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Does anyone have any favorite brands/varieties?

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  1. Whaler's Vanille Rum and Bacardi Select.

    26 Replies
    1. re: scott
      David De Silva

      Bacardi 5 year old is excellent but not cheap. This is one of the few rums I enjoy by itself on the rocks. Pusser's British Navy rum is also very good as well.

      1. re: David De Silva

        Barardi is pure marketing they do not make good rums !

        1. re: Intlexec

          Yes, that's why they've been around since 1862 . . .

          That's why Bacardi Silver is the #1 selling rum in the United States -- it sucks, but all of the people who drink (and enjoy) it are too stupid to know it's no good . . . .

          Marketing helps to sell the FIRST bottle, it's true. Repeat sales are based upon what's actually IN the bottle.

          1. re: zin1953

            So is Budweiser called " The King of Beers"....Your best rum aged 8 years is taste less in compare to many good rums in the market. Have many gold medals have you won worldwide....? Drink some Zacapa Centenario 25, Santa Teresa 1796, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva...you are not in that league and never will because Bacardi cares about quick made rums ...

            1. re: Intlexec

              *Zacapa 23.

              And Zin has probably had far more good rums than you have.

            2. re: zin1953

              Not sure if you are being facetious or not, but I would agree with you 100%.

              I would bet that 99% of the people who buy bacardi silver are buying it to mix with coke (or other mixers), and don't care that it's no good. They would never dream of drinking rum straight, and just buy what they are familiar with and see on the ads surrounding them, because they just don't care enough about rum to seek out something better.

              I have a friend back home in PA who buys Captain morgan. I have been telling him for over a year to try Brinley's gold shipwreck spiced rum, that once he does he will never get CM again - but so far he has yet to try it. You can lead a horse to water and all that.

              I find it hard to believe that anyone who has access to any of the better inexpensive rums - such as Appleton special, Mt Gay eclipse, Matusalem platino, El Dotrado 3yr, or palo viejo white - would ever buy bacardi silver or gold again.

              1. re: ncyankee101

                Truth be told good marketing does sell a product and yes I doubt anyone is drinking Bacardi silver neat or on the rocks. Well maybe Vodka lovers since that's what it taste like to me.

              2. re: zin1953

                The higher end aged Bacardi rums are pretty good. The silver and gold are mediocre. But, used to be excellent. I was hanging with some friends last fall and we tasted several bottles of Bacardi silver from the late 30's and early 40's. They were amazing, complex, floral, sweet, but not that over sweetened taste and texture that so many rums have, that add sweeteners and spice, to make up for faults in distilling and aging. Just the sweetness that carries over through the distillation and from barrel aging. (And yes, clear rums are barrel aged, usually up to three years, then filtered clear.)

                It's too bad that you can't get many of the better Bacardi rums in the US. I have tried many of the special bottlings the past few years since I know the Bacardi Brand Master. We were on a week long rum cruise of the eastern Caribbean last fall, a group of about forty rum fanatics from the Americas and UK, and after it was over a smaller group of us spent a day hanging out at Bacardi's distillery and aging facilities, tasting stuff that doesn't even go to market, just to family.

                1. re: JMF

                  Same thing happened to patron tequiila. Prior to 2002 it was made by Siete Leguas, which is still an excellent tequila. Once Patron got too big and started making their own, the quality went downhill and the price went up.

                2. re: zin1953

                  Bacardi has been junk for many years. It is just a brand now. Lot's of people eat cheese whiz doesn't mean it's any good.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    Still boggles my mind that a yellow product that shoots out of a can has "whiz" in the name.

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Ooooh, never made that connection myself, now I hate it even more.

                3. re: Intlexec

                  All this hate towards Bacardi has more to do with politics than anything else I think.. The black is quite good. I even prefer it to the 8 years old. But the silver is closer to vodka.

                  1. re: CopenhagenNights

                    The 8 and Anejo are indeed good. Never been a fan of the black and we agree the silver is crap

                    There are political issues that go back before the embargo which has no place on this thread

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Subsequent to the exit from Cuba, Bacardi quality varies. When I lived in Mexico City, I frequently passed a massive Bacardi distillery off the Periferico on the north side of the city. When I lived in Turks & Caicos, I'm sure the Bacardi came from their distillery in Puerto Rico.
                      As an aside, when I was in "B" school in the 70's with some brand names, a Bacardi scion had a bodyguard. I thought that was cool at the time, but today I think it would be a wretched sign of the times.

                    2. re: CopenhagenNights

                      I haven't seen or even heard of bacardi black until today, doesn't seem to be widely distributed yet, what is the price point?

