Tis Ol’ Wonderful Rum

The first distillation of rum was produced by the plantation slaves of Latin America, mainly Brazil, Barbados, Jamaica, and the French West Indies, which is why it is fondly called the taste of the Caribbean. For starters, rum is a hard alcohol which is fermented from sugar. What sets it apart from the other liquors is that the process usually includes the juices of the sugarcane plant, molasses and other such by-products of sugar production. Each of the light, gold, dark and spiced rums have their own distinct characteristics. There are many of styles that make up the rum family.

White or Clear Rum

White rum is clear. It usually has a mild flavor and a lighter body than its gold counterparts. This light rum is mainly used for cocktails which do not have the need for a bold rum flavor. Most white or clear rums are sold at 80 proof. In other words it has 40% alcohol, by volume, which also makes them cheaper than other mature rums. Some important makes include, Mount Gay Silver, Rubi Rey, Flor de Cana Extra Dry and Oronoco, just to name a few.

Dark Rum

Matured in oak barrels for a couple or more years, dark rum has a rich flavor and hues of caramel and copper. It also comes in a range of types, which also includes, mahogany, light golden as well as amber black. Some great examples of dark rum are, Bacardi Select, Santa Teresa Selecto and Cockspur 5.

Black Rum

By far, the darkest and richest of rums are often referred to as black rums. This type is popular for its bold tropical essence, and a balance of popular ingredients which balance the imparting sweet and spicy flavors. Black rums are mainly used to give flavor to cakes, sauces and deserts.

Premium Age Rum

To achieve a superior flavor, many rums are aged in oak barrels for years, they are known as premium age rums. This mature rum is often labeled as ‘Anejo’ in parts of Spain for its smooth, rich and subtle flavor. Because of its rich flavor, it is mainly used in many cocktail recipes as well. Some of the well known premium-aged rums include, Gosling’s Family Reserve, Mount Gay Extra Old and Dorado 15.

Over-Proof Rum

Most rums available in the U.S. have a 40% to 50% alcohol by volume. The variety of rum that contains a higher content of alcohol are referred to as over-proof rum. Due to the restriction in the U.S. on the volume of alcohol present in rum brands, many manufacturers, El Dorado 15, Cruzan 151 and Bacardi 151 produce rums in the 150 proof range.

Rhum Agricole

Similar to the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC mark on champagne and cognac, showing that the product bears French certification, Martinique is the only geographic region in the world to have an AOC mark in the rum industry. This rum is distilled to about 70% alcohol, which allows the rum to retain most of its original flavor.

Flavored and Spiced Rum

Many types of flavors and spices infused into rums offer a wide range of interesting and multifarious variations of spirits. Spiced rums offer unique flavors to rum cakes, cocktails and so on. Fruit extracts of exotic fruits such as, citrus, cherry, mint, coconut, pineapple, and other tropical plants and trees add to the luscious tones of rum varieties.

And there you have it, all the varieties of the rums that matter, so what are waiting for? Pick up a snifter, distill your beating hearts and enjoy!