Our Favorite Rums Using Sherry Casks

You're used to your single malts getting the sherry treatment, but there are some wonderful rums using ex-sherry barrels as well!
Oct 06, 2018
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    86
    Woody
    There are a few things that make Ron Zacapa XO Rum unique. First, Ron Zacapa rums are produced using sugarcane honey (fresh sugarcane juice is condensed and filtered) instead of the traditional molasses. Second, the rums are distilled at sea-level but they are aged in the town of Quetzaltenango at an elevation of 7544 feet. Thirdly, this rum is aged in a solera system using a variety of barrels ranging in age from 6-23 years utilizing ex-bourbon, ex-oloroso sherry, and ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. The rum is then finished in ex-cognac barrels for an additional year. Note, the term "XO" is meaningless in the rum world, but is a hint/reminder that cognac barrels were used.
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    86
    Fruity & Rich
    Brugal XV is a blend of three to eight year old rums. It was launched in 2012 and replaces the Brugal Extra Viejo. It's made with a combination of rum aged in ex-bourbon casks, and rum aged in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. The casks are the same which The Macallan uses, showcasing some synergy within The Edrington Group, after its 2008 acquisition of Brugal.
  • 10
    82
    Sweet & Fruity
    This rum begins its life in both Barbados and Guyana, where it rests in American oak barrels for 5 years. It is later shipped to Spain where the rum is aged in ex-Palo Cortado sherry butts for 3 more years. Finally, the rum is then transferred to ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry butts for two years of aging.
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    88
    Woody
    Doorly's XO Rum is created by the R.L. Seale company at the Foursquare distillery It's aged in American oak ex-bourbon barrels before going through a second maturation in European oak former oloroso sherry casks.
  • 8
    88
    Sweet
    Ron Cartavio was established in 1929 and naturalized by the Peruvian government in 1968. Ron Cartavio Solera 12 Años Rum is distilled in a combination of copper pot and column-stills and is blended solera style from rums aged 5-15 years in a combination of Slovenian and other oaks, including bourbon and sherry. The color is a brilliantly clear topaz.
  • 7
    92
    Woody & Sweet
    This dark rum includes seven different rums aged up to 25 years and include rums that were column and some that were pot-distilled. This blend was aged in bourbon and port casks before briefly (up to 30 days) finishing its maturation in former oloroso sherry casks made from French Limousin oak. Bottled at 43% ABV.
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    91
    Fruity & Rich
    Botran Rum is a single estate rum which uses two varieties of sugarcane which is harvested on the Pacific south coast of Guatemala. The first press of sugarcane (aka virgin sugar cane honey) is used for distillation rather than the traditional molasses. Botran uses “dynamic aging” which is a variation of the solera process. For the No. 18, rums aged 5-18 years are blended that have matured in American whiskey, sherry, and port casks. Notably, Botran has a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) and is certified as a Ron de Guatemala. Botran was relaunched in the US in August 2022 with updated packaging. ($44.99/700ml).
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    92
    Sweet & Rich
    Ron Zacapa 23 Sistema Solera Rum was first produced in 1976 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Guatemalan town of Zacapa. It's a rum made from raw sugarcane honey grown on the Zacapa estate high in the hills of Guatemala, extracted from the first pressing of sugarcane juice. It is then fermented using a proprietary strain of pineapple yeast and distilled in a copper-lined column still. After distillation, the rum is aged in a Solera process from a series of casks which once held bourbon, oloroso sherry and Pedro Ximenez sherry. The rums in the blend vary between 6 and 23 years of age.
  • 4
    92
    Fruity & Hogo
    Two James Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum is a pot-still rum created and aged for 6+ years at the Worthy Park Distillery. It is then transported to the Two James Distillery in Detroit, Michigan. There, it finishes its maturation in Moscatel sherry casks before being blended and bottled at 50% ABV.
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    91
    Sweet & Woody
    Santa Teresa’s flagship release is a blend of rums ranging from 4 to 35 years. The rum is further aged using the solera process, with four levels of oak barrels that had been traditionally reserved for Spanish sherry and brandy. The 1796 was first released in 1996 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the estate’s founding.
  • 2
    94
    Sweet & Fruity
    A blend of rums aged between 7 and 23 years, Facundo Exquisito is then finished for a month in sherry casks. This super-premium offering from Bacardi is one of four rums in the Facundo line, which are named after Bacardi Chairman Facundo L. Bacardi, the great-grandson of Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso.
  • 1
    97
    Sweet & Rich
    Ambassador, named in tribute to 18th century distiller Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez, who was known as El Ambassador, strays a bit from Rum Diplomático’s usual style. They typically blend both column and pot still rums, but this one is a blend of 12 year-old 100% pot-still rums bottled at a slightly higher proof. On top of the usual ex-bourbon barrel aging, this one is given an extra 2 years in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. Note: It is presented in a swank wooden cask.