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.

Rum Sixty Six English White Rum

70cl, 38%
Rum Sixty Six

An intriguing one here from Rum Sixty Six. While many of the expressions from Rum Sixty Six come from the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, this one is an English white rum! It was originally…  More info

Rum Sixty Six English White Rum
$21.75

Toti White Rum Eco-Pouch (The Sustainable Spirit Co.)

280cl, 38%
Toti

The team behind Toti White Rum (also known as The Sustainable Spirit Co.) are all about sustainability, donating 15% of the profits from each bottle to supporting Caribbean marine conservation. The…  More info

Toti White Rum Eco-Pouch (The Sustainable Spirit Co.)
$93.67

Black Sails Dark Rum

70cl, 40%
Black Sails

A carbon negative rum from Two Drifters, a distillery in Devon made with sustainability and environmentally friendly practices in mind (as well as top spirits, of course). This expression combines…  More info

Black Sails Dark Rum
$38.09

Black Sails Spiced Rum

70cl, 40%
Black Sails

Black Sails Spiced Rum comes to us from the Two Drifters Distillery in Devon, and as the distillery was created with sustainability and environmentally friendly practices in mind, it's a carbon…  More info

Black Sails Spiced Rum
$38.09

Black Sails White Rum

70cl, 40%
Black Sails

A fab English white rum here from Two Drifters in Devon, made by fermenting 100% molasses and distilling the spirit twice in pot stills. The distillery was created with sustainability and…  More info

Black Sails White Rum
$38.09

Devil's Point Sherry Cask Aged Rum

70cl, 43%
Devil's Point

Hailing from the Deeside Distillery in Aberdeenshire, it's a sherried Devil's Point rum! Released as part of the Small Batch Series from the distillery, the Scottish rum is aged in Oloroso sherry…  More info

Devil's Point Sherry Cask Aged Rum
$52.25

Matusalem Insolito Wine Cask Finish

70cl, 40%
Matusalem

Ron Matusalem went and sourced some wine casks for this limited edition release! The rum is charcoal filtered and matured in a solera system, before it's finished in casks which previously held…  More info

Matusalem Insolito Wine Cask Finish
$35.91

Ron Abuelo XII Two Oaks

70cl, 40%
Ron Abuelo

A richly smoky release from Ron Abuelo over in Panama, as you may have guessed Two Oaks has been matured in two different types of oak cask. Aged for over a decade, initially the rum was rested in…  More info

Ron Abuelo XII Two Oaks
$53.34

Rhum Bologne Ice Rhum

70cl, 45%
Rhum Bologne

A rather intriguing agricole rhum from Rhum Bologne! Ice Rhum, as the name suggests, is best served ice cold. However, the idea of this Guadeloupe spirit is to sip it slowly and as the rum slowly…  More info

Rhum Bologne Ice Rhum
$38.09

Long Pond TECA 14 Year Old 2005 - Habitation Velier

70cl, 62%
Long Pond Distillery

The particular rum was distilled in a Forsyths double retort pot still in 2005 over at Jamaica's Long Pond Distillery. Matured in the tropics in bourbon casks for 14 years, in 2019 the pot still rum…  More info

Long Pond TECA 14 Year Old 2005 - Habitation Velier
$175.39

Toti Dark Rum Eco-Pouch (The Sustainable Spirit Co.)

280cl, 38%
Toti

The Sustainable Spirit Co. brings you a sustainable alternative to glass bottles in the form of the Eco-Pouch! This particular one holds Toti Dark Rum, enough to fill up four bottles. Now, it looks…  More info

Toti Dark Rum Eco-Pouch (The Sustainable Spirit Co.)
$95.84

Clairin Sajous 2018

70cl, 55.9%
Distillerie Chelo

It's the 2018 vintage of Clairin Sajous' rhum agricole, hailing from Haiti. The folks at the distillery don't waste a thing, fuelling the fires which reduce the sugar cane juice with the remains of…  More info

