Published on April 16th, 2014 | by Gavin0
My Favourite Rums
Rum has played a big part in my life from a very early age. Being brought up in a heavily Caribbean influenced household, it was hard to escape the stuff and as soon as I could walk I was trying to drink my Grandfather’s Bacardi and Coke. Despite still enjoying the odd Cuba Libre, I’ve gone on to try many of the best rums in the world over the years, so would like to share my experiences with all of you.
The world of rum is ever changing and expanding, so this list probably will do the same as I try new and exciting brands. If you don’t agree, then please let us know on Twitter @ImALondonerUK.
1. Angostura 1919 / Angostura 1824
Deciding the better of these two flagship products from the Trinidadian Angostura distillery is like choosing which of your children you love more. Despite being made in the same place, they have very different flavour profiles but share a smoothness that makes it hard for me to decide just one to go into my top 5. Yes it is a cop out, but anyone that has tried both would find it hard to disagree with me.
One thing I should note is that although the names suggest these rums are at least 90 years old, the 1824 is actually a 12 year old and the 1919 is 8 years old.
Angostura 1919, RRP £27.65 / 70cl. Available from Master of Malt
Angostura 1824, RRP £48 / 70cl. Available from Master of Malt
2. Ron Zacapa Centenario
Universally accepted as one of the best from anyone in the know. Even though it’s part of the juggernaut that is Diageo Spirits (owners of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and many more), Zacapa has managed to keep a fairly low profile and that’s just the way I like it. One of Guatemala’s greatest exports, this 23 year old rum has one of the sweetest profiles of all the drinks in this list and is lovely to sip at any time of day and in any weather. Also my tipple of choice in an Old Fashioned.
Ron Zacapa Centenario, RRP £55 / 70cl. Available from Master of Malt
3. Appleton Estate 12yr old
I may be showing a slight bias here as my home town in Jamaica is a 15 minute drive from the Appleton distillery, but on an evening spent relaxing on the sofa, I find my eyes wonder to the cabinet and more often than not, it’s the 12 year old that gets the nod. The smoky golden rum is perfect with quality dark chocolate, and it’s become a ritual the way I set out the tumbler and chocolate pieces on a silver tray. A little pricey, but well worth stepping up from Appleton V/X.
Appleton Estate 12yr Old, RRP £32 / 70cl. Available from Master of Malt
4. El Dorado 12yr old
Guyana; technically in South America but shares most of the laid back lifestyle of the Caribbean. Some may say it’s the best of both worlds for rum making, and with the luxury range starting from 5 year old all the way up to 25 years, there is something to suit for all tastes. Although it’s a close call with the 15 year old, personally I think the 12 year old is the perfect balance between taste and value. El Dorado has some very punchy flavours from the off, but once you get used to it, there is plenty of character and South American flare.
El Dorado 12yr Old, RRP £34 / 70cl. Available from Master of Malt
5. Plantation 3 Star White Rum
The only white rum in this list because, quite frankly, most white rums out there are shockingly bad. However Plantation 3 Star is a shining example of how to make drinking white rum a pleasant experience, rather than having to overcompensate for the taste with shed loads of fruit juices and syrups. It is a blend of rums from Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados (hence the name 3 Star), and was created by one of the most passionate spirit creators on the planet, Alexander Ferrand of Cognac Ferrand and Citadelle Gin fame.
To test how good 3 Star is, go to any Tiki bar and ask for two Mojitos; one made with Plantation & one made with any other white rum on the shelf. The difference will blow your mind.
Plantation 3 Star, RRP £20 / 70cl. Available from Master of Malt
To start your very own rum journey, why not join me at Rumfest 2014, being held at the London ILEC in October. 400 rums to sample from all over the globe with a party atmosphere guaranteed for this two day celebration of all things cane based.
Don’t agree with my list? Let us know on Twitter @ImALondonerUKShare This Post