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!

Origin Gin
Bruichladdich Octomore
Tasting Sets
Blend Your Own Whisky
Batshit Mental Ideas
Whisky Liqueurs
Well aged Cuban rum from the Sancti Spiritus distillery, using their continuous still method, and bottled by one Scotland's oldest independent bottlers, WM Cadenhead. These two make quite a team...  More info
$86.18
Oooooh. Single Cask Cuban Rum? Yes please boss. Holy Moly.  More info
$103.16
Santa Teresa Claro
(70cl, 40%)
A Venezuelan white rum aged in American white oak for around 3 years. Santa Teresa Claro offers plenty of fruity notes, and is great in cocktails.  More info
$28.60
Seven Tiki Aged Rum
(70cl, 40%)
A deliciously complex and full bodied rum hailing from the Island of Fiji.  More info
Seven Tiki White Rum
(70cl, 40%)
A white rum from Fiji. Seven Tiki is oak aged for two years and offers good value for money. The word Tiki is a word found in a number of islands and cultures in the Pacific. The Tiki is a...  More info
$34.73
Smatt's Gold Rum
(70cl, 40%)
A lovely Gold rum from Jamaica, Smatt's is a gorgeous rum produced at a historic Caribbean distillery.  More info
$65.51
Berry Brothers and Rudd have bottled this rather flavoursome rum from St Lucia Distillery all for your delectation!  More info
$98.41
A special edition rum from St Lucia Distillers, named after the year the Dennery Distillery was founded in St. Lucia. In 1972, the Dennery Distillery merged with another to form St. Lucia Distillers...  More info
$89.15
St Nicholas Abbey in Barbados won Best Distillery at Rumfest 2012, whilst this rare single cask 15 year old offering won a Gold at the Rum Masters.  More info
$275.59
Stewarts Rum
(70cl, 40%)
A Demerara rum, blended and bottle by Stewart's. The company has been crafting rums like this for over 150 years.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This bottle of Stock Antilles Rum looks like it has come straight from the 17th century, snatched out the hands of some cheeky pirate. In reality, it actually comes from the 1950s. It may still have...  More info
$407.62
Stroh is a strong rum from Austria, this bottling is a white rum from the 1960's and is particularly rare.  More info
$101.91
Stroh Inländer Austrian Rum from the 1970s! "Auch für rumtopf", or even better in an après-ski jagertee...

"James, I need you!"

"So does England."...  More info
$112.10
Yowser. Vintage rum that's as punchy as Russell Crowe after a slab of XXXX.  More info
$122.29
Rhum Fantasia is a very rare and very retro-looking dark rum which was made in Italy in 1976 by the Tocini company.  More info
$163.05
This is a very rare and collectible bottle of dark Demerara rum, produced in the 1960s and bottled by Greenalls. It hails from British Guiana and has a superb flavour...  More info
$203.81
A single cask, cask strength rum from Trinidad. 298 bottles were produced and subsequently released by Duncan Taylor.  More info
$111.25
A vintage Rhum Agricole from Trois Rivières, this was distilled in Martinique from fresh sugar cane juice in 1997.  More info
$117.11
Guyanan rum from Uitvlugt (nope - me either) distillery. 'Ootfleet' maybe? An outturn of 305 bottles from a single cask courtesy of Duncan Taylor.  More info
$165.24
Vat 19 Golden Rum
(70cl, 37.50%)
A beautiful, easy-drinking 3 year old golden rum produced in Trinidad by Trinidad Distillers. Smooth and quaffable, Vat 19 is a great cocktail spirit...  More info
$24.22
A 25 year old single cask rum from Barbados. Top stuff from Duncan Taylor.  More info
$146.05
A 15 year old Demerara rum from Guyana, bottled by one of Scotland's oldest independent bottler, WM Cadenhead.  More info
$74.63
Wood's Old Navy Rum
(75cl, 40%)
This is a 1980's bottling of Wood's Navy Rum made from demerara sugar.  More info
$152.69
Wood's Old Navy Rum
(70cl, 57%)
A Demerara rum distilled from sugar cane grown in Guyana, blended in the style of old navy rums. Woods is a pot still rum and the packaging has been the same for fifty years.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This bottle of White Overproof Rum is from the 1990s. There's some writing on the label, which looks like it says "John H.". If that's your name, that's a pretty neat coincidence now isn't it? If...  More info
$20.38
Pages « 2122

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.