Clairin Sajous 2018
$54.44

Enmore 25 Year Old 1992 Guyanese Rum - Kill Devil (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 46%
Enmore

A fabulous Guyanese rum from the Enmore distillery, which was independently bottled for Hunter Laing's much-loved Kill Devil range. The single cask bottling was distilled in Enmore's wooden still in…  More info

Enmore 25 Year Old 1992 Guyanese Rum - Kill Devil (Hunter Laing)
$164.12

Phraya Gold Rum

70cl, 40%
Phraya

Phraya Gold Rum hails all the way from Thailand, and takes its inspiration from the four elements (not the four elements of hip hop, by the way). The barrels the rums are aged in are fired (or…  More info

Phraya Gold Rum
$47.90

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
$32.64

Distillerie De Paris Galabé Rum

50cl, 43%
Distillerie De Paris

From the first distillery to open in Paris in over a century comes a handcrafted rhum made from galabé. This is sugar cane juice from the island of Reunion, which has been distilled in Paris.  More info

Distillerie De Paris Galabé Rum
1
$64.24

Chamarel 4 Year Old 2014 - Indian Ocean Stills (Velier)

70cl, 58%
La Rhumerie de Chamarel

A fresh and vegetal rhum agricole from the Chamarel distillery in Mauritius, produced in a single column still. Distilled in 2014 from pure sugar cane juice, it was then matured in French oak barrels…  More info

Chamarel 4 Year Old 2014 - Indian Ocean Stills (Velier)
$82.76

St Piran’s Cornish Rum

50cl, 42%
English Spirit Distillery

This white Cornish rum is named after the patron saint of Cornwall, St Piran! He discovered tin, so he's also the patron saint of tin-miners. Anyway, this tipple is distilled over in Cornwall and…  More info

St Piran’s Cornish Rum
$41.36

Nicaragua 17 Year Old 1999 - Sansibar

70cl, 47.5%
Sansibar

This beauty before you is an independent bottling of Nicaraguan rum. All we know is that it was distilled all the way back in 1999 and matured for 19 years before it was bottled at 47.5% ABV by…  More info

Nicaragua 17 Year Old 1999 - Sansibar
$119.82

Captain Morgan Black Label (1.5L) - 1970s

150cl, 40%
Captain Morgan

A rather large 1.5L bottling of the famous Captain Morgan Black Label rum, made with spirits produced in Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad, bottled in the 1970s. This bottle was part of a private…  More info

Captain Morgan Black Label (1.5L) - 1970s
$392.29

Jamaica 2008 - 1423 Single Barrel Selection

70cl, 62.9%
1423

A blend of pot and column still rums from various distilleries in Jamaica, distilled back in 2008 matured in a single barrel. It was then bottled by 1423 in March 2019 at 62.9% ABV without any…  More info

Jamaica 2008 - 1423 Single Barrel Selection
$111.10

Cashcane Extra Old Rum

70cl, 40%
Cashcane

A Caribbean rum blend from Cashcane, this Extra Old expression marries three rums from Trinidad, Barbados and Panama, with each rum aged for six years in its country of origin. The rums are aged…  More info

Cashcane Extra Old Rum
$48.98

Caliche Rum

70cl, 40%
Caliche Rum

Caliche Rum is awesome both inside and out, founded by none other than Rande Gerber and Roberto Serrallés. Produced at Destileria Serrallés in Puerto Rico, the five times distillied white rum is in…  More info

Caliche Rum
$36.99

El Pasador De Oro 52

70cl, 52%
El Pasador

EL Pasador De Oro 52 is a rum blend from several Guatemalan distilleries, which after blending, spent six months in Cognac casks. It's presented in an elegant decanter, and would you look at that,…  More info

El Pasador De Oro 52
$65.33

Bacardi Carta Blanca (1L) - 1970s

100cl, 40%
Bacardi

A large one litre bottle of Bacardi's Carta Blanca, described as 'Ron Superior' on the label, produced back in the 1970s. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed…  More info

Bacardi Carta Blanca (1L) - 1970s
$261.53

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