Delivery Login
Blog Contact Trade +44 (0)1892 888 376
My Basket
Total$0.00
You can change the currency displayed here.
click to close

Rum

Rum is such an evocative spirit. It transforms, transcends and instantly transports the drinker to the sun-washed shores of the West Indies; white sands, palm trees and blue seas. It always has a sense of joviality, in part thanks to its Caribbean origins, and also because of the unabashed decadence surrounding a libation made from sugar.

The kind of sugar used is one of the key differentiating factors in rum production. In the Spanish and British Antilles, for example, rum is traditionally distilled from molasses - a by-product of sugar production. In the French Caribbean islands, however, sugarcane juice (sometimes called sugarcane honey) is used instead of molasses. Countries like Martinique and Guadeloupe are famed for producing spirit distilled from sugarcane juice, known as rhum agricole - French for 'agricultural rum'. The spirit is often made in a way that more closely resembles the distillation of some of the famous French brandies, such as Cognac or Armagnac. Younger varieties often exude a tangy, herbal flavour, whilst the aged varieties (often matured in Cognac casks) will offer up subtlety and complexity, just like any fine aged spirit.

The Caribbean has been cultivated for sugar for centuries, and the various occupiers, be they Spanish, French or English, have their own terms for the spirit; Ron, Rhum and, of course, Rum, respectively.

As far as British involvement with the spirit, there has always been a strong connection with the Royal Navy. Indeed, at one time the Navy afforded their sailors a half pint of rum as part of their daily ration. The rum was traded and export grew in large part because of the export possibilities that sea travel brought about.

Many competing arguments exist as to the origins of the term "rum”. The most convincing is that it is a shortened version of "rumbullion” – a word meaning great uproar and noise, and a good reminder of the often violent, dramatic history of rum. Other terms have existed, including "kill devil” which was used to describe spirit distilled from molasses.

Due to the huge geographical territory in which rum is produced, there are many variants in production, the type of still being one of the most obvious. Usually, pot stills are used to distil thick, rich, aged rums (El Dorado 15 and El Pusser’s are good examples). Continuous column stills, on the other hand, are used to produce white spirits best associated with cocktails.

Maturation is an interesting aspect too. White rums are either unaged or aged only very briefly. Classics such as Bacardi Superior are crisp and tangy and work brilliantly well in cocktails. Gold rums tend to be a mix of spirit old and new, and also work nicely in cocktails, with an increase in complexity and flavour. For the connoisseurs of sipping spirit, however, dark rums are the preference. These can be tremendously refined and delicious, thanks in no small part to the tropical nature of the climate. The hot weather allows Caribbean rums to mature particularly rapidly - at as much as thrice the rate of Scotch Whisky . In this respect a 15 year old rum is the equivalent of a 45 year old whisky!

Other geographical factors come into play too, and some of the top rum-producing countries have attained their own unique style.

Jamaica is perhaps one of the most prolific rum nations today, with its own unique style. Prior to distillation, the molasses are typically allowed to ferment for a great length of time. This is then followed by distillation in pot stills. The result is intensity and body, often with notes of tropical fruit and banana. Appleton Estate and Wray and Nephew are superlative examples.

Barbados is another prime rum territory. One of the original islands to begin rum distillation, Barbadian rums are often superbly balanced, with deliciously aromatic tendencies. There are three main distilleries on the island (West Indies Rum Distillery, Mount Gay and Foursquare), and each makes use of pot stills. These are easy-drinking rums, with some of the longer-aged variants (Doorly’s XO, for example) working brilliantly as sipping spirits.

Guyana is one of our favourite rum nations, thanks in no small part to the heavy, Demerara rums bottled in the El Dorado range. These are full-bodied spirits, traditionally the main constituent in British Navy rum. Made in a mix of pot stills and column stills, there is quite a variety of flavour to be found. Where once there were more than 200 distilleries, today there is only one. We suggest you seek out El Dorado 15 for an example of just how good Guyana rum can be!

