Created by potrace 1.12, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2015

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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.

Bardinet Old Nick Rhum Negrita 'Old Genuine' - 1960s

75cl, 0%
Bardinet

An old and collectible Old Genuine expression of Bardinet Old Nick Rhum Negrita rum produced in the 1960s. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed photos just…  More info

Bardinet Old Nick Rhum Negrita 'Old Genuine' - 1960s
$123.41

Base Spirits Dark Rum

70cl, 40%
Base Spirits

Dark rum is a fab spirit for cocktails, offering up vibrant fruit notes alongside rich, warming spices from its maturation. That'll be why Base Spirits has created its own Dark Rum that has been…  More info

Base Spirits Dark Rum
$24.62

Batch PX Sherry Cask Rum

70cl, 53%
Batch Spirits

A wonderfully festive aged Caribbean rum from Batch which spent its days maturing in a Pedro Ximénez sherry cask that the folks at the distillery picked up on a family holiday to Córdoba! The rum…  More info

Batch PX Sherry Cask Rum
$52.68

Batch Totally Tropical Rum

70cl, 40%
Batch Distillery

Yet another intriguing expression from the Batch folks. This is their Totally Tropical Rum, which is made with Caribbean white rum that is naturally flavoured and then aged with mango and mandarin.…  More info

Batch Totally Tropical Rum
$39.22

Batch USA Breakfast Rum

70cl, 56%
Batch Brew

You don't need to have been to the USA to know that they do breakfast properly over there. Waffles, blueberry pancakes and plenty of maple syrup await. So, the folks over at Batch Spirits decided to…  More info

Batch USA Breakfast Rum
4
$43.70

Bayou Mardi Gras XO Rum

70cl, 40%
Bayou Rum

From Bayou Rum comes this solera-aged expression, which is inspired by and aims to capture the liveliness of Louisiana's Mardi Gras celebrations (hence the name). It's distilled from single estate…  More info

Bayou Mardi Gras XO Rum
1
$50.43

Bayou Pink

70cl, 37.5%
Bayou Rum

For this Pink expression, Bayou has taken a base of its White Rum, produced in Louisiana, and blended it with mayhaw berries, a local small, tart berry that looks rather like a cranberry. Some lovely…  More info

Bayou Pink
$22.39

Bayou Single Barrel

70cl, 40%
Bayou Rum

Bayou Rum hails from Louisiana, and this Single Barrel expression is distilled from single source sugar cane. After, it's aged for two and a half years in barrels which previously held rye whiskey,…  More info

Bayou Single Barrel
$47.68

Bayou Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
Bayou Rum

A spiced rum inspired by the flavours of Louisiana! Featuring a selection of Louisiana-grown spices at its core, this lip-smacking tipple is suitable for sipping neat or enjoying with your favourite…  More info

Bayou Spiced Rum
6
$22.43

Bayou White Rum

70cl, 40%
Bayou Rum

Louisiana may not be the first place that pops into your head when you think of rum, but Bayou Rum is here to change all that! This white rum is distilled from Louisiana-grown sugar cane. A…  More info

Bayou White Rum
$23.51

Beach Bum Rum Gold

70cl, 40%
Beach Bum Beverages

A rum from Mauritius here from those Beach Bum Rum folks! This is the Gold variant, distilled from local sugarcane which has also been infused with coconut and vanilla. Lots of rich, toasty notes…  More info

Beach Bum Rum Gold
1
$33.60

Beach Bum Rum Silver

70cl, 40%
Beach Bum Beverages

A fresh, tropical unaged rum from the Beach Bum range! It hails from Mauritius, distilled from sugarcane – specifically, 27 different types of local sugarcane from the island! It's then infused with…  More info

Beach Bum Rum Silver
2
$33.60

Belgrove Hazelnut Rum

70cl, 40%
Belgrove

Well, this is a pretty unique combination right here... Thanks to Belgrove, hazelnut rum is now a thing! The brand is named after William Belgrove, a rum pioneer, and the spirit is a single-origin…  More info

Belgrove Hazelnut Rum
11
$32.42

Bellevue 19 Year Old (That Boutique-y Rum Company)

