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Our 6 favorite rum brands and bottles in 2024

Buy these rum bottles in 2024

Rum drink
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When it comes to spirits perfect for sipping neat, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail, many drinkers tend to look at whiskey immediately. But if your second choice isn’t rum, you’re missing out. White rum is a fantastic base for daiquiris, mojitos, and other drinks; spiced rum is excellent for tropical-centric Tiki-style drinks and for giving your drink a little extra spice, and dark, aged rum is perfect for slow sipping neat or on the rocks.

For the uninitiated, rum is a spirit made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane juice or molasses. It’s then either bottled immediately (or lightly aged) and sold as white rum, has spices added to create spiced rum or is aged in charred oak barrels like your favorite single malt scotch whisky, bourbon, or rye whiskey. We sipped on and mixed with a lot of rum in 2023, and we’ll do the same this year.

Rum cocktail
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Why rum?

When it comes to versatility, it isn’t easy to top rum. There are a few spirits with many different types, each well-suited for cocktailing and sipping. While there are many offshoots, the most common rum styles are spiced, white, gold, dark, black, aged, overproof, and more. It’s enough to make any new rum drinker feel completely overwhelmed. Fear not; we’re here to help.

Tiki drink
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Our 6 favorite rums for 2024

Since we explained that, due to the massive number of rum varieties, picking a few bottled might seem daunting. Lucky for you, we did the work for you. Below, you’ll find our six favorite rum bottles to drink this year. Pay close attention and stock up to ensure a sweet, rum-filled 2024.

Candela Mamajuana
Candela

Candela Mamajuana Spiced Rum

If you’ve ever been to the Dominican Republic, there’s a chance that at some point someone offered you a shot of mamajuana. You might have been confused about what it was. It’s a popular spiced rum in the country, and Candela, with its blend of Dominican rum, natural spices, and honey is definitely one worth trying in 2024.

Santa Teresa 1796
Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa 1796

This Venezuelan-made single-estate rum belongs on your home bar cart in 2024. This blend of up to thirty barrels is solera aged to perfection. The result is a complex, sippable rum known for its flavors of cinnamon, vanilla beans, candied nuts, chocolate, and gentle spices.

Hampden Estate Rum Fire
Hampden Estate

Hampden Estate Rum Fire

If you don’t have at least one overproof rum on your home bar, you’re absolutely missing out. One of the best is Hampden Estate Rum Fire. To say that this 63% ABV white overproof Jamaican rum is potent is an understatement. You definitely want to mix it with this rum. It will add flavors like molasses, spices, and a light funk to your favorite cocktails.

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
Chairman’s Reserve

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum

Spiced rum is a tricky genre. There are some great bottles out there, but a lot of overly spiced messes. Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum is one of the good ones. This award-winning spiced rum comes from Saint Lucia. Known for its flavors of candied orange peels, vanilla, and spices, it’s a blend of column and pot still rums that are aged in ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred to oak vats with various fruits and spices.

The Real McCoy 3 Year
The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy 3 Year

Named for a Prohibition-era rum runner named Bill McCoy, the brand’s three-year-old expression is distilled in both pot and column stills before being aged in ex-bourbon barrels for at least three years. If you’re wondering why it’s almost clear, this is because it’s charcoal-filtered to remove most of the caramel color. It doesn’t remove any of the tropical fruit, toffee, and island spice flavors though.

Brugal 1888
Brugal

Brugal 1888 Doblemente Añejado

While a lot of the rums on this list belong on your home bar cart for mixing, Brugal 1888 is a bottle solely for sipping. This Dominican rum was matured in both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. The result is a complex, sipping rum with notes of dried fruits, vanilla beans, caramel, and gentle wintry spices. It’s the kind of rum you’ll drink neat on an unseasonably cool evening.

Rum cocktail
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How to pick the right rum for you

While it would be easy to say that you should simply buy one or two bottles of every one of the main kinds of rum, that’s not in everyone’s price range. The key is to first think about what you plan to use the rum for. Is it for mixing or sipping? The second is to think about the types of aromas and flavors you enjoy. Once you figure this out, you’ll find yourself with a rum worthy of sipping all year long.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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