Latin America is home to the lighter, fresher cocktail rums. The popularity of such spirit (with the advent of the recent cocktail revolution) has transformed the place into the most prolific region of all. It all started, however, with Bacardi, originally produced in Cuba before the country's factories were nationalised. Today, Bacardi is made in Puerto Rico, and the classic Carta Blanca remains a mainstay for many cocktails including the Daiquiri. Countries such as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Venezuela and Trinidad play hosts to some of the world's top distilleries. Brands such as Ron Zacapa, Brugal and Pampero - among many others - are well worth a look.

Whilst not always thought of as a true rum, this introduction would not be complete without a mention of Cachaça. The famous spirit, made almost exclusively in Brazil, is traditionally enjoyed as part of a Caipirinha cocktail, and its production closely resembles Rhum Agricole. It is distilled from fermented sugar cane juice, and is bottled at between 38% and 54%ABV. One interesting aspect is the legally permissible addition of up to six grams of sugar per litre, giving the spirit additional sweetness. Varieties are sold both aged and unaged, with the former being a more premium style thanks to the extra complexity imbued by the use of wooden barrels. To sample some fine Cachaça, look for the superb distilleries Germana and Abelha. We recommend you enjoy the aged varieties neat, whilst the tangier white Cachaça is best drunk in the aforementioned Caipirinha - a cocktail made simply with two shots of Cachaça, half a lime and a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Delicious!

Recently, rum has surged in popularity. Its regard as a fine cocktail mixer is good and widespread and a number of the world’s most popular drinks are rum-based - the Daiquiri and the Mojito being two prime examples. It is only recently, though, that our beloved rum has really been enjoyed en masse as a standalone beverage of true merit, and this new direction is excellent, for rum is as much a connoisseur’s libation as any other dark spirit. Like all dark spirits, a stemmed tulip glass is best for optimum palate entry and for focusing the aroma.

Rum

Share This!

Whisky Liqueurs
St George Spirits
Kentucky Oak Barrels
Monkey Shoulder Whisky
Spirit of Hven Distillery
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth
A 12 year old dark rum from Ron Abuelo of Panama. They age their rum in whiskey barrels, which adds a distinct vanilla sweetnses. This 12 year old was launched in 2009, and is elegant, slightly smoky...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$55.27
Ron Abuelo 7 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
A 7 year old rum from Panama made by Varela-Hermanos. Ron Abuelo is made using distillery grown sugar cane and is aged in white oak barrels.  More info
$42.36
A 5 year old Panamanian rum from Ron Abuelo. It is made at Varela-Hermanos, which is a third generation family distillery that grows its own sugar cane and ages its rum in white oak barrels.  More info
$39.99
Ron Abuelo Centuria
(70cl, 40%)
A rare rum blend made in Panama, Ron Abuelo Centuria is aged in Jack Daniel's whiskey barrels in the solera method. Some of the rums are as old as 30 years, and the flavour is astonishingly rich and...  More info
$197.95
This is a rare bottle of Ron Arecha Extra de Jose Arechabala, produced in the 1960s. If the name Jose Arechabala is familiar to you, that is because it is the name being Havana Club!

