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10 Inexpensive Rums That Still Taste Good

Rum has been around since the 1650s, but it was likely produced before. Rum is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses. The resulting clear liquid is often aged in oak barrels. Many rums are made in the Caribbean and North and South American countries. One of the great things about rum is that you don’t need to buy the most expensive bottle to enjoy it – the best cheap rums are inexpensive and still taste great!

glasses of rum cheers

Rums are produced in various grades. Light rums are commonly mixed in cocktails, like a Cuba Libre. On the other hand, “golden” and “dark” rums are usually consumed neat or “on the rocks.” Some rums can even be used in cooking; for instance, rum cakes are famous during the holiday season. 

We have tasted the best inexpensive rums and compiled a list of the eleven spirits we believe are delicious and cost-effective! 

Gosling’s Black Seal Rum 

Goslings Black Seal Rum ranges from 15 to 25 dollars. The rum is made using a 150-year-old Gosling family recipe. After the initial distilling process, it is aged in charred American oak barrels. Goslings Black Seal won the Platinum Medal and Best Buy awards from The Beverage Testing Institute. 

Black Seal Rum is used in Bermuda’s National Drink, The Dark’ n Stormy, a combination of rum, ginger beer, and lime juice.

The drink’s taste is rich and sweet with spices, fruits, and vanilla. Goslings Black Seal Rum is also 80 proof. Gosling’s also makes the ginger beer that pairs with their signature rum. 

Flor de Caña 4-Year-Old Extra Seco

flor de cana extra seco rum
Source: Drizly

Flor de Caña 4-Year-Old Extra Seco is a gluten-free, sugar-free, and kosher rum. Once poured in a glass, the aroma is heavy with almonds and vanilla.

Upon the initial taste, white chocolate and orange notes start at the front of the mouth, and then the rum finishes dry. The rum is perfect for making classic rum-based cocktails. 

The rum has won awards like the Gold Medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Gold Medal at the 2017 International Rum Conference. The Flor de Caña 4-Year-Old Extra Seco is about twenty dollars for a 750-milliliter bottle. 

See also  7 Best Cuban Rums You Can’t Find in the States

Appleton Estate

appleton estate rum
Source: Drizly

The Signature Appleton Estate rum is crafted in Jamaica. The rum distillery began in 1749 in the Nassau Valley, and the taste resonates with apricots, peaches, and molasses. This rum is perfect in daiquiris. In 2019, the Signature Appleton Estate rum won the Great Value award and was a finalist for excellence. 

This alcoholic beverage is about 20 dollars. Interestingly, the barrels used to age the rum had a former life at the Jack Daniel’s whiskey distillery! The bold flavor profile works well with most cocktails and mixed drinks that require rum. During the holidays, add the Appleton Estate rum to Eggnog or Wassil. 

Don Q Cristal Rum

don q rum

Don Q Cristal Rum is smooth and is excellent for mixing and creating rum-based cocktails. It has a clean finish and is a clear rum. The distillery uses a multiple distillation system, so the resulting spirit offers a delicate flavor profile, setting it apart from other clear rums. 

Don Q Cristal Rum is aged for five years in American white oak barrels. Notably, in cocktails that might call for vodka, like a Screwdriver, try exchanging this vodka for an exciting and tasty shift. However, Don Q Cristal Rum has won awards at the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge for its use in a Mojito

Mount Gay Eclipse

mount gay eclipse rum

Mount Gay is the oldest rum distillery globally, dating back to 1703. Eclipse has distinct notes of vanilla and banana. It also tastes like caramel, fruit, and spice. The aging process lends an oaky flavor to the spirit, and it is a light amber color with a light to medium body. 

Of the rums on our list of affordable purchases, the Mount Gay Ecsilpe is the most likely to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. The typical cost of a 750-milliliter bottle is about 20 dollars. Mount Gay Eclipse is a perfect host or housewarming gift and is excellent in simple cocktails.

Bacardi Superior

bacardi superior
Source: Drizly

In 1862, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó launched BACARDÍ Superior rum. The spirit is excellent for cocktails like a Mojito or a Cuba Libre because it does not dominate the flavor profile. The aroma is strongly that of almonds and fruit, and on the palate, the rum is smooth with a dry and clean finish. 

BACARDÍ Superior Rum offers traces of vanilla and lime. The famous rum is aged in American white oak barrels and is distilled through charcoal to enhance the smoothness. The website has various signature cocktails listed like the Hurricane and a Rum Punch, including multiple types of BACARDÍ rums.

See also  Top 12 Rums for Making Daiquiris


cruzan rum
Source: Drizly

The Cruzan distillery was once a sugar cane mill, then in the 1800s, rum production began. Cruzan Aged Light Rum and Cruzan Aged Dark Rum are high-quality, low-expense rums. Cruzan Aged Light Rum is aged up to four years in American oak casks. The light rum has a smooth taste with vanilla notes that work well in traditional rum cocktails. 

The Cruzan Aged Dark Rum has aged a minimum of two years and can be aged up to four years. Even though it’s not too expensive, it’s a popular choice for dark rums! The rum is medium-bodied with a very aromatic nature. Cruzan also produced about a dozen different flavored rums like pineapple, mango, vanilla, peach, and key lime.

Plantation Rum

plantation rum
Source: Drizly

Plantation is a more modern rum distillery that opened in the 1990s. Plantation offers these rums: 

  • Signature Blends
  • Bar Classics
  • Special Edition rums

The rum flavor is sweet and complex, and the 750-milliliter bottle is usually just over 20 dollars at most sellers. Rum drinkers note that Plantation is best on the rocks. 

Plantation is a blend of Guyana, Jamaica, and Barbados rums. The Plantation Original Dark is a golden color with hints of butterscotch. It is delicious in tropical-theme cocktails with coconut and pineapple. The aroma is heavy on fruit at the front; it is a delightful Plantation rum.

El Dorado 

el dorado rum
Source: Drizly

Located on the banks of Demerara, a region on the north coast of South America in Guyana, El Dorado rum is distilled. It is the culmination of more than three hundred years of experience. For decades, the spirit is aged in oak barrels to create depth and flavor dimension. 

El Dorado is a festive rum with heavy spice upfront and a distinct orange flavor. The lasting finish tastes like caramel, making it an excellent pairing for simple cocktails. If you like the spiciness of a darker rum, this is the most robust option on our list of inexpensive spirits.  

Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum is a blend of Caribbean rums with subtle vanilla and caramel flavors, giving rum cocktails a flavorful punch. This is one of the most popular spiced rums!

The alcohol has a light scent of cinnamon and citrus. Try the Captain and Pineapple or the Captain and Cola, classics that the distillery believes highlight the spirit of Captain Morgan best. Captain Morgan has developed various flavors, too, like:

  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple
  • Orange-vanilla twist

Captain Morgan is famous for a reason. It is a classic beverage at a reasonable price. It is excellent to have on hand at parties and for making cocktails. A 750-milliliter bottle ranges in price from fifteen dollars to twenty-five dollars. 

See also  12 Best Coconut Rums

A delicious rum is easy to find. Both white and dark varieties are available for under twenty dollars per bottle. A dependable rum for cocktails to keep in your bar does not need to break the bank. From daiquiris to mojitos, rum is a staple in some of our favorite cocktails.

Crafted from sugarcane and made famous by pirates, rum is a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed by the casual drinker or the rum connoisseur. For more options, check out the best rums for sipping!

Try some of these beverages at your local bar, then stop by your neighborhood liquor store and invest your crisp twenty-dollar bill on your favorite. Let us know if we missed your favorite budget-friendly rum! 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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