Best Rum for 2023: Top 5 Bottles Most Recommended By Expert Websites 

While some of us associate rum with daydreams of a tropical vacation far, far away, for serious drinkers the spirit is much more than that. Nuanced, sophisticated, and endlessly varied, finding the best rum primarily boils down to aging, distilling process, and personal preference. Whether it’s for a Dark ‘N’ Stormy, a Rum Old Fashioned, or sipped to savor, finding the best rum to meet your bartending needs can make an excellent addition to your home bar.

“There is no spirit category as globally diverse and varied as rum. Produced everywhere from Mexico to Fiji, its spectrum of flavor is unmatched, ranging from light-bodied, grassy and dry rums, to tannic, robust versions bursting with overripe tropical fruit. Precisely because of this diversity of style, rum can be as daunting as it is exciting, growing only more so with every new release,” Punch Drink writes.

Drinking excessively, of course, is never recommended by health professionals. Recent research shows that alcohol is directly linked to the development of multiple types of cancer. Moreover, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania say regular drinking can cause the brain to age much faster, leading to potential cognitive impairments.

That said, many studies point to some benefits to drinking in moderation. In fact, one recent paper concludes that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can reduce stress-related signals which could cause heart disease. Researchers with the American College of Cardiology say this is the first report to link moderate drinking with heart health in this way. Similarly, a study out of Australia finds that moderate drinking is better for aging hearts than not drinking at all! If you are in good health and of legal age, a delicious rum-based cocktail can make a great addition to a night out, vacation, date night or really any kind of celebration! 

Rum ranges from white, gold, dark, and spiced, which can be a bit overwhelming if you’re just getting started. In order to help you in your search, StudyFinds set out to find the best bottles available. StudyFinds visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which rums were rated the highest. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended rums across these sites. Cheers!

The List: Best Rum, According To Experts

1. Diplomatico Rum Reserva Exclusiva

If you like Piña Coladas (come on you know what follows), Diplomatico Rum Reserva Exclusiva packs a solid punch, complete with an expert distillation process and high-quality flavors.

“It’s extremely versatile that lends to sipping, as well as a straightforward rum flavor that can be used to make some killer cocktails. The base ingredients are molasses and sugarcane honey. After distillation in copper pot stills and 12 years of aging, the Reserva Exclusiva becomes something that will impress connoisseurs and shut down any rum skeptic,” Rolling Stone writes.

Diplomatico is also highly rated as one of the most multi-purpose quality rums, with excellent reviews for both cocktail-making and sipping.

“The rum is slightly sweet, as Venezuelan law allows for the addition of sugar, but there are some really bright, rich fruit notes throughout, along with a good balance of vanilla and banana flavors. So, instead of using a cheaper white rum, splurge on this bottle to make Piña Coladas,” Liquor.com writes.

2. Appleton Estate 8 Year Old Reserve Rum

Aged a minimum of eight years in the tropical climate of Jamaica, Appleton Estate’s 8-Year-Old Rum is a go-to for both quality and affordability. 

“If you’ve never tasted Jamaican rum before, Appleton Estate is the place to start. The brand’s latest addition to its core range, the Appleton Estate 8 Year Old Reserve is arguably one of the best rums to be released at its price point in recent years,” Punch Drink writes.

Great in cocktails, the liquor carries notes of flambéed orange, allspice, banana, mango and cacao.

“Jamaican rums are in a class of their own. They’re traditionally known for their ‘hogo’ or funky aroma and flavor. Appleton Estate is a bit different. This rum brand mixes pot and column distilled rums to create a balanced and nuanced rum that is then aged in Jamaica for 12 years. It has all of the color and sophisticated flavor typical of a dark rum without any additives or shortcuts,” Insider writes.

3. Flor de Caña 12-Year Naturally Aged Rum

Notes of toffee, vanilla, leather and raisins make this dark rum an excellent choice for a quality sipper.

“Step away from that mixer. This rum, from the tropics of Nicaragua, needs to be sipped to be fully appreciated,” Elle Magazine writes. “Our panel especially loved its long-lasting finish and silky-smooth mouthfeel. Need another reason to try it? The distillery itself has made a number of efforts to boost its eco-credentials, including the use of renewable energy, planting trees to offset emissions, and is now certified carbon neutral.”

Drinkers also rate this dark rum highly for its long-lasting finish and smoothness.

“As complex and rich as any whisky, you’ll find layers of flavor that slowly reveal themselves, including burnt sugar,” Good Housekeeping writes.

4. Mount Gay Rum Black Barrel

Robust and bold, Mount Gay has made an impressive name for itself in the crowded space of quality rums. 

“Finished in heavily charred bourbon barrels, this Barbados rum will appeal to American whiskey drinkers, especially with its decadent caramel, vanilla, and toasty aromas. The palate remains surprisingly lively, fruity, and expressive, with deep toast once again appearing on the finish. Rum Old Fashioned, anyone?” VinePair writes. 

Mount Gay’s Black Barrel rum was awarded a 95 out of 100 by the International Wines & Spirit Competition. 

“A warm, woody nose carries through into a divinely smooth and complex palate, with a delightful spiciness tingling on the finish,” Delish writes. “At once accessible, but also superior in quality; this is a rum that demands to be respected and savored.”

5. Ten to One White Rum

Our list wouldn’t be complete without an expertly recommended white rum, and Ten to One is a standout. 

“The white rum market is flooded with cheap bottles, which makes this bottle of Ten To One special,” Rolling Stone writes. “The white rum is a blend, sourcing batches from Dominican column stills and Jamaican pot stills. Unlike some white rums, the Caribbean brand uses zero added sugar, colors or flavorings.”

With a boozy 45 percent ABV, the white rum also makes a great choice as the star of your favorite cocktail. 

“This rum is the perfect blend of sophistication and fun. It can be enjoyed on its own, but it’s especially good for making high-end cocktails,” Delish writes. VinePair notes “its robust alcohol content and distinct grassy, vegetal, and molasses notes promise to stand out in any mixed drink.”

Sources

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About the Author

Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

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