Here are our picks for the 11 best rums in the caribbean:
11. Tortuga Citrus Honey, Cayman Islands
This is the perfect starter rum for first-time Caribbean travelers whose palates may not be used to the sweet nectar of the region. As the name implies, this rum has a sweet aftertaste and thus doesn't need to be mixed with anything.
10. Mount Gay Eclipse Gold, Barbados
Mount Gay Eclipse Gold is perhaps the best mixing rum on the list. It has a slight banana and candied fruits taste, and its subtle flavors more than qualify it as sipping rum. The Eclipse is a traditional double-distilled rum, aged in white Kentucky oak barrels.
9. Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Jamaican Rum, Jamaica
With the exception of perhaps Bacardi and Malibu, Appleton may be the Caribbean rum Americans are most familiar with. Already a loyal fan of Appleton Reserve, which is a little on the darker side with a heavy bite, we switched allegiance to the Appleton Estate Extra Old after trying on our last trip to Jamaica. There’s a spicy oak flavor complimented by a dark sugar taste that makes this one of the most delicious rums in the region.
8. Clement Single Cask, Martinique
One of the most underrated rums on this list, Clement may hail from a small distillery on the French-Caribbean island of Martinique but it’s big taste rivals most rums throughout the world. Aged for eight years, it has a sweet aftertaste with subtle flavors of caramel and nuts.
7. Rhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve, Haiti
Aged 15 years, the Rhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve is a true sipping rum. Citrus dominates the aroma while the palate has subtle hints of cinnamon and even pepper.
6. Ron Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva Familiar, Dominican Republic
Ron Brugal 1888 is aged in American white oak barrels, then Spanish sherry casks in the Dominican Republic. The aroma mixes molasses, coffee and a subtle hint of raisin with spices and a hint of citrus dominating. Long story short, it’s one of the smoothest rums on the market.
5. Havana Club Añejo 15 Años, Cuba
If you can get into Cuba, you must try Havana Club Añejo 15 Años. The process of blending and aging select rums in oak casks creates a smoothness that makes this rum easy, and sometimes dangerous, to drink. It’s very fruity with hints of banana, and at 80 percent alcohol volume, it is one of the strongest quality sipping rums in the Caribbean.
4. Don Q Gran Añejo, Puerto Rico
Don Q Gran Añejo is a blend of premium rums aged up to 12 years. It’s our favorite rum in Puerto Rico, which is saying a lot since the island has more than a dozen quality rums. Aged three to 12 years in former whiskey and bourbon barrels, it has an oak and molasses aroma and a longer, smoother finish than the traditional Don Q Añejo.
3. Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve, Dominican Republic
Sorry, Ron Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva Familiar, but this rum slightly edges you out for the best rum in the Dominican Republic simply because its flavors are so fun. This 25-year-old rum, aged in a similar style of most Cuban rums, has a lot of dessert-like flavors, from chocolate fudge to nutmeg to almonds and raisins, even a hint of tobacco.
2. El Dorado Special Reserve 21 Year Old, Guyana
The oak aftertaste is intense for some (try some ice to lighten the effect) and is due in large part to the two decades of aging in oak barrels, never a bad sign for a good sipping rum. There’s a heavy alcohol scent right at the beginning but is quickly followed by a sweet taste of vanilla.
1. English Harbour 1981 Rum, Antigua
Aged 25 years in whisky and bourbon barrels, this Antiguan rum lets off a woody, smoky aroma when it’s first cracked. It’s got a heavy taste of roasted nuts and fruit and finishes with some cinnamon-like flavors. Widely considered the best rum in the Caribbean, it runs at about $230 a bottle. If someone’s buying, you’re sipping.