50cl, 54.2%
Bellevue

This is one of the first bottlings from That Boutique-y Rum Company (following in the footsteps of That Boutique-y Whisky Company and That Boutique-y Gin Company). This one is a 19 year old rum from…  More info

Bellevue 19 Year Old (That Boutique-y Rum Company)
$112.13

Berry Bros. & Rudd Barbados - The Classic Rum Range

70cl, 40.5%
Berry Brothers and Rudd

The Classic Rum Range from Berry Bros & Rudd explores a variety of rum styles from a number of different countries - this one, for example, is a light though oaky rum all the way from Barbados!…  More info

Berry Bros. & Rudd Barbados - The Classic Rum Range
$33.60

Berry Bros. & Rudd Guatemala - The Classic Rum Range

70cl, 40.5%
Berry Brothers and Rudd

A Guatemalan rum from the Berry Bros. & Rudd Classic Rum Range, which features rums from around the world. This one a rather sweet, subtly peppery rum, with notes of bakes goods running all the way…  More info

Berry Bros. & Rudd Guatemala - The Classic Rum Range
$33.60

Berry Bros. & Rudd Jamaica - The Classic Rum Range

70cl, 40.5%
Berry Brothers and Rudd

Ester-heavy Jamaican rum from Berry Bros. & Rudd, released as part of its Classic Rum Range. The selection explores a variety of rum styles from around the world, so anyone looking to find out more…  More info

Berry Bros. & Rudd Jamaica - The Classic Rum Range
$33.60

Berry Bros. & Rudd Nicaragua - The Classic Rum Range

70cl, 40.5%
Berry Brothers and Rudd

Released as part of Berry Bros. & Rudd's Classic Range comes this Nicaraguan rum. The rum was aged in Nicaragua which has a slightly cooler climate compared to other rum-producing parts of the…  More info

Berry Bros. & Rudd Nicaragua - The Classic Rum Range
$33.60

Black Magic Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
Sazerac

Black Magic Spiced Rum is a blend of light and dark rums, along with a secret recipe of spices, which help to bolster the rum's flavour profile. Expect big ol' helpings of vanilla, cherry, runny…  More info

Black Magic Spiced Rum
15
$26.09

Black Tears Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
The Island Rum Company

Black Tears Spiced Rum marries Cuban rum and Cuban spices, with coffee, cacao and ají dulce, which is a sweet chilli pepper. Full of toasty, roasted flavours, it's not overly sweet, so works very…  More info

Black Tears Spiced Rum
4
$39.22

Black Tot 40 Year Old

70cl, 44.2%
Black Tot

Following on from the Black Tot Last Consignment, this range continues to shine a spotlight on extraordinarily old rums with the Black Tot 40 Year Old. A Demerara rum distilled back in 1975 in…  More info

Black Tot 40 Year Old
2
$1,677.20

Blackwell Black Gold Fine Jamaican Rum

70cl, 40%
J Wray and Nephew

Blackwell Black Gold Rum was created by Chris Blackwell, who also happens to be the owner of Island Records. The dark rum itself is distilled and blended by J. Wray & Nephew in Jamaica. It was made…  More info

Blackwell Black Gold Fine Jamaican Rum
25
$24.62

Blackwell Rum Limited Edition 007

70cl, 40%
J Wray and Nephew

Chris Blackwell has released a Limited Edition 007 bottling of the Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum! A particularly delicious Jamaican rum, with a rather snazzy bottle, too...  More info

Blackwell Rum Limited Edition 007
2
$39.22

Blended Rum #1 9 Year Old (That Boutique-y Rum Company)

50cl, 55%
That Boutique-y Rum Company

The first blended rum from That Boutique-y Rum Company! This is a 9 year old expression created with a selection of both pot a column still rums from multiple distilleries in Jamaica. No hints as to…  More info

Blended Rum #1 9 Year Old (That Boutique-y Rum Company)
$54.91

Bogart's Rum

70cl, 40%
Bogart's

Humphrey Bogart - the face you've seen in movies a million times and the name with oodles of quotes about drinks attributed to it. So of course he has a selection of tipples named after him! Bogart's…  More info

Bogart's Rum
1
$28.89

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