This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

The best rum 2019: the 10 rum bottles put to the ultimate drinking test

The best rum in the world right now - from spiced to white and everything in between

The best rum 2019: the 10 rum bottles put to the ultimate drinking test

No.1 RUM (VOTED FOR BY YOU)
No.1 RUM (VOTED FOR BY YOU)
Mount Gay - XO - 43%
£37
Mount Gay Rum is the product of over 300 years of knowledge, experience and refinement applied to the process of making rum. Each of our rum’s complex flavours have been coaxed from natural Barbadian ingredients
View at Amazon

The word on the street is that rum is the next big trend in the world of spirits. It’s easy to see why. The best rums comes in many different shapes, sizes, styles and importantly, flavours. There’s something for everyone.

In its simplest form, rum is a clear liquid distilled from various forms of sugar, like demerara and molasses. However, this is often followed by barrel ageing in oak casks and, like some of the modern craft beers, some have fruit or spices added.

UPDATED: If you want your rum with an added kick, the Dead Man's Fingers have got you covered. They have created a CBD-infused rum, which means there's hemp in that there rum. According to the folks behind the launch, “Dead Man’s Fingers will bring fun back to a category which has become stale in recent years.” We'll be the judge of that, but it's certainly a high-light at the moment.

This means you can get white, golden, dark, navy, spiced and fruit rum - and then combinations of those types. Traditionally rum comes from the Caribbean, but these days you can get it from all over the place including Scotland. Here’s a selection every rum lover should try.

Upvote your personal favourite.

10 of the best rums

10 of the best rums

1. Mount Gay - XO - 43%

£37
View at Amazon

Some rum is better taken without a mixer and Mount Gay, which claims to be the oldest rum distillery in the world with a deed from 1703, has created a corker.

‘XO’ stands for extra old and is a blend of different rums aged between seven and 15 years old. It’s dry and oaky on the nose, yet is fruity and slightly sweet in taste, then has a smooth finish.

This is a rum for the whisky lovers, who should try it as an old fashioned.

44
13
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

2. Wood’s - 100 Old Navy Rum - 57%

£32
View at Amazon

Navy rum must be at least 57% abv (alcohol by volume). Wood’s is one of the few rums you’ll find at this strength. Not only is it like drinking alcoholic toffee, it’s affordable too.

If it’s too much for you neat, try using it in cocktails for a real depth of flavour and body.

24
9
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

3. El Dorado - 12 - 40%

£36
View at Amazon

When a rum has won no less than seven golds at the Carribean Rum Taste Test you know you’re onto a winner, quite literally.

This 12 year old rum is a blend of Coffey still and double wooden pot still rums. It has a really deep and rich, almost port-like flavour, and a robust body. With notes of caramel, spice, vanilla and prunes it’s really quite moreish.

25
16
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

4. East London Liquor Company - Demerara Rum - 40%

£29
View at Amazon

You might know East London Liquor for its gin but this rum is definitely worth a go, partly because it’s so affordable despite the quality on offer.

It is made in Guyana by Demerara Distillers with the last remaining wooden Coffey still in the world, and aged for three years in ex-bourbon casks. The sugar really comes through here along with big fruity notes.

13
11
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

5. The Kraken - Black Spiced Rum - 40%

£20
View at Amazon

With its distinctive bottle and branding, Kraken has quickly become a modern classic and a rum you’ll find in pretty much any pub or bar. It’s as dark as squid ink, rich and spicy yet somehow drinks just well neat as it does mixed with coke.

This really is a rum for any home bar.

33
32
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

6. Plantation - Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy - 40%

£34
View at Amazon

Fruited rum is great but can often be over the top. Plantation has got it spot on here, delivering authentic fruit flavour alongside others, such as ginger, cola and vanilla.

Pineapples are infused with Original Dark then distilled, later to be blended with 3 Star white rum, which has had the rind added. The name, if you’re wondering, comes from Reverend Stiggins in Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, whose favourite drink is pineapple rum.

17
16
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

7. Angostura - No 1 - 40%

£86
View at Amazon

Angostura doesn’t just make bitters to go in your cocktails. In fact, it makes some of the best rums in the world and No 1 is one for special occasions and the connoisseur.

This rum has been carefully aged for a total of 16 years, 10 in American oak before being transferred, unusually, to French oak for the remaining six. The result is a sublimely smooth and characterful tipple.

23
26
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

8. Havana Club - 3 Year Old - 40%

£19
View at The Whisky Exchange

You’ll need a white rum in your home bar for making cocktails like mojitos and daiquiris, and you really can’t go wrong with Havana Club as a staple.

Partly because it’s one of the most affordable rums out there but also due to its clean and crisp profile with some subtle flavours in the background including citrus, oak and a nice sweetness.

16
19
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

9. OVD - Demerara - 40%

£16
View at Amazon

If you don’t like the idea of using white rum in cocktails then look to OVD and this extremely dark and rich demerara rum.

It really is like drinking alcoholic brown sugar in liquid form and works great in any situation - neat, with any mixer, particularly ginger beer - and in all rum based cocktails to create dark versions. Oh and it’s really affordable, too.

9
14
Thanks for voting
10 of the best rums

10. Sweetdram - Smoked Spiced Rum - 41%

£29
View at Amazon

Probably not one for the rum purists out there, but this intriguing rum is worth a try for gin-lovers and the adventurous.

Sweetdram adds various botanicals to a base of aged Guyanese rum including macerated lime leaf, chamomile, cardamom, fennel, grains of paradise and fig.

All that creates a hugely complex and interesting flavour. And, to finish off, lapsang souchong tea imparts some smokiness. You’ll get something different with each sip. Sweetdram is brewed in Edinburgh.

12
30
Thanks for voting

SOMETHING MISSING FROM OUR SHORTLIST?

Tell us about it, and if enough people agree we'll add it in.