Currency and Delivery Country

  1. Shopping at Master of Malt is safe and secure.

We're just loading our login box for you, hang on!

Rum

Popular Rum Types: Dark Rum | White Rum | Spiced 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, and results in a spirit typically around 40-50% ABV, or higher in the case of overproof rum. 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.

Legendario Añejo Blanco

70cl, 40%
Legendario

A white Cuban rum, that spent a short time resting in oak barrels prior to a final filtration to remove the colour. Hugely popular in Spain.  More info

Legendario Añejo Blanco
$33.40

Burke’s Fine Old Original Jamaica Rum - 1990s

70cl, 75%
Burke's

White Jamaican rum, made by Burke's in the 1990s. In great condition, it still even has the straw tied around it - a collectible piece.  More info

Burke’s Fine Old Original Jamaica Rum - 1990s
$129.50

Glen's White Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Glen Catrine Distillers

This is a white rum from the West Indies, perfect for mixing in cocktails or serving over ice with a slice of lime.  More info

Glen's White Rum
$15.86

Don Q 20 Year Old Reserva de la Familia Serrallés

75cl, 40%
Serralles

Released to mark Don Q's 150th anniversary, Reserva de la Familia Serralles is a blend of 20 year old rums. Back in 1994 a lot of 36 charred American oak barrels were filled, the finest 6 of which…  More info

Don Q 20 Year Old Reserva de la Familia Serrallés
$1,746.99

O.V.D. Demerara Rum 35cl

35cl, 40%
William Grant

A blend of Demerara rums, intended for mixing purposes.  More info

O.V.D. Demerara Rum 35cl
1
$11.31

O'Hara's Spiced Rum

70cl, 37.5%
O'Hara

O'Hara's Spiced Rum features a blend of 3 and 5 year old rums from Guyana as well as 5 year old rum from Trinidad and Tobago at its core. This is combined with vanilla, lime, cinnamon and clove plus…  More info

O'Hara's Spiced Rum
$30.08

Myers's Planters Punch Rum - 1984

100cl, 40%
Myers's Rum

A classic brand of blended rum, made using Jamaican rum aged in bourbon barrels. This bottle comes from the year 1984, so there's probably some sort of security camera watching it at all times, or…  More info

Myers's Planters Punch Rum - 1984
$207.20

Bielle 2009 (bottled 2013) Rhum Vieux Agricole

50cl, 42%
Distillerie Bielle

Rhum agricole from Marie-Galante matured for 4 years in ex-bourbon barrels before a finishing period in ex-Cognac casks.  More info

Bielle 2009 (bottled 2013) Rhum Vieux Agricole
$53.38

Trois Rivières Cuvée Du Moulin Rum

70cl, 40%
Trois Rivieres

A well-aged, rich rhum agricole from Trois Rivières, Cuvée Du Moulin is an utterly beguiling spirit with masses of spice and complexity.  More info

Trois Rivières Cuvée Du Moulin Rum
$50.54

Clément 10 Year Old 2003 (cask 0310054) - Single Cask

50cl, 42.8%
Clément

A 10 year old single cask Clément rhum! Selected by the cellar master, the outturn of the ex-bourbon cask was 459 bottles at 42.8% abv - each one is packed with intense vanilla notes.  More info

Clément 10 Year Old 2003 (cask 0310054) - Single Cask
$57.55

Trois Rivieres VSOP

70cl, 40%
Trois Rivieres

The Trois Rivieres VSOP expression is allowed to mature for at least 5 years, resulting in a well flavoured, rich rhum agricole. This comes from the Caribbean island of Martinique.  More info

Trois Rivieres VSOP
$52.38

Guadeloupe 16 Year Old Rum (Berry Bros & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Berry Brothers and Rudd

A well-aged agricole rum (or rhum) from Guadeloupe, which is part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Interesting fact: World Cup and European Championship winning French footballer Lilian…  More info