                      The Bacardi 8 yr is a decent rum but at the same price ($20-24) there are many rums I prefer by a long margin - Pusser's, El Dorado 12 yr, Seales 10 yr, Doorly's XO (amazing $15 rum exclusive to Total Wine), Abuelo 7 yr - I could name many more. The new Mount gay black puts it to shame IMO - being 100 proof doesn't hurt of course.

                      1. re: ncyankee101

                        I think Black and Select are the same. Everything is very expensive in Denmark:

                        Black/Select , Silver, Gold: 130 DKK = 21$
                        8 years: 200 DKK = 33$
                        El Dorado 8: 200 DKK = 33$
                        El Dorado 12: 300 DKK = 49$

                        ED 8 is probably better than Bacardi 8, but not by much.. Wish we had your prices..

                        1. re: CopenhagenNights

                          Try the El Dorado 15 which luckily is about $34 US here in Boston.

                          1. re: CopenhagenNights

                            Ok that makes sense then, I did find a reference to black being renamed as select.

                            I haven't had the 8 yr El Dorado but I have a bottle of the 5 yr and I like it a lot, not as sweet or rich as the 12 yr but excellent in its own less tamed way. There is just something I love about the flavor profile of the whole ED line (and Demeraran rums in general), even the 3 yr is my second favorite white rum next to Banks 5 island (which is much pricier).

                            1. re: ncyankee101

                              Agreed about any of the Demerara rums...

                              1. re: ncyankee101

                                Yank, we agree. But do keep in mind that El Dorado (Demeraran Distillers, Ltd) - while Guyana's only remaining distiller (the country once had about 300), they simply obtained many different stills from these defunct distillers. These include wood and metal, Coffey stills, 2 column stills, four column still, rectifying stills, low capacity and high capacity stills.

                                No two of ED's products use the same stills, nor the same blends. While I agree they do a pretty good job, the products and years are all very different, and barely recognizeable as coming from a single owner.

                                Bottom line: if you don't like one, try another. The 12 year gets the most votes from most competent reviewers.

                                1. re: Capn Jimbo

                                  ... "gets the most votes from most competent reviewers."

                                  This made me chuckle, although I know exactly what you mean. Votes from people who don't share your values and tastes aren't worth much to you. Its an interesting problem in general.

                                  www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                                    Totally agree. I am involved with a group of friends that do lots of blind tastings of many different spirits. I would trust our reviews over any professional reviewer any day.

                          2. re: CopenhagenNights

                            What politics? Bacardi here in the USA hasn't had anything to do with Cuba in 40 years. It has turned into a giant, largely lousy booze conglomerate.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              Still a lot of folks hate the USA and also happen to hate Bacardi and love Havana Club. 2) People often hate big companies because they are big.

                              I like Bacardi black AND Havana Club though.. Havent tried El Dorado 3, so for me, Havana Club 3y is the best white rum.

                          3. re: Intlexec

                            Amen! I only drink Bacardi if there is nothing else and I can mix it.

                      2. I used to live in the Dominican REpublic. a good rum is a revelation..

                        Barcelo Gran Anejo. The n in Anejo is an enye...you know the squiggle above it that makes it sound like a cool, special y.

                        peace jill

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: jill

                          If you turn Num Lock on on your keyboard, hold down ALT and press 0241 on your keypad, you'll get an enye: ñ Some other characters:
                          ALT 0225 = á
                          ALT 0233 = é
                          ALT 0237 = í
                          ALT 0243 = ó
                          ALT 0250 = ú
                          ALT 0241 = ñ
                          ALT 0252 = ü

                          But back to rum, for sipping I like El Dorado 15 Year Old Guyana and for mixing in fruit-based cocktails Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum.

                          Link: http://www.internetwines.com/rws20622...

                          1. re: Dancin' Cook

                            Or, for Mac users, Option-N and then N. Option with any other vowel does other diacritics.

                            But this is about rum.

                            My favorite is Appleton Estate Extra, a 12-year Jamaican. It makes OH-MY-GOD amazing Mai Tais. I use Trader Vic's original recipe, using that, DeKuyper orange curaçao, and Torani orgeat syrup. Seriously, best drink EVER.

                            I also keep Appleton White for basic mixing, Pyrat XO for my gold rum (good balance of quality to value), Myers's and Gosling's Black Seal for darks, and some Bacardi 151 for either added kick on things like a Don the Beachcomber style Zombie, or for setting drinks aflame.

                            1. re: Dancin' Cook

                              El Dorado 15 Year Old Demerara Guyana Rum- THE BEST

                          2. There are lots of different ones:

                            For sipping, other poster mentioned Barcelo which is excellent.

