When it comes to sipping, a good aged rum — one that is crafted with care, quality, and time — can rival any other aged spirit any day of the week. Some, too, might even enjoy the sweet characteristics of rum a bit more than whiskey (it’s your palate, you make the decisions after all). And while white rums and spiced rums are perhaps more popular thanks to their utility in cocktails, those are not the only examples of the spirit.
If you’re looking for a quality aged rum, look no further. For the price of a bottle of whisk(e)y, you can get a tropical sipper, too. Check out some of the best rums over $50 (but under $100).
American craft distilleries often don’t verge much into rum, and if they do it’s hard to hold a candle to some of the legacy produces down in the Caribbean. That’s changing of course, just like in the whiskey world, and perhaps no others do it like Richland Rum in Georgia. It’s the only single estate rum distillery in the U.S. and as an estate rum, even the sugar cane is grown on site. Most of the distillery’s rums reach over $50 but start with the Old Georgia Rum.
Zafra Rum 21 Year Old Master
Like some of the other rums on this list, the prices vary and it occasionally falls below $50 but can get up above $60. As it spent plenty of time on oak, there is a noticeable oak in the rum, along with the accompanying caramel, tobacco, and vanilla, but the orange and cherry fruit notes are pleasant treats to the palate. Plus, it’s half the price of its much older sibling the Zafra Master Series 30 Year.
Flor de Cana 18
At a hair over $50 most places, Flor de Caña 18 is a premium offering from the single-family estate in Nicaragua. The complex rum is aided by the volcanic soils in the Central American country instead of added sugar and smells of rich caramel and nuts, before hitting the tongue with vanilla and a delicate mix of spices.
Pussers Navy Rum
A classic British navy rum from the British Virgin Islands, Pusser’s Navy Rum 15 Year Old reaches $60. It’s an intense rum full of molasses and vanilla from its wooden still production methods. Despite the intensity, it’s a smooth finish. The production process often evaporates far more than other rums, and the company claims one bottle of the 15 Year Old would make 15 bottles of most other rums.
Ron Zacapa XO Solera Gran Reserva
From Guatemala, Ron Zacapa’s XO Solera Gran Reserva clocks in normally nearing $100 a bottle. Made with sugar cane honey, this rum is made using the Solera process in casks once used for bourbon, sherry, and wine. The solera process is a laddered approach to aging, bottling some of the oldest barrels before being replaced with the second oldest barrels, repeating until the youngest barrel is filled with new rum. Ron Zacapa XO Solera rums are up to 25 years old and finished in used cognac French oak barrels, filling the rum with cherry, chocolate, and vanilla notes.
Don Q Gran Añejo
Depending on where, Don Q Gran Añejo can dip below $50, which for this gem that is aged up to 12 years is a heck of a bargain. Don Q is located on the south side of Puerto Rico and is still in the family that started it in the 1800s, with exclusive rights to a river nearby since the turn of the century. The company has been using the same yeast strain for more than seven decades. The Gran Añejo hits the nostrils with plenty of citrus notes before washing the palate with a touch of tropical fruits before the caramel, vanilla and oak take over.
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