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Jamaica figures closely in our look again on the earlier yr in rum, with its fingerprints showing in entire or partly on 4 of our prime 10 expressions launched in 2021. After all, there’s ample illustration from different islands within the Caribbean – in addition to some further-afield areas that stretch from South America to the South Pacific. Able to delve into 2022 with some glorious rum on the prepared? Right here’s a have a look at our favourite expressions of the yr.
1. Black Tot 50th Anniversary Rum (Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, and Trinidad) – Final yr the relaunch of the Black Tot model earned the #3 spot in our top rums of the year. The upscale providing – Black Tot fiftieth Anniversary version – takes #1. A mix of all method of rums from 4 completely different international locations, pot and column nonetheless spirits residing in concord, ends in a completed product that’s dripping with complexity that runs from ripe berries to toasted coconut to only the correct amount of hogo. It’s similar to the brand new Black Tot, simply extra in each dimension. Restricted to 5000 bottles, it’s arduous to search out now – however definitely worth the effort. 109 proof. $175 -CN [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
2. Foursquare Mark XIII 2008 Single Blended Rum (Barbados) – This rum from Foursquare in Barbados was truly launched in 2020 however wasn’t broadly accessible till early final yr. It’s a vintage-dated rum from the Distinctive Cask Choice sequence, which has been an annual affair for the previous few years now exhibiting off a number of the distillery’s absolute best pot- and column-still rums. The 2008 was a selected knockout, with one of the crucial aromatic and attention-grabbing aromas we’ve ever whiffed and a palate equally bursting with complicated flavors like gingerbread, salted caramel, and grilled pineapple, even a little bit of minty bubblegum and root beer. Standout, cask power bottlings like this one make it simple to see why Foursquare has earned its standing because the “Pappy of Rum.” 120 proof. $100 -DB [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
3. Hampden “Great House” Rum Distillery Edition 2020 (Jamaica) – By no means thoughts the classic date; this didn’t hit the U.S. till properly into 2021. Hampden Property Distillery is likely one of the most noteworthy producers of rum on the island of Jamaica – and there’s little probability you’ve heard of them till now, as a result of the distillery bought all its product to others for mixing functions, MGP type, till 2018. Now that its personal label is up and working, rum followers can get the total and unadulterated expertise of Hampden, with this Nice Home providing a monster of a rum – blended from two of its distillates – that melds pineapple, caramel, cedar, and loads of hogo into an enveloping, enduring expertise. 118 proof. $110 -CN [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
4. Plantation Rum Fiji Vintage 2005 Limited Edition (Fiji) – Plantation (wasn’t there alleged to be a reputation change sooner or later?) yearly releases restricted run editions, together with this high-octane variation on its Fiji-distilled expression. Aged 15 years (14 in bourbon barrels, 1 in a Cognac cask), it’s a balanced however intense affair stuffed with tropical fruit and spice together with a surprisingly earthy mix of black tea, licorice, and ginger. It additionally gives one of many extra memorable, lingering finishes of 2021. 100.4 proof. $80 -RT
5. Tanduay Double Rum (Philippines) – This unassuming rum blends up a 5 yr outdated rum with a 16 yr outdated to provide a “distinctly Filipino” rum that’s exuberant with tropical fruits, baking spices, and just a bit little bit of funk. It’s nice by itself however given its price ticket it arguably works greatest as a high-end mixer, imbuing any cocktail with an outright ton of taste (and a substantial sweetness, so tread fastidiously). 80 proof. $50 -CN [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
6. Plantation Rum Single Cask Collection – Jamaica 1996 x NY Distilling Co Rye Cask (Jamaica) – The identify could not roll off the tongue, however this unique collaboration between Plantation and the New York Distilling Firm is so complicated it deserves the additional verbiage. Take a 21.5 yr outdated Jamaican rum, ship it to France for 2 years of Cognac barrel ageing, after which end a second time in Ragtime Rye casks. What do you get? A wierd however thrilling rum with a smoky-savory high quality, fading slowly into sweeter notes that develop stronger by the minute. It’s a rum that wants time in glass and loads of it, however settle in for the experience and your persistence shall be absolutely rewarded. 98.2 proof. $120 -CN
7. The ImpEx Collection Long Pond 2005 15 Years Old Cask #21VRW (Oak Barrel) (Jamaica) – This yr ImpEx acquired into unbiased bottling sport, together with each whiskey and rum. All three of the rums within the first spherical of releases are glorious, however the prime of the road is that this 15 yr outdated, produced at Jamaica’s famed Lengthy Pond Distillery. Fragrant and heavy with spices, it’s a wealthy and wonderful rum with a lingering, winey end. Designed for pensive sipping and reflection. 104.4 proof. $120 -CN
8. Nashville Barrel Company Aged Rum (Venezuela) – It might be a bit stunning to search out on our listing a sourced rum from an unbiased whiskey bottler in Tennessee, nevertheless it was truthfully one in all our favorites this yr. Nashville Barrel Firm Aged Rum is sourced from Venezuela as a four-year-old product after which re-barreled into freshly dumped whiskey barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee the place it ages one other two years within the Nashville local weather. These are single barrels, so your mileage on future bottlings could fluctuate, however our pattern in 2021 was chock full of huge, well-balanced taste, from pineapple the wrong way up cake and grilled peaches to darkish molasses and flambéed bananas. It’s proof that a bit of secondary ageing goes a great distance, and for a cask power rum of this high quality, it’s well-priced at 70 bucks. 109 proof. $70 -DB
9. Ten To One Single Cask Reserve Rum 17 Years Old (Trinidad) – Simply 4 casks have been manufactured from this top-shelf sipper from Trinidad – however remarkably you possibly can nonetheless discover it on the market when you poke round a bit. A tricky begin offers method in brief order to a fruit-dominant palate, with notes of tobacco and gingerbread balancing out the immersive tropical and citrus flavors. Large stuff, however enjoyable stuff. 86 proof. $162 -CN [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY] [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]
10. SelvaRey Rum Owner’s Reserve (2021) (Panama) – The proprietor in query is Bruno Mars, who’s been making a reputation for himself as a star rum slinger, with at the very least 4 types of his SelvaRey model on supply. The highest of the road is that this luxe providing a mix of 15 and 25 yr outdated rums, all from Panama, which takes the candy home type and ups the ante with a fancy assortment of sherry-driven wine notes. The comparatively muted abv is a little bit of a shock, however the completed product is proof that thrilling rum needn’t include an outsized punch of alcohol. 80 proof. $150 -CN [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Extra reporting by Drew Beard and Rob Theakston.