The Story of Caribbean Rum

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Caribbean rum is synonymous with old stories of pirates, slave plantations and new ones of revelry and enjoying life on a sun-soaked island. With every Caribbean island making their own whether as marketable brands or bush rums served in your local roadside bar, can you really say you’ve experienced life if you’ve never had Caribbean rum?

“Caribbean rum producers have spent the past two centuries perfecting the arts of distillation, aging, and blending. Today, almost all rum is aged in oak barrels allowing the spirit to acquire a golden to dark brown hue. Equally, if not more important than ageing, the final stage of production is blending – the point at which a number of rums are skilfully combined with the personality of the countries and a shot of heritage to produce something uniquely Caribbean – True Rum,” explains Vaughn Renwick, Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association.

The Art of Making Rum

Making Caribbean rum is a rare art and few master it. According to Authentic Caribbean Rum, “Rum is a liqueur with a minimum base alcohol volume about 35 percent and is made from cane sugar. There are three main varieties of rum: white, gold and dark. The five main factors that affect a rum’s flavor and overall quality are the type of sugar used, the length of time it was allowed to ferment, the type of still used, the length of time it was allowed to age in the barrel, and the strength of the rum at the time it was bottled.

“With the many types of rums, comes various grades and the main forms are light or dark rum. Light rums are not as aged as dark rums; their color is clear in appearance. Rum is stored in casks made out of oak. However dark rum is aged for longer ranging from 3 years up to 12 years. Darker types of rum have an enhanced aroma and flavor unlike the lighter types of rum.” Rums are further enhanced by blending different ones, using vanilla, orange, tobacco and various spices to bring out flavors, which create new varieties.

Authentic Caribbean Rum

7 Different Types of Rum

Light Rums also known as silver or white rum, have little flavor, apart from a general sweetness. As a result, they are often used in cocktails due to their light taste.

Gold Rums also are known as amber rums, are aged for a longer time than lighter rums. Due to the types of casks used to age them, they have a darker hue and a woodsy flavor. They have a stronger taste than the lighter rums and are not as strong as the darker ones.

Dark Rums are known for their particular hues such as brown, red rums or black and this type of rum is a grade darker than the gold rum. They are aged in strong barrels, for a longer time to gives them a stronger flavor. There are small hints of spices together with strong molasses or caramel tinge. Dark rums are commonly used in cooking and are often produced in Haiti and Jamaica.

Spiced Rums are made by mixing different types of spices. Most of these rums are darker in color and are built on gold rums. Spices used on these types of rums include rosemary, pepper, and cinnamon.

Flavored Rums are infused with different fruit flavors. Fruits commonly used are bananas, orange, coconut, mango, citrus, lime or starfruit. Flavored rums are used to give taste to other drinks that have been similarly themed. They are either drank alone or mixed with ice. They have less than 40 percent alcohol.

Overproof Rums usually has about 40 percent alcohol (80 proof); however, it’s common to find rums with over 75 percent of alcohol in the market (150+). The most common example is probably Bacardi 151.

Premium Rums are luxury rums available in the market. They cost higher than the regular rums because of the way they are produced. They are carefully aged and produced to meet high standards, are often drank straight without having to mix with other drinks, and they offer more flavor and character, given the way they are made.

Authentic Caribbean Rum

Which Caribbean Countries Make Rum

Twelve Caribbean countries currently produce rum which bears the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque which is a visual symbol of provenance and quality. Caribbean countries with the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque include Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago. However, rum is produced in all Caribbean countries.  For some countries like Montserrat, it’s just local bush rum.  Thus, below you’ll find a list of Caribbean rum brands which are exported regionally and internationally.