Guadeloupe 16 Year Old Rum (Berry Bros & Rudd)
$100.16

New Grove Old Tradition 5 Year Old Rum

70cl, 40%
Grays

This is the New Grove Old Tradition 5 Year Old Rum, matured in a selection of French Limousin casks and port pipes. This Mauritian rum is suited to sipping neat or being used in a cocktail which…  More info

New Grove Old Tradition 5 Year Old Rum
$33.13

Clément Rhum Ambré

70cl, 40%
Clément

A simple, fragrant, grassy rhum agricole from Marinique distillers, Clément. After spending 12 months in oak casks, the Rhum Ambré ready to be enjoyed in cocktails or over ice.  More info

Clément Rhum Ambré
$25.33

WM Cadenhead 11 Year Old Green Label Barbados Rum

70cl, 46%
WM Cadenhead

From WM Cadenhead's Green Label range of independently bottled rums comes an 11 year old rum which was distilled in beautiful Barbados.  More info

WM Cadenhead 11 Year Old Green Label Barbados Rum
$53.20

Ron Arecha Extra de Jose Arechabala - 1960s

75cl, 40%
Jose Arechabala

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 behind Havana Club! Please be…  More info

Ron Arecha Extra de Jose Arechabala - 1960s
$233.10

Panama Don Jose 2003 (bottled 2015) - Isla del Ron

70cl, 53.6%
Don Jose

Single cask rum distilled at Don Jose in Panama in 2003, bottled in 2015 by Isla del Ron at 53.6% abv. 252 bottles were produced.  More info

Panama Don Jose 2003 (bottled 2015) - Isla del Ron
$58.87

La Mauny VSOP Rhum Vieux Agricole

70cl, 40%
La Mauny

La Mauny VSOP is an absurdly beautiful shade of golden brown, almost glowing with a burning red effervescence. These dazzling colours are matched in flavours, as the VSOP is an absolutely incredible…  More info

La Mauny VSOP Rhum Vieux Agricole
2
$53.24

East London Liquor Company Navy Strength Demerara Rum

70cl, 57%
East London Liquor Company

A higher-strength bottling of East London Liquor Company's Demerara rum from Guyana, which is distilled in a two column Coffey still. At Navy Strength, this is sure to stand out in cocktails and…  More info

East London Liquor Company Navy Strength Demerara Rum
$60.39

Ron Barceló Blanco

70cl, 37.5%
Ron Barceló

A white rum from the Ron Barceló range, produced in the Dominican Republic. It spends one year in oak barrels, before it is barrelled, allowing it to develop some more character and flavour.  More info

Ron Barceló Blanco
$23.65

St Aubin Blanc

50cl, 50%
St Aubin

St Aubin Rhum Agricole comes from Mauritius, and is made by distilling fresh sugar cane juice in the French method. St Aubin itself has been in the business of sugar production since 1819, and…  More info

St Aubin Blanc
1
$37.53

Barbancourt 2004 (Bottled 2014) - Bristol Spirits

70cl, 43%
Barbancourt

A reserve 'rum' made from pure sugar cane rather than molasses (i.e. rhum) from Haiti, distilled at La société du Rhum Barbancourt in 2004 and bottled in the UK a decade later by Bristol Spirits.  More info

Barbancourt 2004 (Bottled 2014) - Bristol Spirits
$60.32

Compagnie Des Indes Rum Caraibes

70cl, 40%
Compagnie Des Indes

A blend of rums (the French label says "rhum", but this is molasses rum) from Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados, presented by Compagnie Des Indes. These have been aged between 3 to 5 years in American…  More info

Compagnie Des Indes Rum Caraibes
$36.62

Rhum J.M Gold

70cl, 50%
Rhum J.M

Rhum agricole from Martinique, aged in oak casks for at least 12 months.  More info

Rhum J.M Gold
$43.42

Bacardi Superior Gold - 1970s

100cl, 40%
Bacardi

An old, interestingly shaped bottle of Bacardi Superior Gold rum, produced all the way back in 1970s. It looks to have become rather dusty over the years, not unlike a relic that treasure hunters…  More info

Bacardi Superior Gold - 1970s
$194.25

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.