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9 Best Rums from the Dominican Republic

The best dominican rums to sip straight or mix.

The Dominican Republic is famous for many things. The city of Santo Domingo, the oldest colonized European settlement in the Americas is one of the top tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic. 

Exhibits of the Museo del Ron y la Cana in Santo Domingo, capital of Dominican Republic

Even more famous than its cultural sites and warm sandy beaches is one of the Dominican Republics’ top exports, rum! The Dominican Republic was one of the top exporters of rum in 2019, and the country is known to produce some of the best and oldest rum in the world.

Dominican rums are known to be smoother, and they have a distinct flavor profile that comes from the natural distilling process the country employs.

The rums are made with sugarcane or molasses and are often a popular choice for a variety of cocktails, from a Cuba libre to mojitos.

Best Dominican Rums

Before you host your friends or family over for drinks, read through my list of the best Dominican rums.

Brugal 1888

Brugal is one of the oldest and largest producers of traditionally made rum in the Dominican Republic.

The rum is aged in American white oak barrels at the distillery in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

The rum takes on bourbon and sherry flavors from the brand’s double-aging process. 

The Brugal 1888 bottle contains notes of sweet vanilla, red fruits, and rich toffee combined with earthy cocoa and oak spice from the barrels.

The balance of flavors in the rum is smooth and deep, with a long honey-tinted aftertaste. The liquor is a gorgeous bright amber and red color.


Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21

The Vizcaya rum brand is produced by the independent firm Oliver and Oliver, a family-owned Cuban company that moved to the Dominican Republic.

Since its move, the brand has been focused on producing and marketing its various artisanal labels for private clients and distribution. 

The Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 is triple aged for eight years before selling or tasting and is a blend of sweet butterscotch and vanilla with subtle barrel notes of oak.

The rum has won multiple awards, including Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It pairs excellently with cigars and is 80 proof. 


Bermudez 1852 Aniversario

Bermudez rum is one of the oldest brands of rum in the Dominican Republic.

Along with Brugal and Barcelo, Bermudez is one of “the three B’s,” the largest rum-producing brands in the country.

The brand was founded in 1852 and manufactures 17 liquors total, from rum to vodka to whiskey. 

The Bermudez Aniversario label is high-quality premium golden rum. It’s aged for 12 years in oak barrels and only sells in exclusive limited production runs.

It’s a dark rum with 40% alcohol volume and tastes smooth with notes of vanilla, molasses, banana, oak, and cocoa.


Ron Barcelo Imperial Rum

Barcelo rum is another top brand in the Dominican Republic and is popular where it’s exported across the world.

You can tour the Barcelo Rum Historical Center in the city of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Ron Barcelo Imperial Rum is aged between one and ten years in old bourbon barrels. 

The Barcelo Imperial Rum label has won the “Best Rum in the World” award from the Beverage Testing Institute of Chicago.

It’s made with sugarcane juice, not molasses, which gives it a distinct flavor even from other Dominican brands. The sugar cane is grown in the Dominican Republic. 


Kirk & Sweeney Gran Reserva

The Kirk & Sweeney brand was developed by a smuggler bringing rum from the Caribbean to the Northeast during prohibition.

Now, the brand’s bottles have won prestigious awards, and it’s recognized internationally as a high-quality rum producer.

The Kirk & Sweeney Gran Reserva bottle has been recognized by the Spirits International Prestige Awards. 

The Gran Reserva label is a full-bodied rum with a vanilla flavor base combined with fall spices, oak, and sweet dried fruit.

The rum has a long-lasting gentle finish, ending on hints of sherry and raisin. The roasted cane sugar in the rum gives it an unmistakable aroma. 


Relicario Ron Dominicano Supremo 

Ron Relicario Supremo is a popular Dominican rum that tastes fantastic on the rocks, in a shot, or in your favorite cocktail.

It has a 40% alcohol volume and is dark amber-colored. The rum is pure and clear and smells faintly of vanilla, coconut, dried grapes, and nuts.

It is aged between 10 and 15 years in barrels and is made of 100% native Dominican sugar cane juice. 

The Relicario Ron Dominicano Supremo label is elegantly flavored with balsamic, sweetness, oak wood, dried fruits, and smoke.

The rum is full-bodied and smooth, without any bitterness. Every bottle matures under the eye of a master rum maker in the Dominican Republic. 


Matusalem 15 Gran Reserva 

The Matusalem rum brand was born in Cuba in 1872, before moving to the Dominican Republic, and named after the biblical figure Matusalem.

The brand was in favor during prohibition to visiting American glitterati and artists, musicians, and writers. The brand uses a unique method to manufacture and age its rum, leading to its liquor’s uncopiable flavor. 

Matusalem’s 15 Gran Reserva is the brand’s flagship rum and has won numerous awards including the 2021 Silver Bartender Spirits Award.

The rum has a buttery rich flavor, with notes of aged wood and a smooth, dry aftertaste perfect for cocktails.  


Opthimus 15 Malt Whisky Cask Aged Rum

Opthimus is a long-standing rum brand that originated in Cuba before migrating to the Dominican Republic.

Since the 18th century, the brand has been internationally distributing rum while producing and aging it in the Dominican Republic.

The Opthimus 15 Malt Whiskey Cask Aged Rum label is aged for 15 years in American ex-bourbon casks. 

Opthimus 15 Malt Whiskey Cask Aged Rum has a 38% alcohol volume and is 76 proof. It has a dry oak-like flavor with notes of dried fruits, brown sugar, and banana.

Hints of chocolate, vanilla, pepper, and leather make the aroma and flavor unbeatable. 


Ron Larimar 5 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish

Ron Larimar produces and crafts its rum in the Dominican Republic before maturing it in the colder dryer conditions of Dundee, Scotland.

The brand is inspired by the rum taken on ships between the Caribbean and Europe and the natural aging process this created. It has four signature bottles that are aged for five years in various casks. 

The Ron Larimar 5-Year-Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish smells of dried fruit, pineapple jam, cocoa spice, and toffee.

Its flavor is sweet, with notes of dates, figs, and prunes with caramel, chocolate, and tobacco spices. It has a long sweet aftertaste with lingering oak barrel spices. 


Best Dominican Rums

  1. Brugal 1888
  2. Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21
  3. Bermudez 1852 Aniversario
  4. Ron Barcelo Imperial Rum 
  5. Kirk & Sweeney Gran Reserva
  6. Relicario Ron Dominicano Supremo 
  7. Matusalem 15 Gran Reserva 
  8. Opthimus 15 Malt Whisky Cask Aged Rum
  9. Ron Larimar 5 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish

Final Thoughts

After reading through this article, you should feel prepared next time you’re on the lookout for a delicious and rich Dominican rum.

The small island is famous for producing some of the most mouthwatering rums on the planet because of its luscious natural resources and environment.

Whether it’s for a game night with friends or a formal dinner party, you can serve any of the Dominican rums on this list and feel safe knowing they’re the best of the best.

Other cultures make delicious rums as well! Check out the best Cuban rums or Jamaican rums to try as well.

Looking for something more lowkey? Check out our list of the best inexpensive rums that still taste good.

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Written by Erin B.

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.