The top 10 best value for money rumsBy Nicola Carruthers
From overproof rum to aged agricole, neither choice nor quality are in short supply in the world’s third-largest spirit category. But which bottles are the best value for money?
The Spirits Business held its annual Rum Masters last month, where an experienced panel of judges uncovered some of the category’s best expressions available on the global market.
Looking across multiple categories, from Overproof to Premium, Flavoured to Agricole, with expressions from producers of all scales, the competition saw a number of rum brands awarded medals for their superior quality.
While the individual scores of each entrant are not disclosed, these are 10 of the highest ranking Master medalists recognised in the competition, listed in no particular order.
These bottlings are not particularly cheap, but have been judged to offer excellent quality for consumers within their respective categories.
Click through the following pages to view the top 10 best value for money rums of 2018.
Rum-Bar White Overproof Rum
Grabbing a Master in the White Rum – Overproof category was Worthy Park Estate’s Rum-Bar White Overproof Rum. The expression, which was praised by the judging panel for its “beautiful precision”, is made of three un-aged rums, all distilled in a copper pot still.
Bottled at 63% abv, given tasting notes include banana, exotic fruit, followed by “classic grassy vegetal Jamaican funk”.
Bacardi 8 Años
In the Dark Rum – Aged 8 to 12 Years flight, Master medalist Bacardi 8 Años was lauded for its rich notes of “dark molasses, chocolate and cherries”.
Each batch is made from a selection of barrel-aged reserve rums and aged for a minimum of eight years, giving it notes of “prune, apricot, nutmeg and vanilla”.
Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve
Jamaican producer Worthy Park grabbed a Master medal in the Gold Rum – Ultra-Premium flight for its Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve.
The expression was praised for its “lovely pepperiness”, as well as its “herbaceous”, “bitter” and “sweet caramel” flavours.
Bottled at 45% abv, the bottling is a blend of rums aged for between six and 10 years in ex-Bourbon once used American white oak barrels.
Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof British Navy Rum
In the Dark Rum – Overproof flight, a Master medal was awarded to Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof British Navy Rum.
Bottled at 54.5% abv, one judge described the overproof rum as “the dream combination of esters together with lovely integrated oak and rancio”.
Maison la Mauny Signature de Maître de Chais
Maison la Mauny Signature de Maître de Chais walked away with a Master medal in the Rhum Agricole – Aged round.
“This is my favourite of the competition so far,” one judge said of the expression. “It’s really balanced with lots of oaky notes, and it reminded me of why I love rum.”
The expression is a blend of four rums, aged for three years in a variety of barrels including Cognac, Bourbon, Port and Moscatel.
Neptune Rum Gold
Judges bestowed a Master medal upon Neptune Rum Gold in the Gold Rum – Super-Premium flight.
The judging panel loved the “honey and nutmeg” aroma of the three-year-old expression, and praised its “smooth, silky palate of tropical fruits and caramelised banana”.
Neptune Rum Gold is aged for three years in American Bourbon casks at the distillery, based on the southern slopes of Barbados.
Price: approx US$10.00
Bardinet-owned Negrita Spiced was the only entrant to grab a Master medal in a lengthy Spiced Rum flight.
Praised for its “white pepper and Sicilian lemon” notes, one judge added: “This is a unique expression – it’s one of the best spiced rums I’ve tried.”
Trois Rivières Cuvée de l’Océan
Awarded a Master medal in the Rhum Agricole – White round was Groupe BBS with Trois Rivières Cuvée l’Océan.
The expression impressed with its “sweet, citrusy, peachy” flavours. One judge noted: “This has all the notes we are looking for in a white agricole rum – it’s a complete rum.”
Trois Rivières Cuvée l’Océan is made using sugarcane grown in the south of Martinique next to the Atlantic Ocean.
Plantation OFTD (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark)
In the Dark Rum – Overproof round, Maison Ferrand’s Plantation OFTD (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) grabbed a Master medal.
Praised for being “very woody” and “deep and lovely”, the 69% abv expression is a high-strength blend of rums from Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica.
Trois Rivières 12 Ans
Groupe BBS-owned Trois Rivières 12 Ans was bestowed with a Master medal in the Rhum Agricole – Aged category.
One judge praised the rum for “offering something different” and was impressed by its notes of “passion fruit, pineapple and a long finish”.
The expression is a blend of rums of at least 12-years-old conditioned in ex-Bourbon barrels.