How to choose an old rum?

11 November 2022 | Buyer's Guide
How to choose an old rum?


Hello, I am looking for an old rum!

This is the phrase we hear the most in our business. We must first clarify what it defines. We are talking here about a tasting rum that has spent at least three years in a barrel, whose wood has given aromatic virtues depending on its nature (Bourbon barrel, cognac barrel, or new oak barrel… and other more exotic possibilities). In a more common tongue, we are frequently asked for an "amber" rum to define everything that is old, however, it is important to know that this name precisely defines a rum that is particularly young, from 18 months to 3 years old.

So how do you choose an old rum?

You should approach any type of rum the same way you are going to choose a good wine. Do you want it to be sweet, spicy, or even with exotic flavors?

Are you discovering a particular terroir, or are you looking to be surprised?

It is by answering these questions that you will find the gem that suits you.

If you are more into the idea of ​​a sweet rum, easier to drink, in a festive moment, the lighter abv and the sweetness of Ron (South American rum) will surely please you. It should be noted that this sweetness is quite frequently linked to caramelization during or after ageing. The aromatic frame of this style is toffee, cocoa, roasted and vanilla flavors.

If you are looking for a drier profile, while keeping smoothness, but with for more exotic notes, rums from the English-speaking Caribbean will bring you satisfaction and discovery. The oldest tradition in the world comes from this style, originating in Barbados. The bourbon cask is in the spotlight and the flavors of coconut oil and sweet spices are strongly present. Jamaica also brings its share of surprises with its long fermentations, conferring a wilder nature with a wide aromatic range, going from herbaceous notes to those of exotic fruits such as maracuja or mango supported by a powerful musk.

Finally we have the French traditions with our rums only made from pure cane juice in Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante which are under geographical indication and in Martinique which is under Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC). The aromatic profile is drier than the other traditions but its complexity is incomparable. Through powerful, fruity and spicy notes that are never free from the scent of sugar cane, these rums are the pride of our terroir.

These three great styles naturally include exceptions throughout the world and certain regions master different styles such as Reunion, Mauritius and many other lesser-known destinations in our latitudes such as Japan, South Africa or even Australia

In order to continue, I invite you to discover my favorites

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