One of the most respected rum blenders in the world has finally put his name on bottles of his handiwork. Hailing from Panama, Cuba, Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez has been globally recognized as one of the best in the business, but until the release of rums like Don Pancho Origenes 30 Year Rum, he'd never lent his own name to a label. This luxury rum has plenty of oak, vanilla, and caramel flavors and should be consumed neat on special occasions. Limited to only 600 bottles in the USA.
Founded by three brothers Parce Colombian Rum is inspired by the beauty and hospitality of the Colombian people. Aged for 12 years and crafted by hands with over 50 years of experience, this rum is aged in whiskey barrels, making it perfect for lovers of bourbons or scotch. It even took home the honor of Best Rum and Best in Show at this years San Francisco Worldwide Spirits Competition.
The Facundo Rum collection from Bacardi is all about taking things to the next level, and with Eximo Rum they are doing just that. It's tough enough to get a great tasting blended rum after it ages, but it's a truly difficult task to hit the right flavor profile before entering a barrel, which was the process for the blenders of Eximo. It's a 10-year-old spirit, although some rums in the blend are a bit older, and taste like a tropical getaway. With notes of toffee, caramel, and vanilla and a smooth, easy finish, it's a special rum that is best when sipped neat or on the rocks.
While Christmas beers and egg nog hog the holiday spotlight, there are some spirits that are more than worthy of a spot in your holiday rotation. A.H. Riise Christmas Rum might be the best fit, hand blended by Rum distillates up to 20 years old, and then finished in sherry casks. The result is a rum that tastes like Christmas, with cinnamon, cloves, and citrus flavors that finishes smooth and sweet. Each festive Single Barrel bottle is specially selected and hand labeled in the US Virgin Islands.
It might not be the most well known rum, but it's hard to peruse a list of the best rums in the world and not see Ron Zacapa Solera Rum listed. This Guatemalan rum was created in 1976 and is distilled from virgin sugar cane honey. The sweet, smooth rum is aged using the solera method, a 500 year-old Spanish process which uses fractional blending of different ages of rum. The result is a combination of rum aged between 6 and 23 years that is nothing short of delicious.
When you think of great sipping rum, you probably don't associate it with coffee or cigarettes. But you might begin to, thanks to Stolen Coffee & Cigarettes Rum. Inspired by the Jim Jarmusch series of short films 'Coffee and Cigarettes', this Caribbean rum is matured in oak for two years before being blended with all natural Fenugreek from Morocco, Vanilla Bean from Madagascar, and Arabica Coffee Beans from Colombia. And don't worry, the taste is not reminiscent of licking an ashtray, but rather provides the same type of mild smokiness you've come to expect from Scotch or Mezcal. Great for league cocktails, but recommended to be sipped neat.
Do you take your coffee with a little sugar? Or maybe your rum with a little coffee infusion? Either way, Different Drum Rum is breaking the mold. It certainly isn't anything like most liqueurs with coffee, that are so sticky sweet they taste candy. Instead, Different Drum uses a pressurized gas that disrupts the coffee-bean cells, releasing the intended flavors of the beans rather than a sugar overload. It's a smooth sipping rum unlike any you've tried before.
When it comes to rum, there isn't a brand as well known as Bacardi, so when they decided to release a special line of aged sipping rums, it rose to the top of our want list. Exquisito is one of the best in the collection and is a blend of rums aged between 7 and 23 years and finished for at least a month in sherry casks. The blend of ages provides an ideal balance and the finish gives Exquisito a mellow profile, perfect for a sweet sip served neat or with a little ice.
If you're ready to distance yourself from the occasional rum and Coke but don't want to give up on the sugar cane spirit altogether, Penny Blue XO Rum should rise to the top of your list. Made at the oldest distillery in Mauritius, where you'll find a sugar cane estate that has been making rum since 1926, Penny Blue is named after the world's rarest stamp, and this rum is very limited as well, with only 2500 bottles making it to US shelves. Each batch is unique as well, some aged in American oak whiskey casks while others spent time in French oak Cognac casks. We're pretty certain you don't want to put this rum anywhere near a bottle of soda.
Usually, when you think of rum you probably wonder what you should mix it with.
Well with Zaya Gran Reserva Rum ($30), you can wonder no more. Zaya is a product of Trinidad and Tobago, distilled from sugar cane juice, and aged a minimum of 12 years in small, oak barrels. By the time it fills your glass the vanilla aromas and the taste bring a remarkable balance of sweetness with a small spicy kick. We set aside our preconceived notions about rum and after tasting this, and are glad we did.
Yes, it's exactly what you think it is. Hand crafted by 72-year old master distiller Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez, Ron de Jeremy Rum ($TBA) is a high-end dark rum that's oak aged for seven years, resulting in a rich, smooth flavor with hints of vanilla, sugarcane, fruit, and spices, and comes in a bottle with the Hedgehog's mug on the label. No word yet on whether it has any, ahem, "enhancing" properties. [Thanks, Dennis]
Apart from "the beast," we're generally fans of liquor named after monsters — and Kraken Black Spiced Rum ($22) is no exception. This upscale, but not crazy-expensive, spiced rum is a nice alternative to your normal well-residing rum, and comes in a handsome old-school jug-handled bottle adorned with a label that begs for a spot on the counter instead of being hidden in the cabinet.
Having made rum on St. Croix since 1760, Cruzan has built up centuries of distilling knowledge, and they've used all of it to create Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum ($65). A handcrafted blend of multiple different rums aged up to 12 years old, Single Barrel is blended and then aged further in a new charred oak barrel for another year, giving the libation a terrific golden brown color and smooth, complex taste with notes of pepper, wood, and caramel.
We're not actually pirates, but we do enjoy our rum. Made from fresh cut estate-grown blue cane, Depaz Blue Cane Rhum ($42) is quickly becoming one of our favorites. Selected as one of Wine Enthusiast's top 50 spirits of 2007, it's sure to lift your spirits following the grueling holiday gauntlet of food, family, and headaches.