                            From the D.R. I also really like the Brugal Anejo.

                            From Puerto Rico, Barillito Three Stars is very good.

                            For giving rum punches and eggnog a good strong rummy flavor, rather than Myers which is a bit too sweet and molassesey I prefer Coruba which is a great dark rum. A bit much to sip on it's own, but great.

                            There are lots of small batch rums coming out these days like all booze. Many of them are good.

                            Good luck.

                            1. check out ministryofrum.com for rum reviews and a rum discussion BBS. very reliable source and expert reviewer.

                              1. For sipping neat, I like Ron Zacapa Centenario or Pyrat Pistol.

                                Cruzan Single Barrel is also good--it has a nice clean flavor, almost reminding me of bourbon.

                                For mixing, I have a couple bottles of Mount Gay.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Karl B

                                  Some more info...

                                  In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I found out about Zacapa on the rum message board at egullet.com.

                                  I haven't seen Zacapa in liquor stores; I ordered it from Internet Wines and Spirits (internetwines.com). Zacapa has an oddly sweet flavor, but is really quite good and I highly recommend it.

                                  Pyrat Pistol is extremely aromatic and it took me a while to decide that I liked it.

                                  Another poster mentioned Barbancourt. I've had both the 8-year and the 15-year; I prefer the latter, of course, but both are fine and the 15-year is quite good.

                                  For the Mount Gay--it's a good, middle-of-the-road rum; I really just use it for mixing. I have a bottle of their regular stuff and a bottle of the Extra Old. I don't think the latter is really worth it; there are better rums for drinking straight, and there's not much point in paying the extra money for something you're going to mix with other ingredients.

                                  I also have a bottle of Angostura rum (I forget what they call it, but it's their good stuff), which I don't really care for. It has a strong woody flavor and I get flashbacks about sucking on clarinet reeds.

                                2. If you can find it, the Rhum Barbancourt(from Haiti) Five Star(8 yr old) and Special Reserve(15 yr old) are both phenominal, and compared to other spirits of this quality, a real bargain to boot. Yo-ho-ho!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: deweyman

                                    I haven't seen it in stores, but have heard there are very few that carry it in the US. I have also heard that you can find it in the liquor stores in the Haitian communities, but they don't display it, and may not sell it to anyone that may get them in trouble!

                                    1. re: Rummie

                                      I was mistaken. They are available from a few places listed on a search at http://ministryofrum.com/ but the prices are much more than seen in Miami or the Caribbean.

                                  2. I am no expert on hard liqour, but mixing Captain Jack's spiced rum with a home made Horchata is as good as eggnog about this time of year.

                                    1. Gosling's Black Seal from Bermuda is a great, all purpose dark rum. Excellent in Bermudian Fish Chowder.

                                      1. I agree with a previous poster...Barrelito (from PR) is delicious.

                                        1. I like the rum in my third Mai Tai better than the rum in my first one. (That goes for Zombies and daquiries too.)

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: christina z
                                            Cristina (the other one)

                                            Flor de Caña from Nicaragua...with OJ...mmmmmmm

                                          2. i like appelton jamaican rum. there is another many of my jamaican friends rec but i'm not sure of the name of it.

                                            1. Nick,
                                              One Barrel from Belize.


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: danimal57

                                                I enjoyed it last month in Belize, was surprised to find it in Florida yesterday, 15 bucks. Nice vanilla flavor, zero astringent aftertaste. I had planned mint juleps for what promises to be a soggy Kentucky Derby this afternoon, but I may re-deploy my mint for mojitos with the 1 Barrel.

                                              2. How do you plan to drink it? Neat, with a dash of water or a couple of ice cubes or do you plan to mix it?

                                                1. Second cristina: Flor de Cana from Nicaragua.

                                                  1. St. James from Martinique. Hard to find but wonderful.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Judith

                                                      I'll second this ... tremendous stuff, Saint James, and not terribly expensive. Barbancourt gets raves from friends though I've yet to have it myself.

                                                    2. Bit of sad news for rummies: Havana Club has discontinued its delicious, all-purpose, corn-colored 3 year. So now its either the mild blanco or the fairly heavy 5 year. (There is still of course the 7 year, and one simply called "anejo"). The 3 year teamed so well with fresh squozen valencias or pinas, or cuba libre's (known as ha-ha's in Cuba; the notion of Cuba being "free" is laughable there).

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        Dillon from Martinique, Mount Gay from Barbados, and Havana Club - only in Canada. Pity.

