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Off to a bad start with rum.

venividibitchy Dec 28, 2009 07:57 PM

I'd love some suggestions for an affordable (<$30) rum that can change my mind about the drink.

I'm an avid vodka/tequila/gin drinker, but my experiences with rum so far have been negative. I tried two types of Bacardi ("Superior" and "Select") mixed with different juices and sodas, and found them all to be unpalatable. The medicinal, cough-syrup flavor really got to me. I've had a few fru-fru drinks from bars over the years that used rum, but they were so heavily juice-enhanced that I never noticed or was able to develop an opinion. Preferably, I'd like something that's good with a single mixer.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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  1. p
    pb n foie RE: venividibitchy Dec 28, 2009 08:21 PM

    Flor de Canas white rum is really nice and for around $20. It would be great with a sour mix as long as the sour mix was homemade or of good quality.
    You stated that you wanted to spend less than thirty, but Appleton Estate Extra ($32 in oregon) is awesome! You could make a nice Rum old fashioned with it.
    Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva is also nice.
    Good luck.

    1. jerryc123 RE: venividibitchy Dec 28, 2009 11:05 PM

      Bacardi is serviceable in a mixed drink or cooking, but you can find better quality rum at the same price point.

      El Dorado 5 year old Demerara is my first choice at around $17.
      Appleton Estates is also good at around $20. The 12 year old at around $30.
      Gosling's Black Seal is a good dark rum at around $20.

      But, if you continue to find rum mixed with different juices and sodas "unpalatable." perhaps you should just admit that rum is just not your thing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jerryc123
        invinotheresverde RE: jerryc123 Dec 29, 2009 09:53 AM

        Agreed. After much trial and error, I've had to come to that very conclusion.

      2. EvergreenDan RE: venividibitchy Dec 29, 2009 03:34 AM

        Rum and tonics, made with dark rum and extra lime to balance the sweetness of the rum?

        Good rum is nice sipped neat after dinner or with dessert, when a little extra sweetness isn't objectionable. Older rums have a lot of character for the money.

        A Daiquiri (rum, suger, lime) is classic and can be made as tart as desired.

        1. Sam Fujisaka RE: venividibitchy Dec 29, 2009 04:15 AM

          Flor de Cana - white or dark, 4 or 5 years old.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            danieljdwyer RE: Sam Fujisaka Dec 30, 2009 11:29 AM

            I think I've seen you suggest this in the past, and Flor de Cana is my favorite rum. I'm wondering if it's the same one, as that seems like a name that could easily be used by more than one distiller. Do you mean the Nicaraguan rum of that name? Other than at specialty liquor stores in the US, I'd never really seen Flor de Cana outside of Nicaragua. Is it popular in South America?

            1. re: danieljdwyer
              JMF RE: danieljdwyer Dec 31, 2009 05:20 AM

              Flor de Cana is available at even low end stores here in NY

              1. re: danieljdwyer
                Sam Fujisaka RE: danieljdwyer Dec 31, 2009 05:33 AM

                Yes, I refer to the Nicarguan rum, and haven't seen any other rums of the same name. We bring in F de C in our annual duty free orders: South American countries protect their own rum industries with heavy tariffs on booze from elsewhere. people here in Colombia like F de C, but generally cannot afford it ove a local rum.

            2. davis_sq_pro RE: venividibitchy Dec 29, 2009 10:01 AM

              Lots of great suggestions to be found in this thread:


              If you're getting a medicinal flavor it's probably because you're using low quality rum (most Bacardi falls into that category--the only one I personally use is the "8 year" version, which you can get for around $25). Don't be afraid of the brown rums, and if you want a white rum go for something of quality like Oronco, Matusalem, or Flor de Cana (or on the cheaper end, Cruzan Light, which is far better than Bacardi).

              I suggest that you ditch the random pairings with juice and soda and try a few classic cocktails. A Daiquiri, as EvergreenDan suggested, can be a great drink. El Presidente is also quite nice. And a Mai Tai, when properly made, is an incredible drink, easily included in a list of the top five or 10 drinks ever created.

              1 Reply
              1. re: davis_sq_pro
                scubadoo97 RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 10, 2010 04:55 PM

                I'm not a Bacardi fan but the 8 and the Anejo are both drinkable on ice or for sipping neat. I'm very partial to El Dorado 12 and 15 for sipping. Flor de Cana I find on the dryer side. There are so many good rums for sipping. Appleton, Barbancourt, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva to name a few. There are so many really good rums out there. Too bad most bars and restaurants stock so few.

              2. JMF RE: venividibitchy Dec 31, 2009 05:22 AM

                bacardi is mediocre rum. try some good sipping rums. Check out a friend of mine's blog, it's basically all about rum and rum cocktails.

                1. r
                  robert222 RE: venividibitchy Dec 31, 2009 11:54 AM

                  Mount Gay Eclipse is always a good stand-by and mixes well. A classic with tonic and lime. Usually under $20.
                  The Cruzan Single Barrel is in the $30 range and is a decadent pleasure with a good ginger ale or on its own.

