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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.

Dead Man's Fingers Cornish Spiced Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

A spiced rum created by the chaps behind The Rum & Crab Shack in St. Ives (which serves tasty seafood and top rum - sounds excellent to us). This is made using a blend of Caribbean rums alongside a…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Cornish Spiced Rum
64
$21.85
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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
16
$21.85

Dead Man's Fingers Coffee

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

A variation on Dead Man's Fingers Spiced Rum (created by the folks from The Rum & Crab Shack in St. Ives) based around the deliciousness of coffee. Well-suited to enjoying as a digestif after a…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Coffee
17
$21.85

Dead Man's Fingers Cherry Rum (50cl)

50cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

The Dead Man's Fingers range grows once more with the introduction of its very own cherry flavoured rum! Yes, we know what you're thinking. "This should do very well with cola!" And you know what?…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Cherry Rum (50cl)
2
$22.02

Aluna Coconut Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Aluna

It's a bumped-up ABV edition of Aluna's Coconut Rum, bottled at 37.5%! The same tasty combination of Guatemalan and Caribbean rums have been brought together alongside toasted coconut and coconut…  More info

Aluna Coconut Rum
2
$22.07

RedLeg Spiced Rum

70cl, 37.5%
RedLeg

RedLeg is a superb spiced rum made with Caribbean spirit which was aged in old oak whilst being infused with Jamaican vanilla and ginger. Just superb and very good on a crisp Winter's evening!  More info

RedLeg Spiced Rum
44
$22.07

The Duppy Share White Rum

70cl, 40%
The Duppy Share

The Duppy Share folks teamed up with the brilliant British musician and actor Kano to create Duppy White! It's a 100% Jamaican rum, featuring a fantastically vibrant and delicious flavour profile of…  More info

The Duppy Share White Rum
$22.10

East London Liquor Co. Rum

70cl, 40%
East London Liquor Company

The vibrant bottle hails from East London Liquor Co., and holds within it an equally vibrant rum! It brings together spirits from three well-known Jamaican distilleries, with 80% of it made up of pot…  More info

East London Liquor Co. Rum
5
$22.12
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Wild Tiger Spiced Rum

70cl, 38%
Wild Tiger

Wild Tiger is a premium rum brand from India that has launched its very first spiced rum, made from sugar cane distillates, molasses and sugarcane juice in Kerala, South India. It's a column…  More info

Wild Tiger Spiced Rum
9
$22.20

Dead Man's Fingers Cherry Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

All the way from St. Ives comes a cherry rum, produced by those Dead Man's Fingers folks! This expression boasts a bold flavour profile packed to the brim with brown sugar, toasty spices, and ripe…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Cherry Rum
$22.33
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Dead Man's Fingers Coconut

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

A lip-smacking spiced rum from the South West, created by the folks from The Rum & Crab Shack. This particular variation is based around the tropical flavours of coconuts, and will work wonderfully…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Coconut
8
$22.38
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Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

Pineapple and rum is a timeless combo, and the folks from Dead Man's Fingers have got just the thing to convince you of that - Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum! This terrific tropical treat boasts…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Pineapple Rum
17
$22.38
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Dead Man's Fingers Hazelnut Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

Hazelnuts and spiced rum might not be the first pairing that jumps to your mind, but we can vouch for its deliciousness! Dead Man's Fingers original Spiced Rum combined with warming, toasted hazelnut…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Hazelnut Rum
10
$22.38

Dead Man's Fingers Lime Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

Lime and rum go together like... Well, it's an iconic combination in itself! Anyway, over in Cornwall Dead Man's Fingers decided to take it to the next level by combining its Cornish Spiced Rum with…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Lime Rum
3
$22.38

Dead Man's Fingers Passion Fruit Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

The Dead Man's Fingers rum range grows once again with the introduction of its Passion Fruit variation! The talented team down in Cornwall has brought together the tangy brilliance of passion fruit…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Passion Fruit Rum
2
$22.38
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Dead Man's Fingers Raspberry Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

This right here is what you get when you combine Dead Man's Fingers original Spiced Rum with raspberries! There's a touch of citrus in there too to balance out the sweetness fruitiness, and we're…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Raspberry Rum
3
$22.38

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
$22.47

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
$22.58

Dead Man's Fingers Dragon Fruit Rum

50cl, 37.5%
Dead Man’s Fingers

Rum and dragon fruit isn't a combination you see every day, now is it? Lucky, the Dead Man's Fingers team in Cornwall has gone ahead and made their very own dragon fruit flavoured rum so you won't…  More info

Dead Man's Fingers Dragon Fruit Rum
3
$22.58
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Rebellion Premium Black Rum

70cl, 37.5%
Rebellion

A delicious blend of rums from the Caribbean, Rebellion Premium Black is bottled in The Netherlands. This is a lovely dark rum with a superb cocoa-rich palate.  More info

Rebellion Premium Black Rum
$22.62

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
$22.63

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
$22.74

Bacardi Carta Negra (40%)

70cl, 40%
Bacardi

Rich, sweet dark rum from one of the most well known spirits brands in the world - Bacardi. Carries a flavour profile packed with dark coffee, molasses and cinnamon. A perfect dark rum for cocktails…  More info

Bacardi Carta Negra (40%)
4
$22.78

Embargo Añejo Blanco

70cl, 40%
Embargo

The white rum from the Embargo range is actually briefly aged, leading to a very pale golden hue and a touch of warming oak-y spice on the palate. It's made using a blend of rum and rhum agricole…  More info

Embargo Añejo Blanco
2
$22.78

Siddiqui White Rum

70cl, 40%
Siddiqui

This White Rum from Siddiqui is an homage to the traditional siddiqui, as the word originally refers to the colloquial term for illegally-distilled alcohol in the Middle East. Inspired by the story…  More info

Siddiqui White Rum
$22.83

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