Taster’s Club Best Caribbean Rums
Written by Emma C | Updated May 2023
When you picture the Caribbean, images of pristine, sun-drenched beaches, swaying palm trees, and vibrant island culture might pop up – along with amazing rum. It’s truly the best Caribbean rums that elevate this tropical paradise to great heights. The Caribbean rum landscape is as diverse as the cultures that shape it. Since each island boasts its own unique production methods, flavor profiles, and iconic distilleries, there's a rum to suit every taste and mood. To help you decide, we’ve tasted many rums and rounded up our Taster’s Club favorites, all available in our bottle shop. So, grab your favorite glass, fill it with ice, and get ready to raise a toast to the sun-kissed shores of the Caribbean.
Taster’s Club Best Caribbean Rums Available in our Bottle Shop
1. Mount Gay Rum
Mount Gay XO is a medium-bodied, small-batch blend of carefully selected mature rums distilled in traditional copper pot and column stills and bottled at 43% ABV. This round and complex rum is matured between 5 to 17 years in American whiskey, bourbon, and cognac casks. Rich copper in color, the rum carries aromas of oak, molasses, and tar, followed by spices like clove and cinnamon, and molasses, vanilla, marshmallow, coffee, cocoa, and a bit of fruit. Before the long, spicy, smooth finish, you’ll taste spicy, oak, caramelized, and herbal flavors, followed by vanilla, baking spice, and jam.
Region: Barbados | Tasting Notes: Banana, Vanilla, Smoke, Oak, Spice | ABV: 43%
2. Chairman's Reserve The Forgotten Casks
Chairman’s Reserve The Forgotten Casks is an extra-aged sipping rum crafted to mimic rum found in the original forgotten casks of Chairman’s Reserve, which were preserved from St. Lucia Distillers’ horrific fire on May 2, 2007. The cellar master was forced to find unusual storage space for his rum barrels during the rehabilitation of the distillery, and these casks were misplaced during this time of confusion. These “forgotten casks” resulted in rum that was too old for the original Chairman’s Reserve blend, so it was released on its own and received worldwide acclaim.
Region: St. Lucia | Tasting Notes: Apricot, Syrup, Toffee, Coffee, Treacle | ABV: 40%
3. Appleton Estate Signature
This signature blend of pot and column still rums from Appleton is aged in Jamaica and comes with plenty of character and depth. On the nose, you’ll get fruity aromas of mango, banana, strawberry, pineapple, and apricot, along with a bit of sulfur, vanilla, brown sugar, and caramel. Flavors on the palate are similar, with vanilla and caramel at the forefront, followed by dark chocolate and a bit of fruit at the end. Pineapple and brown sugar linger at the end.
Region: Jamaica | Tasting Notes: Orange, Apricot, Mango, Caramel, Wood | ABV: 40%
4. Santa Teresa Rum 1796
Distilled from molasses, this 1796 brown rum from Santa Teresa is a blend of 8 to 12-year-old rums solera aged for a year in ex-whisky and bourbon barrels. The distillery is the proud winner of the Gold Medal 2007 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition.
Region: Venezuela | Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, Molasses, Chocolate, Banana | ABV: 40%
5. Ron Zacapa Solera Gran Reserva 23
This blend of rums from Ron Zacapa has aged 6-23 years in casks that previously held robust American whiskies and fine wines, to create a complex, balanced sip. You’ll get aromas of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, cocoa, banana, orange peel, and toffee, sweet flavors of apple, cognac, oak, dried fruit, vanilla, ginger, and cinnamon, and a long, smooth finish.
Region: Guatemala | Tasting Notes: Honey, Oak, Vanilla, Fruit, Ginger | ABV: 40%
6. Diplomático Rum Reserva Exclusiva
Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva is a blend of exclusive rum reserves aged up to 12 years, carefully selected by the maker’s Master Blenders. Marrying a unique body with excellent balance has made this multi-award-winning rum a go-to worldwide. Opening up with aromas of orange peel, toffee, and licorice, it’s smooth on the palate and follows with notes of toffee fudge that offer a seductive, long-lasting finish.
Region: Venezuela | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Spice, Tobacco, Nut | ABV: 40%
7. Rhum Barbancourt 15 Years Old
Barbancourt’s 15-year rhum was initially reserved for only family and friends of the makers, but they chose to share it. As you sip, you’ll get the full taste of Haitian sugar cane, the essence of oak trees, and the 158-year tradition that goes into each bottle. You’ll enjoy flavors of tea, nuts, sugarcane, cinnamon, espresso, and oak. With a long finish that begins sweet and ends with a recurrence of citrus and spice accents, this rhum is complex, smooth, and unique.
Region: Haiti | Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, Toffee, Sandalwood, Oak | ABV: 43%
8. Havana Club Rum Anejo Clasico
In celebration of Black History Month, Ten to One partnered with Uncle Nearest to bring a special edition Caribbean Dark Rum finished in Bourbon Cask Barrels. The collaboration takes Ten to One’s premium Caribbean dark rum, an 8-year mix of Barbados, Dominican, Jamaican, and Trinidadian column-still rums, and ages them in 1856 Bourbon cask barrels from Uncle Nearest. Then, the result is proofed and bottled without any coloring or additives. You’ll smell bourbon-like notes of buttery toffee, nutty, spicy banana bread, oak char, tart berry, and pecan. Following that, taste flavors of vanilla, syrup, stewed apples, anise, clove, pecan, and oak char.
Region: Puerto Rico | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, Chocolate, Molasses | ABV: 40%
9. Don Q Gran Reserva
Don Q’s Gran Reserva is mellow, and full of different aromas and flavors, thanks to its aging. It contains rums aged between 9 and 12 years, and Solera rums aged up to 50 years, creating a unique balance between sweet and dry.
Region: Puerto Rico | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Pepper, Lemon, Coffee, Nut | ABV: 40%
10. Rhum JM XO
Aged 100% in re-charred bourbon barrels, the elegant copper tone of Rhum JM XO precedes a gorgeous rhum on the palate. It has a generous combination of toasted nut, lemon, and sage on the nose, which complements the chewy sweet cake as well as the mango and passion fruit flavors. The experience is accented by white pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Region: Martinique | Tasting Notes: Tropical Fruit, Spice, Mint, Caramel | ABV: 45%
This Taster’s Club guide to the best Caribbean rums has you covered the next time company drops by or you want to soak up the sun on a gorgeous patio – no plane ticket required. The great thing is you can easily get anything here in our bottle shop. If you’re looking for a more curated experience, though, be sure to sign up for our Rum Club. It takes moments to sign up, and then all you need to do is sit back, relax, and wait for a new rum expression to arrive on your doorstep each month. Cheers!
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