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!

Batshit Mental Ideas
Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery
Vintage Cocktails
Filliers Distillery
The Hot Enough Vodka Co
Bruichladdich Octomore
Admiral Benbow Navy Rum
(70cl, 37.50%)
This was named after the legendary Admiral John Benbow who served in the Royal Navy from 1678 to 1702. It's a rich navy-style rum and it works very well in cocktails or with mixers.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (0.5/5)
$21.08
Ancient Mariner Rum was conceived to revive the classic rum as enjoyed by the Royal Navy up until 1970. After sourcing a sample of the original rum, the recipe was recreated with spirit sourced from...  More info
$69.90
Antich is a once-produced Spanish rum, from Barcelona. This number "77" was bottled sometime in the 1970s. Unusual stuff!  More info
A 1960s bottling of Appleton 151 Jamaican Rum, an overproof rum that would have been great in cocktails 40 years ago. Not only is it stronger that your average Appleton, this is a bigger 100cl...  More info
$281.27
A rare bottling of 151 proof Jamaican rum from the excellent Appleton Estate, dating from the 1970s.  More info
$281.27
Atlantico Private Cask is a thick, toffee-rich, woody dark rum from the Dominican Republic, blended from small batch rums aged between 15 and 25 years.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.5/5)
$59.18
Bacardi 151 Rum - 1980s
(75cl, 75.50%)
This is a high-proof, "151" dark rum from Bacardi - the world's most famous spirit of its kind. This particular bottling was made in the 1980s and is thus rather rare.  More info
$93.76
A gift pack including a 70cl bottle of Bacardi's popular 8 year old premium rum and two handsome tumblers.  More info
$54.05
A 1.75 litre bottling of Puerto Rican dark dry rum from Bacardi. It dates fromthe 1970s and has a built in pourer.  More info
$328.15
Bacardi Anejo - 1970s
(75cl, 40%)
Produced in Puerto Rico, this is a great old rum, and a rare bottling of Bacardi too, bottled in the 1970s.  More info
Bacardi Black - 1980s
(70cl, 37.50%)
A 1980s edition of Bacardi Black label, a Puerto Rican rum aged for up to four years and charcoal-filtered for additional smoothness.  More info
This is a litre bottle of the famous white rum from Bacardi bottled back in the 1980s and is great for adding an antique twist to a cocktail or punch!  More info
$187.51
A large, litre bottle of 1970s Bacardi Carta Blanca. Use this to make a perfect Daiquiri, or a crisp, refreshing Mojito…  More info
A 1980s bottling of Bacardi Carta Blanca. This is a full litre bottle of the classic white rum.  More info
This white rum from Bacardi was bottled in the 1990s. Bacardi famously left Cuba following the rise of Fidel Castro and continued to produce rum from abroad.  More info
$112.51
This is a 1980's bottling of Barcardi's golden rum. Barcardi fled Cuba when Fidel Castro wanted the distillery for himself, well you can't blame the guy...

N.B. Highball glass not included in box.  More info
$150.01
Rum rum rum. Rum for my Tum. From the 1970s.  More info
$150.01
Bacardi Reserve
(75cl, 40%)
This is an old bottling of the Bacardi golden rum known as the Bacardi Reserve.  More info
$76.49
Bacardi Reserve - 1980s
(70cl, 37.50%)
A 1980s bottling from Bacardi. Rum geeks? Christmas has come early.  More info
$150.01
Bacardi Superior 1l - 1980s
(100cl, 37.50%)
A bottling of the ever-popular club standard, Bacardi Superior, that dates from the 1980s.  More info
$150.01
Rare Argentinian rum dating from the 1960s.  More info
$189.53
A Rhum Fantasia made by Baldoni in Ancona, Italy. This antique bottle was produced over 40 years ago in the 1960s. This is a 100cl bottle, larger than most.  More info
$225.02
This rum is from the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados and packs an impressive twelve years of age...  More info
$70.16
A 13 year old rum released by Berry Brothers & Rudd, distilled at the Foursquare distillery in Barbados.  More info
$83.49
This was originally launched during the 1960s and stands as the superlative rhum from Barbancourt. Double copper pot distilled before a maturation of 15 years in Limousin white oak barrels.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$56.18

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.