                                                        It's true that "free" is a joke in Cuba - so why do we keep buying Chinese soy sauce?

                                                        1. re: ekammin

                                                          Gosling's now has a luscious amber rum - Gosling's Gold.

                                                      2. Appleton Jamaican rum: several types.

                                                        10 Cane Rum is lovely, lightly colored, very smooth, nice flavor.

                                                        1. Nice to see an old thread revived. Here are some of my favs from my collection.

                                                          Any of Clement's rhums or JM's rhums, both from Martinique, are rhum agricole. Absolutely excellent.
                                                          Santa Teresa and Diplomatica from Venezuela are also excellent.
                                                          Cruzan single barrel
                                                          Mt. Gay
                                                          Pampero Anniversario
                                                          Zacapa 23 or 15

                                                          And for a VERY special rum: Any of Murray and mcDavid's special limited release, 1500 bottle or less per, Trinidad, Jamaican, Guyana, or Nicargua rums. All extra aged in several types of barrels.

                                                          1. Gosling's Black Seal for drinking (I'm intrigued by this Amber someone mentioned), Myer's dark for recipe uses and Mount Gay gold for mixing. Don't really bother with white rums, although since I was in college in the early '90s, I still have a certain perverse fondness for Malibu, which was ubiquitous then.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                              I too didn't care for white rums until i tried some really premium ones like the amazingly complex Clement Premiere Canne which is fantastic and Rhum J.M's white as well. The first white rums that I consider sipping rums as well as mixers.

                                                              Goslings Black Seal isn't really that great a sipping rum, good for mixing though. Their gold is also a good mixer and a better sipping rum as well. Just not great. (I am taking sips of each as I write this to back up my statement.)

                                                              1. re: JMF

                                                                I should clarify: I don't drink any rums neat. Gosling's is merely my go-to rum for rum-focused drinks. The Mount Gay is for drinks where the rum is one of several flavors, where the heavier Gosling's would be too overpowering. In other words, Gosling's for a Dark and Stormy or a daiquiri, Mount Gay for punches and the like.

                                                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                  Oh my! Gosling's would ruin a Daiquiri.

                                                                  1. re: 2top

                                                                    Rum, lime juice, simple syrup. How would Goslings "ruin" that?

                                                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                      The Gosling's is too heavy. I have to admit I favor the classics. Some original recipes demonstrate a pure essence constructed to fulfill a basic need.

                                                                      The Daiquiri is a thirst quenching cocktail, crisp and clean. It's a lightly sweetened, light rum based drink that incorporates lime.

                                                                      "a proper daiquiri is a studied balance in harmony. An excess of lime will make the drink bitter, while too much rum is overpowering. It should also be shaken to the point of frothiness."

                                                                      1. re: 2top

                                                                        Well, I'll be sure not to make you any daiquiris, then.

                                                            2. Ron Zacapa 23-year-old
                                                              El Dorado 15-year-old (and 21 and 12)
                                                              Appleton Estate 21-year-old
                                                              Flor De Cana 21 (which is not 21 years old)

                                                              And a few more that I'm missing...


                                                              1. The first Rum to turn me on to the spirit was Zacapa. Very good and very smooth. Came back from the Islands recently. Enjoyed the Mt Gay served straight, though it's a bit strong (evaporated on my tongue with the higher island proofs). However, I came across a delicious brand by chance named Admiral Rodney. Very smooth, definitely taste the oak aging in the finish.

                                                                1. Since I drink most of my non-clear spirits neat or on the rocks, my favorite rums are of the aged category. My favorites(in no particular order) are: Barbancourt 15, Appleton 21, Flor de Cana 12, R.L.Searle 12, and Pyrat XO. When making daquiris, I usually use Mt. Gay. and for punch, Pusser's Navy Black,

                                                                  1. Bacardi Gold for general use and Myers's for added rummy goodness.

                                                                    I'm interested that many speak highly of Gosling's. Never tasted it. I don't have much use for two dark rums in my bar. Anyone care to sell me on dumping my Myers's for Gosling's?

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mmmpointy

                                                                      Gosling's Amber is very smooth on its own, straight up and on the rocks. Black Seal is best for dark and stormys (BS and gingerbeer), black and Coke, rum swizzles and baking,,,,it wouldn't be Christmas without black seal soaked fruit cake. Is there a store with Gosling's miniatures in your area?

                                                                      1. re: Athena

                                                                        Rhum Clement is great. They have an orange based rum called Creole Shrubb thats amazing. Also tried a VSOP which is reasonably priced and one called Cuvee Homere by Rhum Clement, this one is like drinking cognac or a single malt, very nice. Here's the link: http://rhumclement.com/

                                                                        1. re: Athena

                                                                          Thanks!. In fact, I'm just finishing off the last of my Myers's in a rum-and-coke right now. I'll look for a small bottle of the Gosling's and give it a try.

