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The 11 Best Dark Rum Brands To Sip in 2021 and Beyond

Diplomático Rum Distillery
Assiolo Scolaro for Diplomatico Rum

Rum deserves more of your attention. Some of the best dark rum brands are ideal for drinking on their own instead of being mixed into a Piña Colada. This is especially the case for dark rum, which can boast the kind of complexity one would normally associate with an aged whiskey or vintage bottle of Sauternes.

Why is that? Well, dark rum gains its unique hue from time spent in the barrel. There, it gradually oxidizes and sponges up some extra character from its woodsy surroundings. In the end, after some quality blending, you’re dealt a rum with genuine class and sophistication.

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If you’re looking for a dark rum that’s worthy of leisurely sipping and maximum enjoyment, check out the following eleven.

Zaya

Zaya Gran Reserva Rum

This rum from Trinidad and Tobago tastes of plantains and toffee. It’s an ideal sipper after a big meal or when you just feel like dipping into some tropical bliss. Its brown sugar tone looks brilliant in the glass, so sip it neat.

Flor de Cana 18-Year

Flor de Cana 18

If you’re looking for a rum with real length, this is your bottle. Made in Nicaragua, this 18-year-old beauty shows all the right amounts of sweet, spicy, nutty, and fruity.

Papa’s Pilar Dark 24

Papas Pilar Rum

A negociant-style rum of sorts, this dark spirit blends spirits from all over the Americas, and rather brilliantly. The result is a big-bodied rum influenced by sherry cask finishing.

Appleton Estate 21-Year

Appleton Estate 21 Year Old

Easily one of the most celebrated Jamaican producers, Appleton Estate touts a lineup bartenders like to brag about. The 21-year-old offers all the nuance you would expect from more than two decades of mellowing in a barrel. It’s not cheap, but it’s also worth every dollar.

Prosser’s British Navy Gunpowder Proof

Prosser's British Navy Gunpowder Rum bottle.

This brand makes some great entry-level mixing rums. But the aged ones are worthy of slow sipping, like this gem showing equal parts molasses and coffee.

Havana Club 15-Year Gran Riserva

Havana Club 15-Year Rum bottle.

Cuba knows its rums, as it is enjoyed there by many on its own as well as in classic cocktails like the Cuba Libre. This 15-year-old wonder pours a gorgeous mahogany and is packed with pleasant vanilla, tobacco, and oak notes.

Ron La Progresiva De Vigia 13

Ron La Progresiva 13 Rum bottle.

A rum with real finesse, this classy Cuban option deserves your best Cognac glass. Take in its many parts, from a floral nose to the potpourri of citrus, caramel, baking spices, and coffee cake notes you get on the palate.

Facundo Exquisito

Facundo Exquisito Rum

A rum hailing from Bermuda and sporting an objectively lovely label, the Exquisito reminds so much of a fresh slice of pecan pie. Pour some out and enjoy as it evolves in the glass over time.

Gosling’s Old Rum

Goslings Old Rum bottle.

One of the most legendary names in the dark mixing rums realm also makes a mean aged version. This one costs a pretty penny but you’ll love the cola flavors, kick of molasses, and persistent finish.

The real McCoy 12-Year

The Real McCoy 12 Year Old rum

A rum crafted in Barbados, The Real McCoy is buttery goodness. It’s aged in old bourbon and white wine casks and shows dark chocolate and even a welcomed hint of smoke.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

We love the depth and lingering finish of this balanced rum. Ginger, pastry, and cardamom notes waft out from this delightful spirit.

Editors' Recommendations