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Rum experts...where to go from here?

So, I've recently delved into rum full-bore...and I've gotten in an Appleton Cuba Libre rut, which I have little complaints with. However, I'd like to branch out a little. I am not sure that I'm ready to get into golds and darker rums, but I could be convinced otherwise.

Here's what I've tried so far:

Appleton light: My absolute favorite, such good flavor.
Cruzan "Aged" light: My second favorite.
Flor de cana 4yr: I didn't like the aftertaste of this one...not sure why. I had hoped to love it.
Bacardi Superior Light: Undrinkable to me. Ewwww.
Bacardi Select: This tastes like straight molasses...gross.

Bacardi Gold: It's alright. I'm not really a fan, but I've only had it served neat at a testing.

Myer's: I've only had it served neat at a testing and in fru-fru drinks where it was indecipherable.
Gosling's Black Seal: Pretty good and a nice change from white, drank the whole bottle, but I am not sure if darks are for me.

Captain Morgan Spiced: Fun novelty flavor, but a little weak.
Captain Morgan 100 proof Spiced: Better alcohol content, but a little sickly sweet, cheerleader-beer-ish to me.

Any suggestions on what to try next? Many thanks-

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  1. Ron Zacapa Centenario is an interesting bottle. It is very dark and quite sweet -- almost too sweet for neat before dinner, but not bad after dinner. I haven't tried it, but I bet it would be good with a couple of rocks and a squeeze of lime to tame the sweet. Good in cocktails where it's flavor will stand out, although a bit pricey for mixing. Maybe order it in a bar or something before springing for a while bottle.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EvergreenDan

      Definitely Ron Zacapa. There are two, one is around forty dollars, the other runs about one hundred. My neighbor introduced us to it, and everybody loves it. It is a great sipping rum. We did a taste test and prefer the less expensive one. It is available at BevMo. Let us know how you like it.

    2. angostura 1919, bacardi 8 anos, el dorado 3 year

      1. You could definitely use a sipping rum or four. Agreed with pb n foie and EvergreenDan's suggestions. Another great choice is Mount Gay Extra Old--a fantastic entry into the world of quality sipping rums, and it should be relatively easy to find. Another common, and excellent choice, is Barbancourt Five-Star, which is good enough to sip but--at $20/bottle--also a great choice for putting into mixed drinks even if you're on a budget. One of my favorite rums and also the cheapest that I regularly buy.

        1. Love Flor de CaƱa, but I can't speak to the four yr., definitely get the 12 yr...Ron Zacapa, wonderful. Zaya 12 yr from Angostura is beautiful. Just got my hands on Zafra 21 yr. from Panama and aged in bourbon barrels. The same guys that brought Ron Zacapa to the U.S. are bringing us this delightful little number. It is said to be a true 21 yr. (not solera) and supposedly the barrels were brought up to the cooler highland areas to age. Either way it is freeking delicious. Ministry of rum is a great site for info and reviews.

          1. Brugal Anejo, Brugal Extra Anejo.

            Barrilito 3 Star

            Get some ginger beer for that goslings

            Try some unaged cane rums i.e. cachaca

            1. You should really check out Capt Jimbos Rum Project
              He list several rums that are good example of different rum styles. All are excellent examples and should be part of your rum tasting progression. Look for rums that are better for sipping than mixing and you will begin to develop a better appreciation for rum

              1. A couple more sippable golds are One Barrel from Belize, with a sweet vanilla nose but it is not a flavored rum, and Centenario anejo from Costa Rica, although I have only bought it there and don't know about its availability elsewhere.

                1. Old Monk is pure carmel and vanilla. I'm not a rum lover, but the nose on this makes me horny.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    old monk is my favorite rum. good for sipping. good for mixing. good.

                    recently got a bottle of Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera which is lovely. dry, little nutty/smokey. nothing like old monk. but really nice

                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                      Hmm, I'll have to break out my bottle -- somewhere in the far back of my liquor cabinet -- and give it another whirl. Not that I disliked it when I last tried it, just that it didn't have any particularly physical effect.

                      My favorite at the moment is Plantation's Panama bottling. Complex, medium-dry, just enough funk to make it interesting, and fairly smooth--but again, not too smooth. Just an all-around fantastic rum. Unfortunately, rather difficult to find, at least in my area.

                    2. This article from the San Francisco Chronicle might give you some ideas for rums to try:


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DavidT

                        Good article. But still we see very few good rum selections in bars and restaurants. My liquor store is flush with nice offerings but when I go out I often have to choose something other than rum because the selection is so dismal

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          Given the explosion in the numbers of single-malt/specialty/artisanal whiskies & bourbons available over the past 5-10 years, it is not surprising high-end rums are getting short shrift. There is only so much shelf space behind a bar!