                                                                      2. Old Monk, from india.... dark and chocolatey with a rich caramel taste

                                                                        1. I go to Jamaica and like Overproof. Can't find it in New Orleans. Reminds me of "Moonshine" I used to buy in the Delta.

                                                                          1. Westerhall Plantation Rum is a superb sipping rum. It's not the easiest thing to find, but you'll treasure it when you do....

                                                                            1. old monk from india

                                                                              delicious hints of caramel and vanilla

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                Old Monk definitely had a promising taste profile and looked to be a bargain.

                                                                                However, I got one of the worst hangovers i've had in my life from the stuff. And I did not overindulge.

                                                                                Later, the Liquor Board of Ontario issued a recall - not sure if the two were connected, but I wouldn't touch the stuff again.


                                                                                1. re: Pantz

                                                                                  i've never gotten a hangover from it. go figure.

                                                                                  the recall had to w/ the bottling process not the rum itself

                                                                                  1. re: Pantz

                                                                                    Allegedly some glass particles were found, had nothing at all to do with the rum. I had one of the affected bottles and simply strained it (found nothing). Old Monk is a great bargain, quite underrated. Believe it or not, it is one of the larger selling rums in the world - it's simply not imported very much here.

                                                                                    1. re: Capn Jimbo

                                                                                      I just got a bottle of the 12 yr old, quite nice.

                                                                                2. http://www.macheterum.com/

                                                                                  Among my personal favorite sippers: Zacapa Centenario, Angostura 1919, Gosling's Family Reserve, Zaya Gran Reserva, Pyrat Pistol, Angostura 1824 (too many to list them all)...

                                                                                  1. Barbancourt 15 year old, Ron Zacapa Centario, Cockspur, and Ron Barrellito.

                                                                                    1. After a quick glance at all the replies, I didn't see this rum suggested.

                                                                                      Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum


                                                                                      at 92 proof it's a stronger rum and currently it's under $20.00 a fifth. It's a good tasting spiced rum and well distilled. The name is kinda tacky but it's some good mixing rum. It's what I buy.


                                                                                      1. Numerous of my recent posts from Mexico were deleted, but the Havana Club 3 year I found after a long absence, with its new labeling and a much more pale yellow color, gave me low expectations compared to the old original. It was excellent.

                                                                                        1. For those who say they would never drink rum on the rocks or straight up, that is because you have never had a good sipping rum. My favorite average cost sipping rum is 10 Cane rum. I have a friend who has built a rum bar in his home and has some very good and expensive rums from around the world, none of which would any civilized being mix with anything or doing shots. I have also had true Cuban Anejo rum, which my wife brought back from a sanctioned trip to Havana. Once again, no civilized being would waste it by mixing it with anything or doing shots.

                                                                                          1. Now, if you just want to do shots and lose some braincells, buy a bottle of Cruzan or Sailor Jerry.

                                                                                            25 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                              Funny that you snub Cruzan when their single barrel is a much better sipping rum than 10cane at about the same price, and their lower end 2 yr old rums are quite good for mixing, as is the blackstrap (in the right type of drink).

                                                                                              I have several bottles of 10cane I picked up on a price drop at Walmart in orlando for $12, it's decent as a mixer but I don't think it's all that good as a sipper and would not pay the usual price of ~$25. At that same price point Banks 5 Island (and Oronoco on sale) completely blows it away, and there are better white rums at lower prices (El dorado 3 yr, matusalem platino, Wray + Nephew, Denizen).

                                                                                              1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                Agreed. I've somewhat new to higher-end sipping rums, but Cruzan white has long been my cocktail mixer rum of choice. The Single Barrel, which costs around $18.99 in these parts is a tremendous value and is an excellent sipper with a nice woody dryness that appeals to this long-time bourbon drinker.

                                                                                                Also, I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that virtually none of the folks who are actively involved in this thread tend to "do shots". Hell, even when I was in college, it was rare for anyone to do shots of rum - cheap tequila, vodka, and bourbon, sure...but I really don't ever recall shots of rum being common. Then again, that was the '90s, so maybe things have changed.

                                                                                                Also, the idea that all these rums are soooooooo special that one would, of course, never use them in drinks, seems a bit presumptuous. A great cocktail is a wonderful thing, and can really showcase a great spirit. I've used 10 Cane in Ti Punch (as well as Depaz) and found I actually preferred the 10 Cane in the Ti as opposed to sipping straight. FWIW, at least around here, I can get the Depaz for the same as the 10 Cane and find it to be a far better rum/rhum.

