HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >


Rum: What's good? Anything new to try?

I'm not a rum drinker - at least not yet - but my wife is. Right now, she's a fan of Captain Morgan's dark.

I've tried it and while I find it okay, I don't know enough about rum to know if it's "good" or not... What's out there for a rum newbie to try, and maybe even spring something good and different on the wife?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Oh there is a world of rum that awaits. Captain Morgan is not what I would consider good rum

    Here's a site to help get you more acquainted http://rumproject.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97

      scuba, that's a pretty good list Jimbo compiled, but I just e-mailed him to add Cacique from Venezuela, a pretty good all-purpose budget rum.
      Buen provecho.

      1. re: Veggo

        Thanks for the heads up Veggo. I'll look for to try

    2. If you're looking to stick with spiced, I like Kraken quite a bit more than Captain. My favorite is the El Dorado, but it's next to impossibly to find here in the Carolinas ( I had to go to Atlanta).

      3 Replies
      1. re: Nocturnalbill

        I'm a fan of ED 12 and 15. Excellent sipping rums

        1. re: Nocturnalbill

          Nocturnalbill - but when you went to Atlanta, I hope you loaded the boat, because the price down there ($20 for the 12 yr at Total Wine) is as good as I have seen anywhere. I have a friend who brings it back for me. At that price I consider it far and away the best liquor deal I have personally yet come across.

          1. re: ncyankee101

            Oh let's not get me started on the haul back in March. Raided Holeman and Finch's Bottle Shop. 3 bottles of Dolin Blanc, 2 of El Dorado 12, Lemon Hart 151, Bitter Truth Pimento Dram, Redemption Rye. I had entirely too much fun. Some friends are coming up next weekend and restocking the Dolin blanc. Can't find it or El Dorado around here.

        2. I'm a big fan of Appleton 12 year old and Mount Gay Extra Old, or if you are primarily mixing try Appleton VX. Havana Club Anejo Reserva is an absolute joy....If you are outside the U.S.

          3 Replies
          1. re: mongo59r

            Mt. Gay Extra Old is the most delicious rum I have ever had. The best to add to eggnog. It was a revelation after years of Bacardi.


            1. re: mongo59r

              I recently got a bottle of the new Mount gay Eclipse Black, it is 100 proof and quite good for the $20 I paid. It has some similarity in its flavor profile to the Extra Old.

              1. re: ncyankee101

                Yum, yum! Do you think it's better than the Extra Old? What do you drink it with?


            2. El Dorado 12 or 15 or Barrilito 3 Star, all for sipping.

              1. Capt Morgan isn't really much good. It's cheap rum with cheap spices and vanilla added. But if you are mixing it with Coke, it really doesn't matter what rum you use.

                Now sipping rums and used in fine rum cocktails, that's a different story. Try any of the excellent Plantation rums. Put out by Ferrand Cognac who sources barrels of rum, then further ages them. El Dorado are also good.

                6 Replies
                1. re: JMF

                  Plantation just launched its Three Stars White Rum. I look forward to trying it.

                  1. re: JMF

                    I tried the Plantation Three Star White rum last night when I ran into the area manager. Very good.

                    1. re: JMF

                      How does it compare to Flor de Cana 4 year - better / worse?

                      1. re: Dapuma

                        First, it is a white rum, a blend of rums from three countries. I haven't had Flor de Cana in about 6 years, so I can't remember what it is like. as for what the Plantation is like, it was after being to a high end cognac tasting, then a stretch limo ride with a bottle of amazing Chilean pisco being passed around, then several tiki drinks made by Beachbum Berry, so things were a bit hazy by the time I tasted it, but it was good.

                2. If you are looking for rum you can drink straight, like a good brandy or single-malt whisky, try Rhum Clement, from Martinique.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DavidT

                    excellent stuff, not for the novice.

                  2. When you say Capt Morgan "dark" I am not sure if you are referring to the Private Stock or the Black rum?

                    I've never had the black so can't comment on it.

                    The Private stock was the first rum that got me interested in rum, though now I find the vanilla taste to be overwhelming and artificial - they are trying to give the impression of an aged rum via additives, so though it is somewhat pleasant at first, once you have had genuine aged rums it gets old quickly.

                    There are so many better in the same price range or cheaper - even Bacardi has a couple rums around $15-20 that aren't half bad, the 8 yr and the anejo, or Ron Barcelo anejo. Any of these would be good rums for someone new to rum.

                    if you want a good spiced rum, Brinley's shipwreck is outstanding though not that easy to find. The price can also vary from $16 (a steal) to $25, which is high, but I have yet to taste a spiced rum I like better so I would pay that if I had to.

