Despite its eternal status as the “next big thing” in drinks, rum sales still lag behind multiple other spirits in the U.S., including whiskey, vodka, tequila, and Cognac. Still, there are signs that perceptions of rum are definitively shifting.
Of the almost $2.5 billion U.S. drinkers spent on rum last year, $229 million went toward “super-premium” bottles, the most expensive price segment. Though still a fraction of total sales, this figure is more than 10 times greater than the amount spent on top-shelf rum 15 years ago — proving that folks aren’t only reaching for rum to mix Mojitos and Piña Coladas.
Impressive though that growth is, numbers and spreadsheets do little to capture the depth of the category. With bottles produced in multiple continents from two starkly different base ingredients — molasses and fresh cane juice — the main consideration when buying rum is not how much to spend but how you’re looking to enjoy the spirit. The category’s vast range of styles and ever-improving quality ensure that, whether it’s cocktail hour or time for a nightcap, there’s a bottle for every occasion and price point.
This list captures every aspect of that impressive landscape, from single varietal agricole to transcontinentally aged and blended bottlings. Here are 30 of the best rums to buy right now.
Table of Contents
Best Rums Under $25
Plantation 3 Stars
Owned by the Cognac house Maison Ferrand, Plantation offers a range of rums that span multi-national blends and single-island, vintage offerings. This particular bottling combines distillates from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad. While sweet and approachable on the nose, the palate counters with rich character and complexity. We love it in a Daiquiri.
Average price: $18.
Best Rums Under $50
Don Q Reserva 7
The true pride of Puerto Rico (sorry, Bacardí), Don Q’s 7-year-old release brims with baking spices and rich molasses character. While not the most complex offering in this roundup, this bottle delivers more than enough personality for its price point and deserves a home in your aged rum cocktails.
Average price: $26.
Amrut Two Indies
India’s Amrut distillery first came onto most spirits aficionados’ radars via world-class single malt whiskies. Equally deserving of attention and accolades is this curious blend, which includes Caribbean rums from Jamaica and Barbados, and Indian pot still sugar cane rum. Grassy, floral notes flow seamlessly with the soft character of sweet Demerara. It may be priced for cocktails but this aged rum is also a sipper.
Average price: $28.
Cutwater Bali Hai Dark Rum
Produced to be used in, and as a float on, tiki cocktails, this affordable dark rum has a distinctive profile that captures cola mixed with espresso. While it’s not a great fit for drinks like the Daiquiri or Piña Colada, it impresses within the field of mixology for which it was devised, making it a worthy addition to an already well-stocked bar cart.
Average price: $28
Denizen Rum Vatted Dark Rum
Dark rum from Guyana makes up the majority of this blend from the Netherlands-based Denizen, providing a decadent baseline. A smaller proportion (20 percent) of unaged rhum agricole from Martinique brings fruity gusto to the party, and pairs the rum magnificently with sweet vermouth when mixed in a Rum Manhattan. Haven’t tried one of those before? You can thank us later.
Average price: $30
Probitas White Blended Rum
A collaboration between two of the most revered distilleries in the Caribbean — Barbados’s Foursquare and Jamaica’s Hampden Estate — this blended white rum recreates the style of spirit Hemingway would have enjoyed in his Daiquiris. Jamaican funk meets fruity sweetness on nose and palate, with exceptional balance throughout. Buy this bottle for an instant mixological upgrade on standard white releases.
Average price: $30.
Dos Maderas 5+3 Double Aged Rum
A combination of rums from Guyana and Barbados, each ages in American oak for five years in the country of its production before they cross the Atlantic and are married, spending a further three years in Palo Cortado casks. The former sherry vessels bring complexity and layers of flavor not often found in rums at this price and age.
Average price: $35.
Bacardí Gran Reserva Diez
From the world’s best-known rum brand, this 10-year-old release showcases heady maturation on the nose, including cigar box and tobacco notes, with the familiar scent of molasses hidden beneath. The palate skews sweet, making it a great choice for sipping on the rocks or mixing in an Old Fashioned.
Average price: $40.
Brugal 1888 Doblemente Añejado
Produced in the Dominican Republic, this rum is double aged in sherry and bourbon casks. Each vessel imparts its own individual character to the final spirit, though the Demerara sugar and licorice notes from the base distillate shine through to the finish. Enjoy in your finest rocks glass, with or without ice.
Average price: $40.
Zaya Alta Fuerza
A blend of rums from unspecified Caribbean islands, aged for up to 16 years, this expression is bottled at an overproof 57.5 percent ABV. Bringing more than just boozy punch to cocktails, it delights with notes of aromatic baking spices, and vibrant tropical fruit.
