With all the bottles the rum world has to offer, it’s hard to choose a real top ten. taste varies from person to person and therefore this list is not definitive, but rather a reflection of rums that have been tested and approved by rumporter in each category.
APPLETON ESTATE 12 YO – 43%
Nose: The initial whiff brings notes of quince, clementine peel, as well as honey and marzipan, lending a touch of nougat to the nose. The bouquet tiptoes around and between young fruits (predominantly peach) and maple syrup.
DEPAZ VSOP RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE – 45%
An elegant nose, both complex and fine and concentrated on prune, grape, marzipan and vanilla with notes of tobacco, smoke, and hibiscus. The palate is forward and round, in keeping with the nose and rounding it out with notes of liquorice, prune, black pepper, leather, honey, and cacao. The finish is long, fruity and spicy. A rhum that verges on the exceptional.
FOURSQUARE, PORT CASK FINISH 9 – 40%
Nose: Each facet of the aromatic complexity of this rum, which was aged for 3 years in a Bourbon barrel then for 6 additional years in a Porto barrel, brings us back to its fruity profile with its notes of dried berry: raisin, cranberry, blackberry and black currant, along with hints of salty sea air.
HSE VSOP RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE – 45%
A splendid nose, both strong and gourmet with notes of candied fruits (apricot jam, juicy peach, melon), coffee, salted butter caramel, elegant woodiness (rosewood) and dried fruit (almond). Well-balanced and elegant in the mouth, the taste is marked by notes of spices and mandarin. The finish is strong, woody and roasted to achieve a long finish.
ISAUTIER 7 ANS – 40%
Nose: The initial attack has medicinal notes, almost solvent-like, backed up by more fruity notes (pineapple, apricot). The complex aromatic profile is thinly veiled by a delicate smoky note.
KARUKERA RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE – 42%
Karukera is a 100% blue cane rhum from Longueteau Distillery. A strong and elegant nose, woody with notes of crème brûlée, citrus, prune, caramelized banana, vanilla, and almond. The mouth is full-bodied and well balanced, bringing quince, chocolate, caramel, clove, and vanilla with vegetal and floral notes (mint, peony). The finish is long, vegetal, and spicy, predominately with cinnamon and clove notes. An excellent expression of Basse-Terre!
NEISSON RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE – 42%
Almost unknown in mainland France, the Special Reserve possesses a unique character that is extremely subtle and archetypical. This rhum will delight some yet leave others wanting more. The nose is mostly dominated by blackberry, arctic berries, alpine flora, honey and prune. The taste is silky with roasted, fruity, and herbaceous notes embellished with chocolate, Reseda, and pistachio. The finish has more vanilla tones with medicinal hints carried by the aroma of clove. This opinion splitting rhum agricole must be tried before you pick your side!
PLANTATION, OVERPROOF OFTD – 69%
Nose: This mahogany rhum with reddish sparkles offers a strong nose that is fixed on notes of coffee, orange, and prune that compliment the hint of truffle and dulce de leche aromas.
TROIS RIVIÈRES 5 ANS – 40%
A strong and complex nose, both warm and spicy with notes of grey pepper, nutmeg, and caramelized fruit with a herbal (verbena) and fruity touch. The mouth is tight and straight forward, combining crème brûlée, cinnamon, banana, and red berries. A smooth finish with floral notes (elderberry, orange blossom). Honest, direct, another great expression of Martinique’s terroir.
WORTHY PARK ESTATE 502, HABITATION VELIER – 57%
Nose: This rum plays with notes of hay, ripe banana, pineapples, and Tonka bean, which leave little doubt to the presence of coumarin.