Please be...  More info
$366.01
Ron Barceló Añejo
(70cl, 37.50%)
Lovely golden/dark rum from the Dominican Republic, Ron Barceló Añejo works well in cocktails, or on the rocks.  More info
$36.60
Ron Calados Dark Rum
(70cl, 37.70%)
Made from Caribbean rum, Ron Calados dark rum is a value for money mixing product.  More info
$28.15
Wonderful Cuban rum which has enjoyed a rather lengthy maturation (for a rum). 10 years in the cask has given this beauty bags of character, flavour and an glorious mahogany hue.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$80.61
Matured for three years, the Carta Blanca is the youngest rum from the Cuban producers, Ron Cubay. Made exclusively using Cuban molasses, it's a top quality rum for cocktails or even enjoyed neat.  More info
$37.72
Enjoyed in Cuba since the 1960s, the rest of the world is finally getting to taste the excellent Ron Cubay. Their Anejo rum is aged for 7 years before being bottled, allowing it to mellow out and grow...  More info
$45.21
Ron de Jeremy
(70cl, 40%)
For those of you aren’t familiar with his work, Ron Jeremy is a long-standing leading man in some of the more #ahem# ‘artistic’ films in the gentleman’s section of your local video store. Ron...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$50.24
Ron de Jeremy Spiced
(70cl, 47%)
Created for the self-described "hardest working man in showbiz", this is a spiced variant on the superb Ron de Jeremy. It's a Panama rum, flavoured with vanilla and various exotic spices, and...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$53.26
Yarr, it be a bottle o' Ron Don Antañón from the 1970s, it be!

100cl of old Spanish rum featuring what looks to be Horatio McCallister, the Sea Captain from The Simpsons, on the label.  More info
$244.00
Ron Guajiro - 1970s
(75cl, 0%)
A tall bottle of Ron Guajiro white rum from the 1970s, made by Cocal in the Canary Islands. We can't find an abv listen on the label, which is a bit scratched, but you try not having any scrapes after...  More info
$162.67
Ron Guajiro 1l - 1980s
(100cl, 40%)
Rum from the 1980s, bottled by Guajiro. A full litre no less!  More info
$162.67
This white rum from the Canary Islands features the complexity of golden rum with the flavour of white. This bottle is from the 1970s and is a great vintage piece!  More info
$81.33
This spirit from Ron Millonario is a beautifully packaged solera-aged rum from Peru. Distilled in column stills, it comes packaged in a woven-covered bottle and it was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2009...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$70.88
An indulgent 15 year old rum from Ron Mulata, produced in Cuba, exclusively making use of their top quality Cuban cane syrup. It has been aged in 180 litre oak casks, which the distillers say give it...  More info
$92.23
5 year old Cuban rum distilled in Heriberto Duquesne, Villa Clara. They characteristically produce a lighter style of rum (which the distillery attributed to the rum being matured in 180 litre oak...  More info
$35.58
The distillers behind Ron Mulata only use Cuban sugar cane syrup to produce their fantastic rum. They also only use 180 litre white oak barrels to age it. This expression, for example, spent 7 long...  More info
$37.28
Ron Mulata is made exclusively from Cuban sugar cane syrup and matured only for a short time before being bottled. It's not long enough to give it a great deal of colour, but it does help mellow out...  More info
$42.85
A delicious dark rum from Ron Pampero, this is made in continuous stills in Venezuela. It's full, rich and very fruity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$57.61
Deep, intense rum from Venezuelan producer Pampero. Superb sipping rum.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$33.89
Ron Pampero Blanco Rum
(70cl, 37.50%)
A crisp, fruity white rum produced in Venezuela by Ron Pampero. Aged for at least 2 years (as is the law in the country for all rum), this is a smooth, premium spirit which works well in cocktails, or...  More info
$30.92
A rare 1.9 litre bottling of Puerto Rican rum bottled for E.F. Debrot Inc. of Aruba back in the 1970s - not to be confused with Ron Superior Puerto Rico, the well known brand.  More info
$386.34
Pages 12345678910 »

Recently viewed

We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online shopping experience. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device.
Visit our privacy policy page for more information.

The prices currently being shown in USD are approximate, and should be used for illustrative purposes only. All prices are in GBP and all orders are charged in GBP. The order total – the amount you will actually be charged – will be displayed in GBP before you place your order. Click here to change your currency.
We Accept
Delivery Partners
Master of Malt supports responsible drinking - Sip, don't Gulp.
ATOM Supplies Ltd trading as Master of Malt. Registered office: North House, 198 High Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BE. Registered in England & Wales. Company number 3193057, VAT number GB 662241553.