Average price: $40
Ron Inmortal 12 Year Colombian Rum
Bottled at 12 years old, this Colombian rum offers an approachable intro to lengthier aged bottlings. Its profile leans into bright, tropical fruit with shades of dried citrus and licorice. The price tag keeps cocktails in the picture but it’s equally suited for sipping on the rocks.
Average price: $41
Botran Rum No. 18 Reserva de la Familia
This Guatemalan release consists of a blend of 5- to 18-year-old rums that are “dynamically” aged, a term that alludes to a similar process as sherry’s famous solera system. The casks employed for this system include American whiskey, Port, and sherry. The latter of the three lends an enjoyably nutty, oxidized note to its profile, while whispers of whiskey speak on the finish.
Average price: $45.
From northern Haiti, this rum is a spirits geeks’ dream. Produced using the cane juice of the heritage Canne Cristalline variety, fermentation occurs spontaneously and is fueled only by wild yeasts. This spirit is notably expressive, with each encounter brimming with grassy, vegetal notes, vibrant stone fruits, and an undeniably alluring scent of gasoline. If you enjoy complex, small-production rums, you’ll love this bottle.
Average price: $45
While most famous for its iconic cocktail bitters, Trinidad’s House of Angostura offers a range of enjoyable, competitively priced rums. This release marries five rums aged between five and 14 years, with a final flavor profile that spans intense, toasted oak to vanilla and tropical-fruit sweetness.
Average price: $48
Ten to One Caribbean Dark Rum
If your bar cart already boasts a bottle of Ten to One White Rum, firstly, good on you — we’ve long been fans here at VinePair — and secondly, it’s time to add the brand’s aged iteration to your collection. A precise and well-balanced blend of Barbados, Dominican, Jamaican, and Trinidadian rums, this release serves passion fruit, licorice, and fiery heat, all woven around a sweet caramel core.
Average price: $49
Best Rums Under $100
Flor de Caña 18 Years Old
If you’re chasing age statements, few producers compete with the relatively affordable pricing of Nicaragua’s Flor de Caña. This bottle finds a nice balance between the brand’s molasses-rich 12-year-old expression and the extremely oaky 25-year-old release. A light sweetness and strong hint of vanilla bring a pleasant finish to each sip.
Average price: $52.
Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
Finished in heavily charred bourbon barrels, this Barbados rum will appeal to American whiskey drinkers, especially with its decadent caramel, vanilla, and toasty aromas. The palate remains surprisingly lively, fruity, and expressive, with deep toast once again appearing on the finish. Rum Old Fashioned, anyone?
Average price: $52.
Transcontinental Rum Line Mauritius 2017
The Transcontinental Rum Line is a French-based independent rum bottler that offers impressive aged expressions sourced from various countries across the globe. From the East African island of Mauritius, this 3-year-old offering is awash with tropical, orchard, and stone fruit notes, and serves subtle spicy tones on the palate.
Average price: $52
Rhum Barbancourt 15
This rhum agricole is produced by one of Haiti’s oldest distilleries. After aging in three (unspecified) types of oak cask, the 15-year-old, cane-juice distillate exhibits only the faintest hint of green, grassy character. Instead, sweet honeycomb notes dominate, before a finish that seems to last for decades.
Average price: $55.
Hampden Estate 8 Year Old
High-ester, savory funk immediately springs to life as this Jamaican rum hits the glass. Banana skins meet citrus peel and baking spices on the nose, while tannic grip, coffee, and a complex character that almost evokes smoke sets up an alluring palate. Intensity, evolution, and depth — this 8-year-old rum has it all.
Average price: $55.
R.L. Seale’s 12 Year Aged Barbados Rum
For a textbook expression of aged Barbados rum, turn to R.L. Seale’s 12 Year. Produced at the Foursquare distillery, from its quirky seal-shaped bottle flows a 46 percent ABV distillate that sings with molasses and baking spice notes, and culminates with a warm, toasty finish.
Average price: $55.
Don Papa Rum Aged 10 Years
Don Papa’s entry-level rum spends seven years in cask, during which time it develops an invigorating character strongly reminiscent of cola. With three extra years aging, that bright character has softened, making way for tropical notes and hints of caramel. This rum has a distinctive identity and a fruity character that’s ideal for summer sipping.
Average price: $60.
Equiano Rum Original
British-owned Equiano fuses history, philanthropy, and innovation in every bottle. Sold as the world’s first blend of Caribbean and African rums, this caramel-hued spirit ignites the senses with tropical fruit aromas and an energetic palate that is more lively than many aged counterparts. While a little on the pricey side when considering its depth of flavor, with 5 percent of the company’s profits and $2 from every bottle sale going to good causes, we’re happy to pay a bit extra in this case.
Average price: $60.
Papalin 7 Year Old
This blend of two Jamaican pot still rums combines spirits distilled and aged at Worthy Park and Hampden Estate, respectively. Classic Jamaican funk blends with underripe stone fruit and grassy vegetation on the nose. The palate takes a savory, umami turn, with a Band-Aid note appearing on the finish that almost recalls peated Scotch. This is a complex rum that provides a thought-provoking sipping experience.
