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Aug 25, 2009 11:52 AM

Best all-purpose dark rum?

What is not too expensive for mixing cocktails, but still good enough for occaisional sipping, maybe in the $20-25 range? Lemon Hart? Flor de Cana? Barbancourt? Meyer's?

Others? TIA.

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  1. If you really twisted my arm, I would say Lemon Hart, but it is a bit much for sipping.

    Many real dark rums are intended for punches and the like, and not really sipping rums. Something like Barbancourt, while wonderful for sipping, would not stand up in a Dark and Stormy for example.

    My preferences:

    - Brugal Anejo not really dark, but great for sipping
    - Any of the aged Barbancourt rums for sipping.
    - Barrilito Three Star, very dark, lots of flavor, great for sipping, but overkill in a cocktail
    - A dark rum like Goslings, Pussers, Lemon Hart Demerara, or Meyers for punches and the like

      1. re: barleywino

        The only Zaya available to me is the 12 year gran reserva, which, as a result of ludicrous WA state liquor policy, costs over $45 (compare with ~$30 online). That's a bit rich for mixing, IMO. Any other suggestions?

        P.S. you must be happy to be free of the WSLCB regime.

        1. re: equinoise

          on the contrary, here in Massachusetts we can't even get liquor shipped in from other states, unlike Washington...count your blessings!

          1. re: barleywino

            That's no longer true. I order from with some frequency.

        1. For an all-purpose Dark rum - I like Goslings. Decent for sipping, too.

          My new favorite rum for cocktails and sipping is El Dorado 5-year old Demera.
          This is not too expensive (under $20 in my area) and has a lot of character.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jerryc123

            The El Dorado 12 and 15 are both fantastic for sipping

            1. re: scubadoo97

              But the El Dorado 15 is too hard to find to mix (at least in our area)! And too good.

              Personally, I would buy two bottles- Coruba for mixing and the El Dorado or Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva for sipping.

              1. re: Coconuts

                Can't find Coruba at all in Boston.

                1. re: Coconuts

                  The only El Dorado I use for mixing is the 5 YO and to be honest I seldom mix rum for myself.

            2. Aside from the rums others have mentioned, I'd like to add Pampero Aniversario to the list. It's quite inexpensive ($25, I think?), mixes relatively well, and is not bad for the occasional sip (not fantastic, either). And it comes in a leather pouch, which is kind of a cute touch (that said, I recommend throwing out the pouch, as I find the leather smell to be distracting from the rum experience, but YMMV).