                                                                                                1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                  Crunch - that's a great price on the Cruzan SB, I got 3 bottles in PA for that price on closeout, regular was around $30 and the best price I have seen online is $25. It's not one of my favorite sippers, as I find the wood a little out of balance, but when I am in the mood for something really woody I go to it, Elijah Craig 18 yr or Toro de Lidia extra anejo tequila.

                                                                                                  I agree that great rums can make great drinks, after reading an article by Rum Dood about Mai tais I made one with two of my more expensive rums - Sea wynde and El dorado 15 (just an ounce of each), as well as Clement creole shrubb. It was outstanding. I am not that crazy about the Sea wynde as a sipper, it has a very phenolic aftertaste, but it was great in this drink.

                                                                                                2. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                  I am so sorry if I came across that way. I truly enjoy Cruzan, my comment was only aimed at its higher alcohol content compared to other rums. It has always seemed to me to be a party rum.

                                                                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                    Higher alcohol content? Cruzan white and single barrel are 40% ABV. Their flavored rums are lower.

                                                                                                    Cruzan positions itself as a "clean" rum, having a smaller amount of congeners than others. The Aged White is "triple distilled" (their words) and aged in wood for 2 years, then filtered clear again. If if one wanted to overindulge, this Cruzan might make one less miserable the next day than, say, a pot distilled rum.

                                                                                                    www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                                                                                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                      Agreed, though they do make an over-proof rum.

                                                                                                      FWIW, I've tasted a few "mixing level" white rums side-by-side (FDC5, Bacardi, and Cruzan) and Cruzan was the only one that I actually thought was decent for sipping/ I'm not saying it would be my first (or, evn second, or third) choice, nor do I think it's the best use for the stuff, but it's really not a bad sipping rum. The Bacardi tasted far too harshly alcoholic and didn't even seem to taste as much of rum as of pure alcohol. The FDC, which I've often picked up as a basic mixing rum was decent enough but a bit harsher than the Cruzan and, as such, didn't seem as pleasant to sip. That said, these are just my opinions and I've only been getting into rum since the beginning of the summer. Thankfully though, the cost-per-bottle of rum is startlingly low, and makes it a fairly easy spirit for someone on my income to collect a number of respected bottles without breaking the bank. This is especially true when compared to Scotch, which is a luxury I find somewhat out of my reach since moving from Silver Spring to DC and seeing my rent jump $400 a month :(

                                                                                                      1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                        A long while back I filled two plastic flasks, one with Bacardi white rum and the other with vodka for my wife while on a vacation for mixing drinks in our room.

                                                                                                        I didn't label them and when trying to tell the difference by smell it was impossible. Even sipping straight I could maybe tell a difference but it was close. The rum having a touch of sweetness over the vodka.

                                                                                                        1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                          Rum is still a great deal compared to other spirits. As a scotch drinker you may want to try moving from whisky to whiskey.

                                                                                                          1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                            Agree about what a great bargain rum is compared to other spirits. My favorite rums (so far) - Pusser's and El dorado 12- don't cost me more than $21, and I would as much sip them as any other liquor I have had so far.

                                                                                                            The only rum I have paid more than $30 for that I would rank among my favorites is Mount gay extra old, and that was $35. Zacapa 23 yr and XO are good but IMO overly sweet and liqueur-like,

                                                                                                            Many excellent rums around or under $20 - El Dorado 5 yr, Barbancourt 5 star, Matusalem 15 yr, Doorly's XO. seales 10 yr, Abuelo 7 yr, Appleton V/x or reserve, The lash spiced rum, Ron Viejo de caldas 3 or 8 yr, Old Monk 7 or 12 yr, Wray and Nephew overproof.

                                                                                                            In the $30 range, Appleton extra, El Dorado 15, Banks 5 island, Smith and cross, Scarlet Ibis, Zaya 12 yr. Abuelo 12 yr which I have yet to open but expect to like a lot based on the 7 yr.

                                                                                                            1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                              I'm paying $20 for ED 12 and $30 for the 15

                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                Hey Scuba - did the El Dorado 12 yr just take a major price hike where you are? My source - Atlanta Total Wine - recently jacked up their price from $20 to $29.

                                                                                                                1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                  Haven't done any rum shopping in a while but will look and maybe stock up if it hasn't

                                                                                                                  1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                    Just called Total Wine where I had purchased previously at $19.99/12yo and $29.99/15yr

                                                                                                                    Today's price is $25.99/12yo and $33.99/15yo

                                                                                                                    The fellow on the phone said they just received their most current delivery and noted the price change as well as the fact that they ordered less of it.

