasses finish.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Bacardi Oakheart

Bold, spiced premium Rum straight from charred oak barrels. Rich, smooth and smoky with a robust flavour; a hint of maple and honey followed by vanilla and caramel.
Size: 70cl ABV: 35%

Captain Morgan Spiced

A secret blend of premium Caribbean Rums, mellow spice and other natural flavours. It gets its distinct richness and amber colour from ageing in charred white oak barrels.
Size: 1.5l 70cl ABV: 35%

Kraken Black Spiced

Chocolate sweetness and vanilla mingle with cinnamon, clove, ginger and orange. The warming finish is full of rich vanilla and coffee with slight hints of pepper.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Sailor Jerry

Smooth warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg with rich vanilla. A long dry finish balanced with a subdued sweetness and a hint of burnt toffee.
Size: 70cl ABV: 40%

Read Rum, Sugar And Slavery

Independent Producers

The are also rare and expensive rums on the market. Here is a list of them.

Bayou Rum
By the Dutch (Batavia Arrack)
Botran Rums
Cana Brava
Cloven Hoof Rum
Dead Man’s Fingers Rum
Matugga Rum
Old Man Rum
Parlay Rum
Real McCoy
Rum Co. of Fiji
Saint James Rum
St Nicholas Abbey
The Duppy Share
Wild Tiger Rum
Worthy Park

Further Information

V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) or Reserve designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least four years in a cask.
Signature A Signature drink is any unique or original drink that expresses the nature of the person or establishment creating it.
Drink Finder Rum
Source: matthew clark


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