The Whiskey Hotline: Rum Style Guide
Its time to celebrate Americas first love, rum. Distilled in the colonies as early as the 1660s, this spirit was so popular that distillers followed just behind the front lines in the Revolutionary War, catering to thirsty soldiers. Back then, it is estimated that the average Americans drank 13.64 liters of rum every year.
All rum is distilled from sugar, whether its from fermented sugar cane juice, syrup or molasses. With so many producers across so many countries, variety is the theme. Distilled in pot stills, column stills, wooden coffey stills, and a variety of other stills, the rum is often blended from a combination of these, the result is many unique takes on this one category.
Light RumGenerally bottled with minimal time in barrels (as little as a year), light rum is often distilled in column stills. The result is a soft, easy drinking rum perfect for fresh cocktails. Examples: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum or Ron Botran Etiqueta Blanca Rum
Gold RumLighter than Dark Rum, heavier than blanca. In this case, gold refers to the color of the liquid. The hue sometimes comes from barrels, sometimes from added coloring. Examples: Appleton Special Gold Jamaican Rum or Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Rum Gold
Dark RumDarker in color, often a result from longer aging and heavier use of black strap or burnt molassas. Dark rums are also heavier on the palate with strong molasses flavors and rich vanilla. Some of our favorites are listed below. Examples: Myers's Dark Rum, Plantation Original Dark Rum, Bacardi Limited Edition 10 Year Old Barrel Aged Rum Binnys Handpicked or 2004 Plantation Rum Finished in Port Cask Binnys Handpicked
Rhum AgricoleRather than molasses, Rhum Agricole is made from the fresh squeezed juice of the sugar cane. Regions carry AOC status similar to protected wine appellations. Currently, only 23 municipalities in Martinique are afforded this protection. Examples: La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc or Rhum J.M. VSOP Rhum Agricole
Overproof RumOverproof Rums are higher in alcohol, their powerful nature making them key ingredients for many classic tiki cocktails. Please be careful. Examples: Hamilton 151 Overproof Demerara Rum or Plantation Original Overproof Rum
Flavored RumMuch like the vodka aisle, were seeing more and more flavored rums. The most common being spiced rum, often unaged and frequently seasoned with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sugar. But there are some incredible flavors out there today: Examples: Brinley Gold Shipwreck Coconut Rum or Plantation Original Pineapple Rum Check out the Whiskey Hotline for updates on new whiskey, tastings, sales and more!