List of Caribbean Rum Brands

Anguilla Rum Brands
• Pyrat Rum

Antigua & Barbuda Rum Brands
• Cavalier Rum
• English Harbour Rum

The Bahamas Rum Brands
• John Watling’s Rum

Belize Rum Brands
• Fair Rum
• Travellers Rum

Bermuda Rum Brands
• Gosling’s Rum

Barbados Rum Brands
• Caraibe Ron
• Cockspur
• Kaniche Rum
• Mahiki Rum
• Malibu Rum
• Mount Gay Rum
• Plantation Rum
• Rum Sixty Six
• Shellback Rum
• The Real McCoy Rum

British Virgin Islands Rum Brands
•  Pusser’s Rum

Cayman Islands Rum Brands
•  Seven Fathoms Rum
•  Tortuga Rum

Cuba Rum Brands
• Cubanacan
• Guayabita Del Mar
• Havana Club Rum
• Legendario
• Matusalem
• Pacto Navio
• Ron Caney
• Ron Cubay
• Ron Edmundo Dantes
• Ron Mulata
• Ron Varadero
• Santero Ron
• Santiago De Cuba

Dominican Republic Rum Brands
• Atlantico Rum
• Ron Barceló
• Bodegas 1492
• Brugal
• Columbus
• Cubaney
• Macorix
• Opthimus
• Puntacana
• Ron Bermúdez
• Ron Summum
• Vizcaya

Grenada Rum Brands
• Clarke’s Court Rum
• Westerhall Rum

Guadeloupe Rum Brands
• Damoiseau Rhum
• Karukera Rhum
• Longueteau Rhum
• Musee Du Rhum
• Reimonenq Rhum
• Rhum Bielle
• Rhum Bologne
• Severin Rhum

Guyana Rum Brands
• El Dorado Rum
• Expedition Rum
• Lemon Hart Rum
• Woods Rum
• XM Rum

Haiti Rum Brands
• Rhum Barbancourt

Jamaica Rum Brands
• Appleton Estate Rum
• Coruba Rum
• Myers’s Rum
• Rum-bar Rum
• The Rum Company
• J. Wray & Nephew Rum
• Worthy Park Estates Rum

Martinique Rum Brands
• Clement Rhum
• HSE Rhum
• J Bally Rhum
• La Favorite Rhum
• La Martiniquaise
• La Mauny
• Neisson Rhum
• Rhum Depaz
• Rhum Dillon
• Rhum JM
• Saint James
• Tatanka Rhum
• Trois Rivieres Rhum

Puerto Rico Rum Brands
• Bacardi Rum
• Don Q Rum
• Ron del Barrilito
• Captain Morgan Rum

Saint Kitts & Nevis Rum Brands
• Belmont Estate Rum
• Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum

Saint Lucia Rum Brands
• Elements Eight
• St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies – 1931 Rum, Admiral Rodney Rum, Toz Rum, etc.

Saint Maarten Rum Brands
• Toppers Rhum

St. Vincent & The Grenadines Rum Brands
• St. Vincent Rum Distillery Ltd.
• Captain Bligh Rum

Suriname Rum Brands
• Borgoe Rum

Trinidad and Tobago Rum Brands
• 10 Cane Rum
• Angostura Rum – Angostura 1824, Angostura 1787, Angostura 1919, Angostura 7-Year-Old, Angostura 5-Year-Old, Angostura Reserva
• Caroni Rum
• Fernandes Rum – Fernandes Black Label, Forres Park, Vat 19
• Kraken Rum
• Zaya Rum

United States Virgin Islands Rum Brands
• AH Riise Rum
• Calico Jack
• Cruzan Rum
• Sailor Jerry Rum

Are there other Caribbean rum brands that you know about not listed above?   Either way, how many of these Caribbean rum brands have you tried?   Each has a story linked to the rich history of the Caribbean region.

Authentic Caribbean Rum: Brands across the Region


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Rum has its origin in the Caribbean and for the past two centuries, the rum producers have been perfecting the arts of distillation, ageing and blending. There are now primarily three types of rum: white, gold or dark with only the finest given the Authentic Caribbean Rum designation.

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Ursula Petula Barzey

Ursula Petula Barzey

Founder | Digital Content Creator at Caribbean & Co.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a digital marketing professional and Founder of Caribbean & Co. which has allowed her to reconnect with her Montserratian and Caribbean roots!

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