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.

Diamond 8 Year Old - Kinghaven

50cl, 61.4%
Diamond Distillery

A Kinghaven single cask rum, distilled in Port Mourant wooden stills at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana. The spirit was aged for eight years and then finished for eight months in a Swedish oak…  More info

Diamond 8 Year Old - Kinghaven
$102.01

Signature Blend #2 (That Boutique-y Rum Company)

70cl, 42%
That Boutique-y Rum Company

Here's the second Signature Blend from That Boutique-y Rum Company, and this stuff makes a mouthwatering Mai-Tai! Developed with Pete Holland (who you'll know from The Floating Rum Shack), this…  More info

Signature Blend #2 (That Boutique-y Rum Company)
$32.23

Signature Blend #1 (That Boutique-y Rum Company)

70cl, 42%
That Boutique-y Rum Company

The first release from That Boutique-y Rum Company's Signature Blend range is here! Unlike the limited edition releases that make up most of That Boutique-y Rum Company's selection, these expression…  More info

Signature Blend #1 (That Boutique-y Rum Company)
$27.03

Banditti Club

50cl, 44%
The Glasgow Distillery Co.

A spiced rum from The Glasgow Distillery Co.! Banditti Club is, funnily enough, named after the Banditti Club, a group of rogues who used to gather in Glasgow’s pubs, singing, eating and playing…  More info

Banditti Club
7
$27.03

Wreckers Welsh Rum

70cl, 40%
Pembrokeshire Distillery

A spiced rum from the Pembrokeshire Distillery, Wreckers Welsh Rum blends together a Pembrokeshire craft rum with dark Caribbean rum and local Welsh spring water. This really is small batch, with…  More info

Wreckers Welsh Rum
$31.19

Siren's Call Caribbean Spiced Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Siren's Call

Siren's Call Caribbean Spiced Rum is named in honour of those who were lured into the rocky shallows by the call of the singing creatures, who may or may not have looked just like the one on the…  More info

Siren's Call Caribbean Spiced Rum
1
$22.86

South Pacific Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants

70cl, 46%
South Pacific Distillery

Hailing from Fiji's South Pacific Distillery, this molasses-based rum was left to age in a single first fill bourbon cask. It was bottled and released by West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants, weighing in…  More info

South Pacific Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants
$61.40

C.A.C.S.A. Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants

70cl, 46%
C.A.C.S.A.

From West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants comes this single cask Venezuelan rum, distilled in a column still from molasses at C.A.C.S.A. It was then aged in a single American oak barrel until it was…  More info

C.A.C.S.A. Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants
$64.52

Grenada Distillers Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants

70cl, 46%
Grenada Distillers

A single cask release from Grenada Distillers, blending both pot and column still molasses rum. It's been aged in a single American oak bourbon barrel, and was released by West Indies Rum & Cane…  More info

Grenada Distillers Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants
$46.83

Nicaragua XO Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants

70cl, 46%
West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants

This molasses rum was produced at an undisclosed distillery in Nicaragua for the West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants series. It spent its days ageing in a first fill bourbon cask, and was then bottled…  More info

Nicaragua XO Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants
$95.77

La Bourdonnaise Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants

70cl, 46%
La Bourdonnaise

A single cask borrling from West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants, distilled at La Bourdonnais over on the island of Mauritius. It's made from sugar cane juice, and was left to mature in a single second…  More info

La Bourdonnaise Rum - West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants
$61.40

Six Saints Caribbean Rum Madeira Cask Finish

70cl, 41.7%
Six Saints Rum

A limited edition release from Six Saints, which sees its Caribbean Rum from Grenada finished in Portuguese Madeira casks after an initial maturation in bourbon barrels. The cask finish has imparted…  More info

Six Saints Caribbean Rum Madeira Cask Finish
$35.36

World's End Light Blend

70cl, 37.5%
World's End

A white rum from World's End, the Light Blend marries column still rum from Barbados and Guyana with pot still rum from Jamaica. A great spirit to experiment with, ideal for cocktails such as a…  More info

World's End Light Blend
$24.94

Long Pond 18 Year Old 2000 - Single Cask (Mezan)

70cl, 57.2%
Long Pond Distillery

This is an 18 year old rum from Jamaica's Long Pond distillery, left to mature in a single bourbon oak cask. It was distilled in 2000, and when 2018 finally rolled around it was independently bottled…  More info

Long Pond 18 Year Old 2000 - Single Cask (Mezan)
1
$154.09

Cashcane Saloon Cask Rum

70cl, 55%
Cashcane

A rum made for people who like bourbon - and westerns! Cashcane Saloon Cask is made with a blend of aged rums from Barbados, Trinidad and Panama, all aged exclusively in bourbon casks (of course).…  More info

Cashcane Saloon Cask Rum
$55.15

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
$46.82

Circumstantial Cane

70cl, 45%
Circumstance

The very first first rum from Bristol's Psychopomp distillery, dubbed Cane. It's made from 100% South American molasses, fermented with a blend of mead yeast and distiller's yeast. After…  More info

Circumstantial Cane
$36.40

12 Days of Rum (2019 Edition)

36cl, 40.5%
Drinks by the Dram

Estimated despatch 15th October If you're stuck for Christmas gifts for that person who really likes rum, allow Drinks by the Dram to help you out of that jam - behold, The 12 Day of Rum! Each of…  More info

12 Days of Rum (2019 Edition)
$46.82

Rum Advent Calendar (2019 Edition)

72cl, 43.9%
Drinks by the Dram

Estimated despatch 15th October Drinks by the Dram's very own Rum Advent Calendar is the perfect gift for people who fancy enjoying the tropical deliciousness of this history spirit while counting…  More info

Rum Advent Calendar (2019 Edition)
$156.17

Trinidad 1991 - 1423 Single Barrel Selection

70cl, 66.2%
Trinidad

Produced by Trinidad Distillers Limited, this impressive bottle of molasses rum was distilled in December 1991 in a continuous column still (which was commissioned by Angostura Ltd in the late…  More info

Trinidad 1991 - 1423 Single Barrel Selection
$281.15

Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 2001

70cl, 42%
Damoiseau

From Damoiseau comes a Rhum Agricole all the way from Guadeloupe that was distilled back in 2001 and matured for 10 years until it was bottled at 42% ABV.  More info

Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 2001
$87.43

Damoiseau VSOP

70cl, 42%
Damoiseau

A rhum agricole from the Damoiseau Ddistillery in Guadeloupe. This VSOP expression has been aged on the Caribbean island in bourbon barrels for four years before it was bottled, giving some of the…  More info

Damoiseau VSOP
$48.69

Damoiseau Cane Rhum

70cl, 40%
Damoiseau

From the Damoiseau Distillery comes a Guadeloupean rhum agricole, made exclusively from pressed sugar cane juice, as the name suggests! After it's distilled the liquid is left to rest for six months…  More info

Damoiseau Cane Rhum
$33.28

Rumbullion! Chilli & Chocolate

50cl, 42.6%
Ableforth's

Rumbullion! is an extraordinary cockle-warming spiced rum, but those clever Ableforth's folks have changed the game with this limited edition Chilli & Chocolate expression! Criollo cocoa nibs,…  More info

Rumbullion! Chilli & Chocolate
$25.99

Unhiq XO Malt Rum

50cl, 42%
Oliver Rum

From the Dominican Republic, produced by Oliver Rum comes Unhiq XO Malt Rum, a dark molasses rum. Of course, the spirit doesn't have any malt in it, rather the name refers to honey, and that this is…  More info

Unhiq XO Malt Rum
$105.14

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