                    1. my favorite rums include:
                      El Dorado 15 year old ( I never had the older ones but I suppose those would be amazing)
                      Flor De Cana Centenario
                      Ron Zacapa 15
                      10 Cane
                      Kraken Spiced Rum
                      Pussers Navy Rum (the 15 yr old one)
                      Angostura 1824

                      The last four are all from Trinidad and Tobago. If ever you want to get a great $10 bottle of rum; you get the most value for your money in Trinidad (imo)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: aneil4lom

                        Pusser's is based in Tortola, BVI. Close but not quite T+T. They do use rums from Trinidad in their blend, as well as Jamiacan, Barbados, and Demeraran.

                        Kraken is distilled in T+T but blended and bottled in Indiana.

                        The Pusser's Blue label is also excellent, much easier to find and about 60% less in price - $20-25 vs. $55-60 for the 15 yr.

                        1. re: ncyankee101

                          The Pusser's that I have is one that I bought in Dartmouth, England that only lists Trinidad as the source of the rum. I'll look for the bottle and find out the exact name of it.

                          It might be that that particular Pussers isn't made anymore because when I was at Angostura a couple years ago they told me that they make 10 Cane there still and they used to make Pussers but not anymore.

                          It's sad that I always have to go abroad to buy Kraken. lol

                      2. I guess I am sort of biased since my family is from Trinidad but the only rum in my house is Angostura 1824 or Angostura 1919 (both on the rumproject website). You can drink these on ice, they are sooooo smooth. I wish I could have a glass right now but I'd probably get fired.

                        1. Diplomatico from Venezuela was new to me last year. The Reserva Exclusiva blew me away:


                          Ballast Point in San Diego is mainly known for their great beers. They also distill their own gin, vodka and rum. Their "Three Sheets" rum is aged in new charred oak, giving it angles and flavors not typical of rum, but in a good way:


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bulavinaka

                            The DipRE is an excellent rum, one of my favs. Quite sweet and complex and similar to the Zacapa 23

                          2. Just saw today - 10 cane rum in Walmart in Orlando for $12! I have bought a bottle before and wasn't blown away for the $22 I paid, but for $12 it is an outstanding rum.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: ncyankee101

                              I bought a bottle when a local retailer put it on special for around $16. At the time it was selling as a super premium rum which it is not IMO. Taste more like a low grade agricole to me.

                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                I definitely would not consider it a super-premium rum. I haven't had all that many cane juice rums - I didn't love the Depaz Blue Cane I got last year for half its usual $35 price, but at the price it was interesting.

                                I definitely prefer Oronoco by a wide margin, whose flavor I find similar but much more refined and complex.

                                Ron Viejo de caldas 3 yr old is better than any of them IMO, and of course Barbancourt 5 star is outstanding.

                              2. re: ncyankee101

                                Hey again NYCYank. I know all rum is sweet but I found 10 Cane to be overly sweet tasting. Not sure if that makes sense.

                                I'm interested in trying Blackwell "Black Gold" from Jamaica as I just read about it. Have you had?

                                Sounds delicious.

                                1. re: e_bone

                                  e_bone - I am not saying it is an outstanding rum, it is pretty sweet but for $12 I would rather have it than most similarly priced rums which can be harsh and gasoliney tasting - such as Bacardi silver.

                                  I have gotten a few good white rums in the ~$10 range, such as ron matusalem platino (excellent) and palo viejo white (good). The matusalem is usually around $15 so when I saw it for $10 I grabbed a couple.

                                  Never had the Blackwell rum, or even heard anything about it.

                                  1. re: ncyankee101

                                    Agree with you on the Matusalem rum.. very good value IMO. Haven't tried Palo Viejo but will do so. Also a pretty big fan of the Flor de Cana 4 year bottles for value.

                                    My Father in Law lived in St Croix so we usually have Cruzan a few times a year. Very friendly price point, not too bad in the glass with lots of ice, lime and a splash of tonic.

                                    1. re: e_bone

                                      Palo viejo is probably the best bargain rum I have gotten yet, I paid $9 or 10 for a liter. Not overly interesting but very smooth and an excellent mixer.

                                      Another outstanding inexpensive white rum is El dorado 3 yr, but it is not all that easy to find and is a little more expensive, usually $16-20. The only one I have tried that I like better is Banks 5 island but it is around $10 more.