The top 10 best value-for-money rumsBy Nicola Carruthers
From standard white rum to overproof aged agricoles, consumers can be reassured that high quality rum exists at all price points. We present the best value-for-money expressions on the market.
The Spirits Business held its annual Rum & Cachaça 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 Master and Gold 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 2019.
Plantation Original Dark
Master medallist Plantation Original Dark impressed with its “pot still, spicy character” and “balanced sweet notes” in the Dark Rum – Premium round.
The expression is a blend of rums from Barbados and Jamaica and has been designed to be more approachable and suitable for use in cocktails.
Pusser’s Rum 15 Year Old
Pusser’s Rum 15 Year Old was praised for its “velvety” texture and swiped the Master title in the Dark Rum Aged Over 13 Years flight.
“I love the buttery popcorn flavour of this rum,” said one judge. “There’s a subtle funk that I really like too.”
Atom Brands-owned Rumbullion! won a Master medal in the spiced round for its flavours of “cola, nuts and burnt orange” and its “lingering finish of cardamom that adds a touch of the exotic”.
The 42.6% abv expression is a blend of Caribbean rum, Madagascan vanilla, orange peel, clove, cassia and a pinch of cardamom. The label features an illustration of a Navy grog tub to show its maritime inspiration.
Maison La Mauny – Acacia
In the overproof rum agricole category, “refined and elegant” Maison La Mauny – Acacia secured a Master medal after impressing with its “clean palate, reminiscent of varnished oak”.
The expression, which has been finished in acacia casks, is produced by Groupe BBS.
Ron Izalco – 10 Year Central American Blend
The Dark Rum – Ultra-Premium round yielded a Master: Ron Izalco – 10 Year Central American Blend.
The expression was lauded for its balance of fresh red chilli heat and sweet tropical flavours.
Produced by Phenomenal Spirits, the rum is made with volcanic sugar cane and aged in charred American oak casks.
Trois Rivières – Cuvée l’Océan
The unaged agricoles flight awarded a Master medal to Groupe BBS’ Trois Rivières – Cuvée l’Océan.
“This is just what you’re looking for in a white agricole,” said one judge. Another judge added: “This is a gorgeous agricole. It has a real depth of flavour, with plenty of intense cane on the nose and palate.”
Trois Rivières – Cuvée l’Océan is made using sugarcane grown in the south of Martinique next to the Atlantic Ocean.
Bacardi Facundo Neo
Bacardi Facundo Neo scooped the Gold accolade in the ultra-premium white rum leg. “It invites you in right from the first smell,” one judge noted.
“Its flavour profile progresses really nicely, from fruity and sweet to more bitter, with notes of orange peel and a nutty finish. The texture is great too.”
Facundo is a premium range of rums from Bacardi. Neo Silver is a white rum, aged for up to eight years.
Produced by Cloudbreak Spirits, the “creamy” Aluna Coconut grabbed a Gold medal in the flavoured/infused round.
Bottled at 35% abv, the expression is a blend of rums from Guatemala and the Caribbean with “all-natural” toasted coconut flavours.
It is also made with virgin sugar cane honey (miel de caña) in order to produce a “lighter and smoother rum” and “remove the need for the large quantities of sugar found in other coconut rums”.
Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve
In the ultra-premium gold segment, Worth Park Single Estate Reserve was bestowed with a Gold medal.
Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve is one of the first official releases from the Jamaican distiller, with other bottlings from Worthy Park released under the Rum-Bar name. The 45% abv expression is drawn from American oak Bourbon barrels.
Hampden Estate 46
Aged for a minimum of seven years in the tropics after a long, natural fermentation, this blend of 100% traditional pot still rums was awarded a Gold medal.
Matured in Jamaica at the Hampden Estate, the rum is bottled at 46% abv.