Rum is an incredibly diverse alcoholic spirit with lots of different types on the market that you can try. Therefore, it’s easy to get lost when starting to explore the best ones to sample.
In this guide, you will discover the top 10 best rum brands that you can buy online in the USA:
- Flor de Caña 18 Year Old Centenario
- Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa
- Barceló Imperial
- Foursquare Nobiliary
- Appleton Estate 21 Year Old
- Mount Gay XO Rum
- Ron Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva
- Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
- Ron Zacapa 23
- Santa Teresa 1796
Scroll down to see them all or jump ahead using the links above. We will also cover where the best places are to buy rum in the USA.
What Are The Best Rum Brands?
See The Best Rum Cocktails
In this guide, we may refer to the various regions and grades that are used for categorising rum. To learn more, head to our guide to the different types of rum.
Although it’s far from the most expensive rum, Flor de Caña offers an authentic and natural experience with its carefully crafted concoctions. While some brands will add an age statement according to the oldest batch used in a blend, this expression only features 18-year-old rum.
They’re aged in different American oak ex-bourbon casks and then blended before bottling to create a consistent flavour. Flor de Caña adds no sugars, colourings, or additives. Therefore, it produces a refined and elegant flavour profile, which you can learn more about in our full review.
"An exceptionally-crafted naturally-aged rum at a fair price that offers excellent value for money."
A modest and little-known brand from the small island of Saint Lucia, Admiral Rodney is a fascinating distiller. In Saint Lucia’s history, the island had been fought over by the British and French no less than 14 times!
Admiral Rodney pays homage to the ships that broke the French blockade’s line in the final battle that decided the island’s fate. Meanwhile, the HMS Princessa was one of the first ships to engage the French at the Battle of the Saints.
Its balanced flavour profile is remarkably delicate for an English-style rum. While others can be quite verbose, HMS Princessa is refined with notes of vanilla and tobacco.
Voted the best rum in the world by the Beverage Testing Institute of Chicago twice in a row, Barceló offers great value given its modest price. Additionally, the brand is the first rum to have obtained Carbon Neutral Status under the Bilan Carbone License.
Aged in ex-bourbon barrels for up to 10 years, it delivers a unique bouquet of red apples with hints of pear and caramel. If you have a modest budget, it’s a must-have for your drinks cabinet.
Foursquare is another small English-style brand that has distinguished itself thanks to its artisanal approach. Its rum is distilled using a traditional copper pot still with a twin column Coffey still, which is then aged for no less than 14 years.
At 62% ABV, it’s the strongest rum on this list and it could even be considered an overproof rum. Furthermore, it features no sugar, colouring, or any other additives.
Consequently, it’s a smooth and balanced rum with a harmonious and gentle tableau of flavours.
Jamaica’s celebrated J. Wray and Nephew distillery is well-known for its Appleton Estate rum. Lavish and richly-flavoured, it’s a defining specimen of the English-style of rum production with a bold bouquet and a velvety mouthfeel.
A discernably premium option, this expression is aged for no less than 21 years. This is a detail worth mentioning as many age statements indicate the oldest rather than the youngest batch used in the blend.
Mount Gay is an English-style rum that operates from Barbados like Foursquare. The expression’s name, “X.O.”, shouldn’t be regarded as an age statement but rather than it is aged in cognac casks.
The process offers a greater level of complexity with a distinctive roundness in its flavour and mouthfeel. It delivers notes of dark chocolate with hints of dates and baking spices.
Another excellent expression from the Dominican Republic, Brugal’s 1888 blend is composed of rum first aged for between 6 and 8 years in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to sherry barrels for at least 6 years.
It reveals a bold vanilla flavour profile with hints of citrus over a light and delicate mouthfeel. For the price, it’s a worthwhile addition to your collection!
A classic and celebrated rum that is well-known around the world, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva offers a great balance between flavour and price point. Its spirits are aged for up to 12 years in white oak ex-bourbon casks.
Its syrupy mouthfeel and bold flavours are instantly recognisable and the Reserva Exclusiva is very easy to drink. It’s a versatile choice for accompanying a wide range of cigars without feeling either under or overpowered.
Zacapa is a Guatemalan distiller that has embraced the Spanish tradition of Solera ageing, which you can learn about in our guide on how rum is made.
As a result, the batches of different ages mature together, marrying their flavours and varying levels of maturity. Zacapa’s solera can contain spirits that are up to 23 years old. During the ageing process, the spirit is transferred between American whiskey, sherry, and Pedro Ximénez wine barrels.
Consequently, it has a lively flavour with a rich spectrum of aromas and notes. Although a bottle will contain rum as young as 6 years old, it’s remarkably mature with a playful palate.
Often overlooked in favour of Diplomático, Santa Teresa is another Venezuelan rum brand. Known for its penchant for rugby, the German-founded brand has also mastered the Solera system for ageing its rum.
Its barrels contain rum that is up to 35 years old, which is matured using French Limousin and American white ex-bourbon oak. The result is a wonderfully rounded flavour profile with a balanced body yet delicate and savoury notes of tobacco and labdanum.
Where To Buy Rum In The USA?
Rum is probably one of the most accessible alcoholic spirits on the US market and it’s very easy to find in most liquor and convenience stores. Its popularity soared thanks to easy access from Panama and it quickly became an alternative to whiskey and brandy.
However, it eventually became a victim of its own success and quality rums were soon replaced by mass-market industrial products. Similarly, most rums available were of the Spanish style while English and French-style rums were often overlooked.
Therefore, variety can sometimes be somewhat limited at your local stores. Fortunately, the internet offers some excellent resources with intuitive sites that retail a rich variety of rums.
Reserve Bar is by far one of our favourite destinations as it has a vast selection of rum from different territories. Its pricing is very reasonable and it caters to a spectrum of different budgets and preferences.
Alternatively, Drizly works in partnership with local liquor stores. As a result, it provides you with a breakdown of locally available rum that it can even deliver to your door within an hour.
The only hitch with Drizly is that you depend on what’s available at your local shops. If you’re in an isolated area or one that doesn’t stock much rum, your options may be limited.
How Much Does Rum Cost?
The price of rum is surprisingly diverse when compared to other popular liquor like whiskey or brandy. While these tend to have relatively fixed prices according to their age statements, rum can be a little wild.
Needless to say, rum that is aged for shorter periods of time will tend to be cheaper. Similarly, some dark rums use additives to make younger blends taste more mature, which can cut costs.
Nevertheless, Flor de Caña sells its 18-year-old rum for just $55 whereas Appleton’s 21-year-old rum may cost nearly three times that. Both are naturally aged without any additives with just three years difference in their ages.
Arguably, the price difference may be due to trade and access. Spanish-style rum tends to be cheaper in the USA perhaps thanks to NAFTA. Meanwhile, English-style rum is usually produced in Commonwealth territories. Therefore, the taxes and tariffs for trade might be slightly different.
Otherwise, you should be able to find great rum for sipping at around $30 to $40. If you have a little more budget, there are some excellent rums for between $50 to $70. If you’re willing to spend more than $100, you’ll be able to access some exceptional blends.
Our guide to the best rum refers a lot to production techniques as well as the different styles and grades of rum. You can learn more about these in our guide to the different types of rum as well as how rum is made.
Otherwise, now that you have read about the best rum brands, why don’t you check out more of our resources?