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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.

Black Tot Rum 50th Anniversary Set (5 x 30ml)

15cl, 47.9%
Black Tot

Black Tot has crafted this gorgeous set in honour of the 50th anniversary of Black Tot Day. If you need to brush up on your rum-based history, Black Tot Day was the final day (on 31 July 1970) that…  More info

Black Tot Rum 50th Anniversary Set (5 x 30ml)
$40.76

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
28
$25.81
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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
7
$36.31

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)
$50.84

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
$33.19

Bombo 40 Rum - Caramel & Banana

70cl, 40%
Bombo

This spiced rum produced as part of the Bombo 40 range has been flavoured with lip-smacking notes of caramel and banana. Suitable for sipping neat, with caramel and banana elements complementing the…  More info

Bombo 40 Rum - Caramel & Banana
23
$25.90
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Bombo 40 Rum - Caramel & Coconut

70cl, 40%
Bombo

A spiced rum from the Bombo range, flavoured with coconut and caramel to complement the fruity rum. Should be good over ice or with your favourite mixer, or alongside a sweet dessert.  More info

Bombo 40 Rum -  Caramel & Coconut
18
$27.27

Bombo 40 Rum - Caramel & Spices

70cl, 40%
Bombo

From the Bombo Rum range made in Cornwall, bottled at 40% ABV and flavoured with caramel and a secret combination of tropical spices. Also, got a particularly angry looking skull on it, as opposed to…  More info

Bombo 40 Rum - Caramel & Spices
11
$26.39

Bonpland Rum Blanc

50cl, 40%
Bonpland

German indie bottlers released a pair of blended Caribbean rums finished in wine casks - this one enjoyable a finishing period in Chardonnay casks (while the other spent time in casks that held Pinot…  More info

Bonpland Rum Blanc
$40.24

Bostin Drinks Co. Blackberry & Damson Rum

70cl, 40%
Bostin Drinks Co.

From Bostin Drinks Co. comes this fruity Blackberry & Damson Rum, inspired by suburban walks and the abundance of fruits available to any hardy forager! Caribbean white rum was selected for the base,…  More info

Bostin Drinks Co. Blackberry & Damson Rum
6
$32.15

Bostin Drinks Co. Black Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
Bostin Drinks Co.

The folks at Bostin Drinks Co. took inspiration from their combined years of drinking experience when creating this Black Spiced Rum with the intention of creating a perfectly versatile spiced rum,…  More info

Bostin Drinks Co. Black Spiced Rum
3
$32.15

Botafogo Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
Botafogo

A spied rum built around spirits from Trinidad and Tobago, alongside various spices (though the producers are staying rather secretive as to what spices there are). This expression took home a Master…  More info

Botafogo Spiced Rum
5
$29.03

Botran Reserva Blanca

70cl, 40%
Botran

Like Botran's other rums, the Reserva Blanca has been aged in a Solera system using ex-bourbon casks. However, after the maturation process, this expression has been charcoal filtered to remove the…  More info

Botran Reserva Blanca
$27.78
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Bougainville Gold Rum

70cl, 40%
Bougainville

A Gold Rum from the Oxenham Craft Distillery in Mauritius which was matured in for a minimum of a year in Oloroso sherry casks and Pedro Ximenez barrels before it was blended and bottled. The base…  More info

Bougainville Gold Rum
$26.43

Bougainville Lemongrass Rum

70cl, 40%
Bougainville

This flavoured rum was distilled by the Oxenham Craft Distillery on the island of Mauritius using Bougainville's award-winning white rum as a base, which was infused with lemongrass to create a zesty…  More info

Bougainville Lemongrass Rum
$24.41

Bougainville Vanilla Rum

70cl, 40%
Bougainville

One of a number of exceptional rums from the Oxenham Craft Distillery on the island of Mauritius, this flavoured edition was distilled using Bougainville's award winning white rum as a base, which…  More info

Bougainville Vanilla Rum
2
$24.47

Bougainville Vieux Domaine

70cl, 40%
Bougainville

Oxenham Craft Distillery produced this Spiced rum using the award-winning Bougainville white rum and a range of exotic spices sourced from a traditional family recipe.  More info

Bougainville Vieux Domaine
$25.70

Bougainville VSOP Rum

70cl, 40%
Bougainville

From the Oxenham Craft Distillery on the island of Mauritius is a Rum VSOP that was created using the same base spirit that the brand has used to produce its white rum, which is diluted and matured…  More info

Bougainville VSOP Rum
$40.27

Bougainville White Rum

70cl, 40%
Bougainville

From the Oxenham Craft Distillery on the island of Mauritius comes this white rum that was crafted from Mauritian molasses fermented at low temperatures for 14 to 20 days before being double…  More info

Bougainville White Rum
1
$24.87

Bougainville XO Rum

70cl, 40%
Bougainville

The Oxenham Craft Distillery from Mauritius created this XO rum using its white rum as a base spirit which was diluted down before it was aged for a minimum of 6 years in seasoned Oloroso sherry and…  More info

Bougainville XO Rum
$139
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Boukman Botanical Rhum

70cl, 45%
Boukman

Boukman Botanical Rhum is made in Haiti, with sugar cane juice distilled from sugar cane grown in Croix des Bouquets and around Cap-Haitien. It's also infused with a selection of botanicals,…  More info

Boukman Botanical Rhum
$48.78

Bounty Dark Rum

70cl, 43%
St. Lucia Distillers

This blend of a 3-year-old column still rum and a 6-year-old pot still rum was aged in ex-Bourbon casks to create a sumptuous dark rum that works in a selection of classic cocktails.  More info

Bounty Dark Rum
$23.63

Bounty Gold Rum

70cl, 40%
St. Lucia Distillers

Saint Lucia’s most popular rum has arrived at MoM Towers! Bounty Premium Gold Rum is a 100% column still rum that was matured for 2 years in ex-Bourbon casks.  More info

Bounty Gold Rum
$22.54

Bounty Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
St. Lucia Distillers

A vibrant taste of Saint Lucia. Column still rum with an infusion of vanilla, cinnamon, the macerated bark of richeria grandis (which is known as 'Bois Bande') and a host of local Lucian spices. It…  More info

Bounty Spiced Rum
2
$22.70

Bounty White Rum

70cl, 40%
St. Lucia Distillers

This premium white rum was established as the principle rum brand of St. Lucia Distillers (a merger of the last two distilleries on the island, the Dennery Distillery and Roseau Bay Distillery) in…  More info

Bounty White Rum
1
$22.42

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