                                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                      I'm guessing you're in FL? I checked prices where I shopped last summer in Orlando and that's what they are.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                        Yup, in Florida where we had 84* high in January. Got to love it!

                                                                                                                2. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                  You may want to revisit the Zacapa 23. The Master Distiller/blender has been bringing it back in line to its flavor profile of 12-15 years ago, before it was sweetened up to suit the market of the time. Had a new bottle of it in a blind taste test last week and it wasn't sweet and syrupy as it had been the past decade. One person thought it was a whiskey that had been secondary aged in a rum barrel. An excellent rum once again. Just make sure it is a new bottle and not one that's been sitting on the shelf.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                    Interesting. Do the bottles have any date stamps ?

                                                                                                                      1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                        Any other way to tell if it's the new blend or the old?

                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                          JMF / Scuba - my bottle has a date code, not sure how to decipher it :

                                                                                                                          L292 14010911 323

                                                                                                                          I purchased this bottle in August of 2010, so my best guess would be "Lot 292 140(th day of 20)10 then no idea what "911 323" means.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                            Not exactly sure but with some bourbon bottles the date is followed by the time. So could be 10911 323 is 10/9/11 3:23

                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                              Except that would have made it difficult to purchase the bottle in 2010, wouldn't it? ;-)

                                                                                                                              The only other way I can see to read it would be that 140109 would be "14 Jan 2009" but that would mean I purchased it a year and a half after bottling - this was at a Total Wine in Orlando where I would expect a fast turnover of a rum like Zacapa 23.

                                                                                                                              Most date codes I have come across just use a number up to 365 for the sequential day of the year, 140 would be May 20 which would have made sense with an August purchase.

                                                                                                                      2. re: JMF

                                                                                                                        That's an interesting claim, but I have my doubts...

                                                                                                                        1. They are committed to a large volume of sales to folks that like the current sweetie formulation.

                                                                                                                        2. They are running short of stock.

                                                                                                                        3. Remember, they claim "solera" production. Think about it - one of my big criticisms of true solera is how hard it is to correct for mistakes. What happens if you get a bad batch? Start another solera and wait 23 years? Never happen. Zacapa claims to sit on a solera system that is at least 23 years old. If true (and I've never believed it was), there's no way.

                                                                                                                        4. For years they've denied "alteration", now they admit it? And are gonna change it? Really?

                                                                                                                        Which line are we going to believe - that its a 23 year old "solera" and that was never altered with sugar - or that it really isn't a real solera and they're now gonna remove the sugar they say they never added?

                                                                                                                        I'll believe it when I taste it...

                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                          It is also notable that although Z-23 was once held to be "the best rum in the world". They claimed a 23 year old solera, and claimed the incredible thick sweetness was due to aging and not added.

                                                                                                                          A true solera is typically four barrels high. If you ever saw Zacapa's flow chart of barrels it looks like an etch-a-sketch that someone shook. A solera is a huge endeavor, and like the Titantic is not easily changed or altered as you have - if true - over 23 years of rum sitting in a huge stack, at least 7/8 of which is still working its way down the solera.

                                                                                                                          You simply can't change a solera overnight - it just can't be done. Personally, I've never believed in this company's solera claims, especially having seen the flowchart. If their sweetness was really due to the 23 years of aging and repeated charring of their barrels - as they claim - then the sweetness simply cannot be removed.

                                                                                                                          OTOH, if the amazing syrupy sweetness is added, only then can the formula be easily modified by not adding sugar and/or other additives just prior to bottling. In this case, what are we to think of the years of solera/no sugar claims?

                                                                                                              2. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                Finally found a place around here that sells Wray and Nephew. Looking forward to picking up a bottle in the near future :)

                                                                                                              3. I grew up on a Rum producing island,visited rum distillery on school outings, bought my first rum cocktail at 13,mother cooked and seasoned with rum,totaled my first car after too many rums,went fishing nude one morning in the boat after a rum soaked night.........
                                                                                                                I prefer Gin....... but if I had to choose a favorite it would be the 15 year aged El Dorado Demarara rum from Guyana.
                                                                                                                You can taste the burnt cane in all it's smokey goodness and that is the taste of my youth.
                                                                                                                I would navigate back to my mooring on some moonless nights by only the light of burning cane fields in the distance.