Average price: $60.
Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum
Beyond the distractions of trademarked cocktails and erstwhile apostrophes, Goslings delivers some fine rums, including this aged (16-19 years) expression. Pouring a decadent shade of midnight molasses, the spirit arrives with surprising vigor on nose and palate. Its profile mimics a sherry- and sweet-vermouth-soaked fruit cake, with each sip revealing something exciting and new about its lengthy journey from cane to Glencairn.
Average price: $70.
Rivers Royal Grenadian Rum
Bottled at 69 percent ABV, this cane juice based rum is actually the “light,” export version of the spirit, which is typically consumed on its home soil at 75 percent. Will you therefore encounter boozy heat in each pour? Absolutely. Yet the scent and taste of ethanol are nowhere to be found among its dizzying array of descriptors. Expect corn husk, dried grass, earth, and umami — and that’s only the beginning of this supercharged rum. It won’t appeal to everyone but those who will enjoy this rum will absolutely love it.
Average price: $72
Rhum Père Labat Réserve Familiale 6 Year
From Guadeloupe, this rhum agricole élevé sous bois is produced from four local cane varieties and aged for at least six years prior to bottling. Its finished profile toes an enjoyable line between distinctive agricole character and sweet oak. Rather than drowning out or dampening the personality of the spirit, maturation allows its complex character to shine even brighter. Enjoy in a Ti’ Punch.
Average price: $90
Best Rums Over $100
Ron Zacapa XO
You don’t have to spend much time with this rum before gaining the impression Ron Zacapa is seeking to lure Cognac drinkers. The bottle certainly wouldn’t look out of place in that particular section of the liquor store, while the blend of 10- to 25-year-old rums within it found a final resting place in French oak former Cognac casks. None of this is a slight, it should be noted, and the spirit’s profile will definitely please those who enjoy aged French brandies.
Average price: $100
Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selections Mark XIX ‘Sovereignty’
From Barbados, this rum combines two 14-year-old blended rums, each containing a mix of pot and twin column still distillates. One of the base rums aged entirely in ex-bourbon casks, while the other spent a relatively brief period in similar vessels before enduring the majority of its maturation in ex-oloroso sherry casks. Lengthy aging isn’t the only aspect that brings this release intense character — bottled at 62 percent ABV, it proves to be a wild and expressive ride that serves bright fruit, toasted oak, allspice, cinnamon, and caramel, with further flavors arriving with each sip taken.
Average price: $125
Blackadder Fiji Rum 9 Years Old
For those whose rum exploration has reached postgraduate levels, this is the bottle you’ve been waiting for. Arriving at 64.1 percent ABV, this rum pulls no punches, and showcases characterful funk from the get-go and well onto its lengthy finish. A few drops of water help bring further life to the spirit and coax out more nuance. Worry not about its heady alcohol content, which is seamlessly incorporated.
Average price: $170.
What is the smoothest rum?
Rums better suited for sipping or enjoying neat or on the rocks tend to be smoother expressions of the spirit. Examples from this list include Don Papa Rum Aged 10 Years, Brugal 1888 Doblemente Añejado, and Bacardí Gran Reserva Diez.
Is rum stronger than vodka?
Most rum and vodkas clock in around 40 percent ABV. While you can find bottles at a higher proof for each category (for example, Zaya Alta Fuerza overproof rum at 57.5 percent ABV), they’re generally equally strong spirits.
Which rum is best with Coke?
Depending on your taste preferences — do you like spiced rum? Dark rum? White rum? — most rums will pair well with Coke. Look for expressions priced for cocktails (think $40 and under) that won’t get lost in the flavor of the Coca Cola. Plantation 3 Stars is a good place to start.
VinePair’s Tasting Methodology
Throughout the year, VinePair conducts numerous tastings for our popular Buy This Booze column, and wine and spirits reviews. Our mission is to provide a clear, reliable source of information for drinkers, providing an overview applicable to day-to-day buying and drinking.
Tastings are not typically conducted blind. In alignment with our reviews mission, we believe in purposefully tasting all products as our readers typically would, with full knowledge of the producer, the region, and — importantly — the price.
For Buy This Booze roundups, we typically include a maximum of one expression per brand, though we do allow multiple products from the same production facility (i.e., released under different labels).
For this rum roundup, we considered a number of different factors before finalizing the list. Our overall aim was to provide a complete overview of the myriad styles and origins of rum that define the category. That means entry- level, “approachable” bottles feature alongside limited-edition releases that spirits geeks go to great lengths to seek out. We are confident that every single bottle that made this final ranking delivers appropriate levels of flavor, balance, depth, and complexity for each of their respective price points.