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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.

Mocambo 15 Year Old

50cl, 40.0%
Licores Veracruz

Produced in Mexico by Licores Veracruz, Mocambo is a delicious dark rum, matured in European white oak and bottled unblended, as a single barrel product. This is a medium-bodied, 15 year old rum.  More info

Mocambo 15 Year Old
$25.52

Montero Ron Palido

70cl, 40.0%
Francisco Montero

A sweet, spicy rum from Spanish producer Ron Montero. This expression, the Ron Palido, is made using vacuum distillation and aged for between two-and-a-half and three years before it is bottled. Goes…  More info

Montero Ron Palido
$28.19

Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

70cl, 40.0%
Monymusk

A light but spicy Jamaican rum from the Monymusk estate. Great for enjoying in cocktails, but its vibrant notes of fresh fruit and cooking spices mean it certainly can be sipped over ice.  More info

Monymusk Classic Gold Rum
$28.79

Monymusk Overproof White Rum

70cl, 63.0%
Monymusk

An overproof white rum produced in Jamaica by the Monymusk Estate. Triple distilled and bottled at 63% ABV, this will certainly stand out in cocktails and mixed drinks.  More info

Monymusk Overproof White Rum
$32.18

Monymusk Special Gold Rum

70cl, 40.0%
Monymusk

The entry level expression of rum from the Jamaican Monymusk Estate, made for enjoying in cocktails. Quite light and sweet, this one.  More info

Monymusk Special Gold Rum
$24.55

Monymusk Special Reserve Rum

70cl, 40.0%
Monymusk

A blend of rums from the Monymusk distillery in Jamaica, which were aged individually in charred oak casks before being blended together. Great over ice on warm evenings.  More info

Monymusk Special Reserve Rum
$41.49

Morant Bay Spiced Red Rum

70cl, 42.0%
Morant Bay

Morant Bay is a spiced rum made in copper pot stills and is distilled in the UK (through The English Spirit Distillery). Containing Caribbean molasses, the resultant spirit is then infused using a…  More info

Morant Bay Spiced Red Rum
3
$31.88

Mount Gay 1703

70cl, 43.0%
Mount Gay

A new and very exciting addition to the Mount Gay range. 1703 celebrates the foundation of the Barbados-based Mount Gay distillery, and it was created by Allen Smith, the master distiller. It…  More info

Mount Gay 1703
8
$112.24

Mount Gay Black Barrel

70cl, 43.0%
Mount Gay

Released in the UK in 2014, the Mount Gay Black Barrel rum is made from single column and double pot distilled rum, though using a higher proportion of double pot distillates than their other…  More info

Mount Gay Black Barrel
6
$34.17

Mount Gay Eclipse

70cl, 40.0%
Mount Gay

Distilled in Barbados, this expression from Mount Gay was named for the 'double phenomenon' of a total solar eclipse and the passage of Halley's comet in 1910.  More info

Mount Gay Eclipse
9
$20.86

Mount Gay Extra Old

70cl, 43.0%
Mount Gay

A full bodied rum from Barbados, very enjoyable. This was awarded its 5th Gran Gold award at the Monde Selection in Brussels, as well as a trophy at the 2001 International Spirits Challenge in…  More info

Mount Gay Extra Old
24
$38.44

Mount Gay Silver

100cl, 40.0%
Mount Gay

Mount Gay Eclipse Silver is distilled from fermented molasses. A perfect cocktail mixer, it boasts fresh and fragrant sugar cane and tropical fruits as well as peppermint.  More info

Mount Gay Silver
$45.17

Mount Gilboa

70cl, 40.0%
Mount Gilboa

This is triple distilled in pot stills at the same distillery in Barbados that makes Mount Gay. A wonderfully refined, characterful rum.  More info

Mount Gilboa
1
$45.97

Myers's Planters Punch Rum - 1984

100cl, 40.0%
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
$156.46

Myers's Rum

70cl, 40.0%
Myers's Rum

A dark rum that works well in cocktails, Myer's Rum is a Jamaican rum named after Fred L Myers who created that brand in 1879. It is a blend of 9 different rums.  More info

Myers's Rum
6
$21.72

Myers’s Planters’ Punch Rum - 1980s

100cl, 40.0%
Myers's Rum

Myers's Planters' Punch, a classic blend of dark rums from Jamaica and downright delicious over ice. If you're a fan of the brand, you might be interested in this collectible bottle of the dark rum…  More info

Myers’s Planters’ Punch Rum - 1980s
$156.46

New Dawn 18 Rum Solera

70cl, 42.0%
New Dawn Traders

A Solera-aged Dominican Republic rum presented by the New Dawn Traders range, crafted for them by Oliver and Oliver.  More info

New Dawn 18 Rum Solera
$69.08

New Dawn 18 Rum Solera Cask Strength Flagon

70cl, 65.0%
New Dawn Traders

A limited edition presentation of New Dawn Traders' Solera-aged Dominican Republic rum! Not only does it come in a very handsome traditional ceramic flagon, this has been bottled at cask strength.  More info

New Dawn 18 Rum Solera Cask Strength Flagon
$133.34

New Grove 2007 Single Cask Rum (cask 174)

70cl, 49.9%
Grays

Half of this rum matured in new French oak and half was matured in ex-Cognac French oak beofre they were brought together at a natural strength of 65%. Over the following 3 years it was then slowly…  More info

New Grove 2007 Single Cask Rum (cask 174)
$75.62

New Grove Dark Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Grays

A richly delicious dark rum from New Grove in Mauritius. Made following an old family recipe, it's both spicy and sweet, perfect for cocktails that need a boost of flavour or just enjoyed over ice.  More info

New Grove Dark Rum
$23.31

New Grove Oak Aged Rum

70cl, 40.0%
Grays

From the beautiful Island of Mauritius, all the way out in the Indian Ocean, comes the cracking New Grove Oak Aged Rum. A spicy, sensual blend of rums aged between 1 and 15 years. Perfect on ice for…  More info

New Grove Oak Aged Rum
$32.88

New Grove Old Tradition 5 Year Old Rum

70cl, 40.0%
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
$33.35

New Grove Old Tradition 8 Year Old Rum

70cl, 40.0%
Grays

8 year old Mauritian rum from the New Grove brand. Suited to slow sipping in the evening, with an ice cube or two if you're lucky enough to be enjoying this in Mauritius.  More info

New Grove Old Tradition 8 Year Old Rum
$45.97

New Grove Plantation Rum

70cl, 42.0%
Grays

A simple white rum from Mauritius, made by New Grove. Sweet and slightly nutty with a hint of grass, like how you imagine sugar cane should taste. Ought to make good friends with your favourite…  More info

New Grove Plantation Rum
$29.34

New Grove Silver

70cl, 37.5%
Grays

Blended white rum from the New Grove selection of fine expression. Made on the picturesque island of Mauritius. Perfect for cocktails. Sweet and floral, with a hint of spice on the finish. Sling it…  More info

New Grove Silver
$24.38

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