                  1. ScubaSteve RE: venividibitchy Jan 1, 2010 06:30 AM

                    if you can find Smith and Cross i Highly recco it.
                    big flavors of vanilla and caramel, and it's got great body and mouthfeel even though it's 150proof.

                    1. rlh RE: venividibitchy Jan 1, 2010 10:08 AM

                      Old Monk from India tastes really amazing, especially in mixed drinks (e.g. Hemingway Daiquiri or Tom and Jerry), and is really cheap (under $20 for 750 ml)

                      1. thirstygirlpa RE: venividibitchy Jan 15, 2010 07:43 PM

                        If you want a high quality flavored rum that doesn't have those fake flavors, try Brinley Gold Rum from St. Kitts. Doesn't even need a mixer (but may be a bit too sugary for some).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: thirstygirlpa
                          JMF RE: thirstygirlpa Jan 16, 2010 06:11 AM

                          sadly, I'm friendly with Mr. Brinley, but really hate their flavored rums. He gave me a bottle each of their whole line a few months ago and I tried working with them. I wanted to like them, but to no avail. They taste totally sickly sweet and over flavored. Ghastly. i was one of the judges in the 2008 Ministry of Rum competition, and the only reason it won anything is because there are no good flavored rums except for a few spiced rums like Montecristo and Sailor Jerry.

                          1. re: JMF
                            thirstygirlpa RE: JMF Jan 17, 2010 07:11 AM

                            Luckily there's a place for a "sickly sweet" rum since many people, especially newbies, can enjoy them - though not a whole lot at once for sure!

                        2. StriperGuy RE: venividibitchy Jan 17, 2010 12:18 PM

                          For a few really noteworthy rums:
                          - Barrilito 3 Star
                          - Brugal Anejo (or extra anejo)
                          -Wright and Nephew Demerara
                          - Any of the Barbancourt Rums
                          - Old Monk (already mentioned)
                          - Or try a nice Cachaca or Rhum Agricole

                          All of these can be sipped on the rocks, or with perhaps a splash of soda.

                          I don't really enjoy any of the Bacardi products.

                          1. Niki in Dayton RE: venividibitchy Jan 19, 2010 11:54 AM

                            We've really been enjoying Pyrat rum lately. It's around $25 a bottle (750 ml) in our market, and has brown sugar and caramel flavors. We drink it straight in a brandy snifter, as an after-dinner drink or something to sip on as we watch the fire.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Niki in Dayton
                              scubadoo97 RE: Niki in Dayton Jan 19, 2010 01:12 PM

                              I sometimes like to classify Pyrat XO as a flavored rum liquour. It has a very pronounce orange flavor. I like it at times and always drink it neat. I know a lot of people hate it. Would be a nice after dinner rum.

                              1. re: scubadoo97
                                davis_sq_pro RE: scubadoo97 Jan 20, 2010 06:13 AM

                                I sometimes like to use it in a Mai Tai in place of the curacao. Makes the drink rummier, but still with orange flavor. Kind of an interesting twist.

                                1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                  JMF RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 20, 2010 06:27 AM

                                  I find it has more of a peach/apricot flavor.

                                  1. re: JMF
                                    davis_sq_pro RE: JMF Jan 20, 2010 07:39 AM

                                    Different batch, perhaps? My bottle tastes like a lesser version of Grand Marnier--there's no question about it being sweet and orangey.

                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                      JMF RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 23, 2010 12:32 PM

                                      I looked at some notes from fall '06 and I found it to be dried apricot, orange zest, and buttery toffee.

                                  2. re: davis_sq_pro
                                    EvergreenDan RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 26, 2010 07:35 AM

                                    DavisSqPro may be on to something with batch variation, as I found it to be orange, quite bitter, and sweet/caramel. I usually like bitter things but couldn't warm up to it even after using up the whole bottle over the course of a year or so. It reminded me of a Shrubb that a friend let me try, which was also very bitter but in a more interesting way.

                                    1. re: EvergreenDan
                                      scubadoo97 RE: EvergreenDan Jan 26, 2010 09:04 AM

                                      Bittter? Never tasted bitter and I've had several presentations of Pyrat. Not my favorite rum due to the over orange thing going but still enjoyable to me.

                              2. Icantread RE: venividibitchy Jan 28, 2010 09:42 AM

                                We all get off to a bad start with rum, it's why it's the universal separator of men from boys.

                                Also, never drink bacardi again, unless it's in a coke bottle, or you are inheriting their fortune.

                                1. k
                                  kitchenassassin RE: venividibitchy Feb 8, 2010 09:30 PM

                                  Flor de Cana 4, 5 or 7 year
                                  Havana Club white, anejo, or 7 year
                                  Mount Gay Eclipse
                                  for spiced rum: Sailor Jerry, it has a subtle cherry and vanilla flavour and its 46% alcohol

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