After years of focusing on bourbon, aficionados of fine spirits have turned their attention toward rum. No longer regarded as simply the base for fruity tiki cocktails, rum has come into its own as the often-complex sipper it can be. Choosing the right types of rum to try and collect requires a bit of research, and we’ve done much of it for you. Here’s a list of rare rums to add to your collection.
Bacardi might be the biggest distillery in Puerto Rico, but the Serrallés family has been making rum since 1865 at its own Don Q distillery. Producing a variety of rums, Don Q’s offerings include Gran Añejo, a blend of column and pot still rum-aged 9 to 12 years in former bourbon barrels. Don Q also produces rums finished in vermouth or sherry barrels. For people who want to splurge and impress, you can have the Don Q Reserva de la Familia Serrallés 20-year—a double-gold winner in the ultra-premium rum category at the Caribbean Rum awards—for $1,499.
Appleton Estate 21-Year
A blend of 21-year-old rums selected by Joy Spence, the first woman master blender in the business, Appleton is known for achieving a smooth, fruit-forward flavor with notes of spice. Appleton rums are elegant sippers. The 21-year is surprisingly affordable. For a splurge, seek out the Joy Anniversary Blend 25-year.
Mount Gay 1703
The date refers to the founding of Mount Gay distillery, the oldest continuously operating distillery on the planet, in Barbados. 1703 is a blend of rums aged 10 to 30 years, with a lovely nose of spices and honey, a palate suggesting vanilla and toffee, and a dry finish that would impress devoted whiskey drinkers. Also try the port cask expression, a blend of column-distilled rums aged 5 years in tawny port casks and 14 years in American whiskey casks and then finished with another year in tawny port casks.
Flor de Caña 18-Year
Literally translating to “flower of cane,” Flor de Caña is a like bottled bananas Foster, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon. Aged 18 years and kosher-certified, this smooth finisher is great on the rocks with a twist of orange peel. It’s an outstanding rum from Nicaragua.
The world of rum is vast and fascinating. These rare rums to add to your collection will get you started on appreciating this fine spirit. As you refine your taste, you can explore more choices among the hard-to-find rums in VS Liquor’s inventory.