                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Duppie

                                                                                                                  Every rum I have had from El Dorado (other that the 151) has been outstanding. 3 yr, 5 yr, 12, 15. The 12 is my favorite rum, and at ~$20 may be the best liquor value around.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                    I stick to the 15 year, there were some skulduggery about the actual age of some of the other years when the proprietors and government needed to raise cash.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Duppie

                                                                                                                      I also think the 15 tastes notably better.

                                                                                                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                        I thought I liked the 15 better but in a blind tasting of over a dozen rums I scored the 12 higher than the 15.

                                                                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                          I agree with you Scuba, though I like both a lot the 12 yr seems a little less dry and a little more robust to me.

                                                                                                                          Note that - as Capn Jimbo loves to point out - they are completely different blends, not just different ages of the same rum.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                            I not only love to point them out - I actually get a woodie - American oak of course.

                                                                                                                2. Appleton Estate V/X ... good all-around tasting rum.

                                                                                                                  1. A few days ago I spent an afternoon sipping the new Banks 7 Golden Age at an event. If I remember correctly it was a blend of 23 rums from 7 countries. Very nice.

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                      Have you tried the Angostura 1919? Oddly enough I first tried it in Sweden where it is apparently quite popular. A bit sweet with a vanilla like finish but still a smooth sipping rum.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Duppie

                                                                                                                        Yes, all the Angostura's are very nice rums.

                                                                                                                      2. re: JMF

                                                                                                                        Yes, when it comes to marketing claims your memory serves you well. What a hoot! Seriously, does anyone really believe their claim? I might believe five or seven rums (from each of the five or seven countries claimed as sources), but twenty-three?

                                                                                                                        Spare me. I can see it now: "Arnaud, yes I know we've used twenty-two rums already, but there's just something missing...". ROFL...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Capn Jimbo

                                                                                                                          Perhaps they meant that the first batch they blended contained the contents of 23 different bottles ... each bottle, arguably, a "different" rum (hey, it could have come from a different barrel). Who knows how they come up with this crap... And why 23? Just like Zacapa.

                                                                                                                          Anyway, stupid marketing claims not withstanding, the company has set a precedent with the 5 Island as an excellent rum at a fair price, and I hope that the 7 follows suit. I'm very much looking forward to trying it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Capn Jimbo

                                                                                                                            Sure, we should all know better about such claims, especially in cases so transparent as this. But seriously, doesn't it or shouldn't it occur to us that if a distiller is so fast and loose with the claims, what else are they hiding.

                                                                                                                            Compare to a Richard Seale or Charles Tobias whose marketing reflects the truth in terms of additives and real age.

                                                                                                                        2. In search of a great cuba libre I've done a fair number of blind rum tastings over the past couple years. Consistently two rums tend to lead the results: Appleton Gold, and Pyrat. These are up against the usual suspects: Flor Canas, bacardis, myers, mt. gays, 10 Cane, babancourts, and most of the other widely available brands...

                                                                                                                          In my tastings, Pyrat tends to edge Appleton Gold out by a bit but it's twice the price.

                                                                                                                          I used to travel the caribbean and central / south america fairly frequently and my favorite rum on those trips was from all places... Guatemala. Anyway, I've read several tasting notes on one Guat rum in particular, but it's in the $40's per bottle at the store... Appleton Gold at $15 and Pyrat at about $30 are so good for my tastes that I haven't splurged to try it.

                                                                                                                          A prior poster mentioned Appleton XO which I also really like but the somewhat less expensive Gold "Special" has edged it out in our blind tastings.

                                                                                                                          1. I noticed some recent price increases on Caribbean rums, and there is a good reason. The fiscal cliff bill added on some special gifts to the USVI and Puerto Rico. These benefit Diageo (Captain Morgan), Fortune (Cruzan) and Bacardi to the tune of three-quarter Billion dollars every year. Worse yet, Diageo received a $2.7 Billion dollar subsidy to built a huge distillery, plus many other benefits that amount to double the cost to produce the rum. Fortune received $1 Billion to upgrade their plant, build a wastewater facility and obtain molasses at just 16 cents/gallon (normal cost is $2.00) gallon.

                                                                                                                            The small Caribbean distillers simply can't compete and many of our favorite rums may soon go out of business. Most affected are Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, but the entire Caribbean basin is affected.

                                                                                                                            This is a horror story. To help save Caribbean rums, there is a petition that all who care should read and sign. The whole ugly story is there...


                                                                                                                            On Monday, even Steven Colbert of the Colber Report criticised these anti-competitive subsidies, in a clip that would be very funny, if the conseqences weren't so bad.


                                                                                                                            Please - all who love Caribbean rum need to make their voices heard. To lose any of them is unthinkable...