Great Rums For Summer Cocktails

Nothing says summer like a delicious rum cocktail in your hand. Shouldn't that rum be top shelf? You can't go wrong with these!
Jun 08, 2016
  • 10
    10 Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Rum
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    Sweet & Rich
    Appleton Estate is one of the oldest brands of rums on the market having been established in 1779. The estate where the sugarcane is harvested, processed, distilled, and aged encompasses over 11,000 acres in Nassau Valley, Jamaica. American ex-bourbon barrels are used for aging, which in this case, is for a minimum of 12 years. Note: This was formerly known as Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year. The name was changed in mid 2015.
  • 9
    9 Plantation Pineapple Stiggins' Fancy Rum
    92
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    Fruity & Sweet
    Named for a character in Charles Dickens’ “The Pickwick Papers,” the Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum began as a one-off collaboration between Alexandre Gabriel and cocktail historian David Wondrich. The demand was strong enough that Plantation made it a proper release. Pineapple rinds are infused with their Plantation 3 Stars Rum for one week, then pot distilled. The fruit is separately steeped in Plantation Original Dark Rum for three months. The two liquids are blended and the resulting Pineapple Rum is rested in casks for three months before bottling.
  • 8
    8 Clément VSOP Rhum Agricole
    92
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    Sweet & Fruity
    Domaine de l’Acajou on Martinique was purchased in the late 1880s by Homère Clément, who sought to produce rhum agricole after learning distillation techniques from brandy estates in France. Clément VSOP Rhum Agricole is distilled from fresh sugarcane juice in a single-column copper pot-still. It's aged a minimum of 4 years in a combination of new French Limousin oak and re-charred ex-bourbon casks.
  • 7
    7 Ron Abuelo 12 Años
    92
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    Sweet & Rich
    Ron Abuelo is produced at Panama's Varela Hermanos S.A. distillery in Pesé. 12 Años is selected from rums aged in ex-bourbon and white oak barrels, which benefit from the effects of the tropical heat. It should be noted that the distillery was the first in Panama to stop the practice of burning sugarcane fields before harvest and are committed to other green/eco-friendly initiatives.
  • 6
    6 Foursquare Port Cask Finish
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    Sweet & Rich
    Foursquare Distillery, located in St. Philip, Barbados, is one of the stalwarts of Caribbean rum production. This release, conceived by 4th generation distiller Richard Seale, is a throwback to a time in early rum production when rum was transported in used sherry and port barrels. In this instance, the rum, produced in a combination of column and pot stills, was aged 3 years in ex-bourbon barrels and an additional 6 years in ex-port barrels.
  • 5
    5 Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof Rum
    93
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    Rich & Hogo
    Plantation O.F.T.D. (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) Overproof is a group effort. Alexandre Gabriel, Master Blender for Plantation Rum, brought together six rum luminaries--Jeff "Beachbum" Berry from Latitude 29, Martin Cate from Smuggler's Cove, Paul McFadyen from Trailer Happiness, Paul McGee from Lost Lake, Scotty Schuder from Dirty Dick, and Dave Wondrich, cocktail historian extraordinaire. Over many tasting and blending sessions, they formulated a rum ideally suited for use in top-shelf Tiki and tropical cocktails. The O.F.T.D. is a blend of rums from Barbados, Guyana, and Jamaica in the overproof dark style, and replaces Plantation’s Trinidad-sourced Original Dark Overproof Rum.
  • 4
    4 Panamá-Pacific Rum 9-Year
    94
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    Fruity
    Panamá-Pacific Rum is the brainchild of San Francisco-based Haas Brothers, an importer, marketer and merchant of distilled spirits since 1851. Estate-grown sugarcane is harvested from the renowned Panameño growing region of La Provincia de Herrera, then small batches of molasses are fermented using special proprietary yeast strains. The mash is distilled in an antique Coffey copper column-still and rested in American oak casks.
  • 3
    3 Ron Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum
    94
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    Sweet & Rich
    This is the Venezuelan distillery’s flagship rum, called “exclusiva” as a tribute to their 18th century founder Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez, who was always in search of exclusive flavors for his rums. It’s a blend of 12 year old copper pot-still rums made from both molasses and sugarcane honey, aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
  • 2
    2 Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2005
    95
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    Woody & Rich
    The first in a line of new vintage products from Don Q. This 2005 vintage is a single barrel product aged in used American bourbon barrels. In an effort to stay true to their endeavor of creating a true single barrel product the rum is only blended with water for proofing and no other rums are used in the blending process.
  • 1
    1 Chairman's Reserve The Forgotten Casks Rum
    95
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    Woody & Roast
    In May of 2007 Saint Lucia Distillery experienced a major fire. In the chaos that happened during the aftermath, this rum was forgotten for a time by the cellar master. When it was discovered it was decided to make a special blend in commemoration of the event. The rum is a blend of Coffey still and continuous -still distillate; it is aged separately according to still type in former bourbon and Tennessee whiskey barrels before being married together in oak to complete the aging process for an additional 5 years. All told, the rums are aged from 7-12 years.