The 5 Best Rums for Bourbon Drinkers in 2023
Many people unfamiliar with rum believe it is only suited for tropical cocktails and sweet drinks, but those with an appreciation for aged spirits will find that many rums are perfect for sipping. Even the biggest bourbon devotee can be convinced that rum has a place on their shelf with this list of rums that will inspire a new obsession.
Here Are the 5 Best Rums for Bourbon Drinkers
The profiles of some aged rums and bourbon aren’t that far off. Several producers are aging their rums using the same style and methods as American whiskey; many even age in ex-bourbon barrels to really emphasize those flavors.
Privateer Rum – Navy Yard Barrel Proof
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Inspired by the old rum distilleries of Massachusetts, Privateer has made American rum a new standard in the industry. The distillery strives to make a spirit that tastes characteristically American. Part of this means using new American oak and making bold-tasting rums.
This rum is distilled from 100% grade A molasses sourced from a single valley in Guatemala. It was then aged for at least 2 years in new American oak barrels with a #3 level char providing some classic bourbon character. The rum is barrelled at 55% and then bottled at cask strength. The Navy Yard Barrel Proof has a well-balanced sweetness with notes of wood, slight smokiness and warming spices.
Foursquare Rum Distillery – 2010 Exceptional Cask Selection Mark XXI
When a newcomer exploring rum seeks a recommendation, the number one suggestion is probably going to be Foursquare Rum Distillery. This Barbados distillery has garnered itself a cult-like following with people all over the world singing its praises.
This rum is part of the Exceptional Cask Selection series which are hand selected by Master Distiller and Blender, Richard Seale. This series is made up of unique expressions that are released for a limited time. The 2010 Exceptional Cask Selection Mark XXI is made from a pot and column still blend that was aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels. The rum is bottled at 60% ABV making it one of the higher-proofed recommendations. The 2010 is a full-flavored rum with notes of char, tobacco, sweet oak and dried fruits.
Oxbow Rum Distillery – Oxbow Estate Rum Barrel Aged Straight Rum
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A quickly expanding brand making single estate Louisanna rum, Oxbow Rum Distillery uses sugarcane grown on the family farm. The single origin of the cane gives these rums a unique terroir (taste of the land) specific to this brand. This distillery’s rums are a true taste of the Mississippi delta where the estate is located.
This rum is made from high-grade molasses procured from the first boil of sugarcane juice that comes from the family’s own mill. It is then aged in virgin charred American oak barrels in the same manner as bourbon to impart the same charred wood and vanilla notes found in bourbon. The Barrel Aged Straight Rum is a satisfying combination of barrel char, maple and tropical fruits.
Noxx & Dunn Florida Rum – Straight Barrel
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One of the people behind Noxx & Dunn is Chief of Blending and Concocting Michael Delevante. Delevante, “The Rum Doctor” himself, has a 50-year career in rum including working with Wray & Nephew, McGunness Distillers and Appleton Rum. The brand’s goal was to make a rum that even the biggest bourbon drinker can enjoy.
This rum is made from 100% Florida sugarcane molasses and aged in ex-bourbon barrels. It is then bottled at 43% ABV. The Straight Barrel is bourbon-like with strong woody flavors complemented by notes of brown sugar and baking spices.
Grander Panama Rum – Single Barrel 8 Year
Kentucky, Cuba and Panama collide to create Grander Rum. Kentuckian Dan DeHart is an independent bottler who teamed up with Francisco Jose Fernandez Perez a.k.a. Don Pancho. Don Pancho learned his skills in distilling rum in Cuba before moving to Panama and is considered a legend in the rum world. The brand is built on complete transparency and has founded itself on the belief that the barrel is an integral ingredient in rum making.
Grander is distilled at Las Cabras Distillery using locally sourced Panamanian molasses. This rum is aged for a minimum of 8 years in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at 49.4% ABV, uncut and unfiltered. Grander Single Barrel is an easy sipper that shows off its barrel age with its woody character and notes of vanilla and oak spice.
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