The Top Rums from Central America

Often overlooked, Central America is one of our favorite rum producing regions. Called “ron” in Spanish, these rums are typically made from molasses and aged in ex-whiskey barrels. They tend to be light to medium-bodied in nature making them ready to mix or sip at your discretion. Here are a few of our favorites!
Oct 29, 2019
  • 9
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    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.
  • 8
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Panama’s PILSA and its Master Distiller, “Don Pancho” Fernandez, have built a considerable reputation supplying well-executed, Cuban-style rums to independent labels such as Caña Brava and Ron de Jeremy. Add New York’s Barrio Spirits to that list; they also source their seven-year, column-distilled, Copacabana 1940 rum from PILSA.
  • 7
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    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
    4.35 out of 5 stars
    Woody & Hogo
    Distilled from Costa Rican sugarcane, the rum is then aged in used bourbon barrels. It is blended using the solera method with 20-year old rums being the oldest part of the blend. The rum has a pleasant mahogany color with copper hues.
  • 5
    4.04 out of 5 stars
    Sweet & Rich
    This is a blend of rums aged a minimum of 8 years in American oak casks from Kentucky. Francisco Jose Fernandez Perez, also known as “Don Pancho”, has over 50 years experience as a master blender and distiller. When he found the perfect mix of quality sugar and aging environment in Panama, he started his own distillery. The lengthy aging is constantly monitored and the rum is bottled with the age statement referring to the minimum age of each rum in the final blend.
  • 4
    3.94 out of 5 stars
    Sweet & Rich
    Flor de Caña was founded in 1890 near the base of San Cristóbal Volcano, the highest and one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua. The brand's rums are produced from molasses from estate-grown sugarcane. American white oak barrels formerly used to age bourbon are used to age the rum. The 18 listed on the bottle isn't an age statement, but rather indicates an average of the rums used.
  • 3
    3.73 out of 5 stars
    Sweet & Earthy
    Ron Cihuatán Solera 12 Reserva Especial is created at the Licorera Cihuatán, a subsidiary of Ingenio La Cabaña of El Salvador. Ingenio La Cabaña is a century old sugar cane mill that produces the molasses used in both Ron Cihuatán products. The rum is aged in used American oak bourbon barrels using a solera method.
  • 2
    3.38 out of 5 stars
    Copalli Rum was launched in 2019 by marine conservationist Todd Robinson and Anya Fernald, CEO of restaurant and butcher shop chain Belcampo. An organic rum, it’s made on the grounds of the duo’s Copal Tree Lodge in Belize. The sugarcane used to make Copalli Barrel Rested Rum is sourced from the surrounding rainforest. It is then juiced, distilled twice in pot stills and aged in used bourbon barrels before being bottled at 44% ABV.
  • 1
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Botran Rum is a single estate rum which uses two varieties of sugarcane which are harvested on the Pacific south coast of Guatemala. The first press of sugarcane (aka virgin sugar cane honey) is used for distillation rather than traditional molasses. Botran uses “dynamic aging” which is a variation of the solera process. For the No. 8, rums aged 5-8 years are blended that have matured in American whiskey and sherry 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. ($19.99/700ml).