Top 16 Rum Brands from Around the World

Rum is one of the most popular spirits in the world. This liquor has become so popular that it is now produced worldwide.

bottles of rum

The rums from different world regions have a unique flavor based on the local ingredients. Given the increase in rum’s popularity, the competition for the best rum brands has dramatically increased.  

In my opinion, rum is finally getting the credit it deserves. Its rich and complex flavors have been covered up in mixed drinks for far too long.

Many fine rums should be sipped like whiskey. If you are interested in improving your expertise in the field of rum, keep reading my list of the best rum brands.   

So the next time you are at the liquor store, get a couple of bottles from my list of the best rum brands and see why these brands are the best of the best. 

Goslings Rum

Goslings Rum has a rich history that dates back to 1806 when James Gosling left the U.K. for Bermuda.

Upon his arrival, he started distilling what would become known as Goslings Rum. Goslings Rum developed a reputation for dark color and smooth finish. This rum has earned its spot on my list of best rum brands.    

Goslings Rum has a rich aroma of thick molasses and delightful caramel. It sips well has an initial sweet taste of licorice followed by a bit of heat and spice. It lingers on the tongue with a slightly bitter finish. 

Where Goslings rum shines is when it is mixed. It makes a beautiful rum and coke.

However, it is best mixed with ginger beer and ice to make it dark and stormy. Gosling’s signature dark color makes it appealing in color and taste.

Ron Barceló Rum

Ron Barceló Rum can trace its history back to 1929. Julian Barcelo arrived in the Dominican Republic that year with the vision of producing the best rum in the world.

He founded a company a year later and has been bottling some of the best rum in the world ever since, which is why Ron Barcelo is on my list of the best rum brands. 

Ron Barcelo Rum has the delightful color of light brown sugar.

This is a sippable rum with an initial aroma of wood spices with the slightest burn of alcohol.

This is followed up by butterscotch, almond, vanilla, banana peel, and orange notes.  

Diplomático Rum

Diplomatico Rum is one of Venezuela’s finest rums and has quickly earned a spot on my list of the best rum brands with its outstanding and high-quality rum.

Diplomatico is a family-owned and runs brand that manages its rum production from the field to the bottle.

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Diplomatico credits its high-quality rum with the fresh mountain water used. I think you can taste it. 

I find Diplomatico an excellent sipping rum. It has a variety of flavors, including ginger, cinnamon, orange, dark chocolate, Christmas cake, and toffee.

Thanks to the molasses used in its production, this rum is definitely on the sweeter side.  


Bacardi is one of the most famous rum brands globally and deserves a spot on my list of the best rum brands.

Bacardi just celebrated 160 years of operation on February 4th, 2022.

During this time, Bacardi has honed its craft and created one of the most drinkable and popular rums on the market.  

Bacardi is best known for its light/white rum distilled in Puerto Rico.

The white rum is aged in a white oak cask for at least one year. The light rum is filtered, which removes some of the sweetness and spice associated with dark rums. 

Appleton Estate 21

Appleton Estate 21 is one of my favorite Jamaican rums and has earned its spot on the best rum brands list.

Appleton Estate has a history that runs more than 270 years, and the distillery owes its success to the unique geographic features of the Nassau Valley.

The distillery uses water filtered through limestone, which gives the rum a unique flavor. 

Appleton Estate 21 is a dark rum aged for 21 years in oak casks. It has a nutty and rich nose with vanilla, marmalade, chocolate, and pepper elements.

It has a thick and total effect on the palate with flavors of cocoa, stewed fruits, and oak.  

Don Q Cristal

Don Juan Serralles founded Don Q. He expanded his family’s business from sugar cane to rum production.

Done Juan Serralles is known as one of the founders of the Puerto Rican rum industry and helped pave the way for Puerto Rico to become the world leader in rum production.

No list of the best rum brands would be complete without Don Q. 

Don Q Cristal is a light rum that is best used for making cocktails.

It is aged in American oak for anywhere from 2-5 years before carbon filtering. I enjoy the mild flavor that is a result of the carbon filtration.  

Flor de Caña

Flor de Cana has a rich history that dates back over 130 years.

The distillery has survived earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, civil wars, and plane crashes during this time.

Flor de Cana is still a family-owned and operated business that produces some of the finest rums in Nicaragua. In my opinion, it has earned its spot on the list of the best rum brands. 

I find Flor de Cana to be an excellent sipping rum. It has flavors of toffee, apple, and vanilla. It has a sweet aroma, and its name means sugar cane flower.

Trust me. It lives up to this name. This rum is aged 12 years to bring out the best of its beautiful notes and flavors.  

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Plantation Rum

Plantation Rum has a fascinating history. Its owner, Alexandre Gabriel, is a Cognac produced by trade.

However, when he started selling Cognac barrels to rum producers in Central America, he became intrigued with rum.

Plantation Rum prides itself in finding the best rums in the region and using the perfect aging process to create a high-quality product. 

I am a big fan of Plantation Rum. It has a beautiful golden brown and delicious color reminiscent of Whiskey or Cognac.

It is woody on the nose and has a rich flavor with notes of vanilla and toffee.  

Mount Gay Rum

Mount Gay Rum is one of the oldest and most famous rums in Barbados and has earned a well-deserved spot on my list of the best rum brands.

The distillery has been producing rum since 1703 and shows no signs of stopping. Mount Gay closely monitors the production of its rum from field to bottle. 

Although I find Mount Gay Rum a decent sipping rum, I think it is a far better mixer.

The rum is sweet and almost too sweet on the nose, and you can also taste the sugar.

Despite its sweet smell and taste, it doesn’t have the spicy finish of other Caribbean rums. 

The Real McCoy Rum

The Real McCoy Rum can trace its origins back to Bill McCoy, a rum-runner during the prohibition era.

In 1930, McCoy sailed down to the Caribbean and filled his boat with rum.

He would then sell his rum in international waters just three miles off the U.S. coast. After Prohibition ended, Bill McCoy turned his attention towards rum production.

The story of the Real McCoy and the quality of its rum has earned it a spot on our list of the best rum brands.

The Real McCoy Rum has several varieties of both light and dark rum. My personal favorite is the white rum. It is pure rum with no sweeteners or additives. It makes a great bloody mary.     

Ten to One Rum

Ten to One Rum is a cut above the rest and seeks to reinvent what rum is.

The founder Marc Farrell is steeped in the rich Caribbean history of rum but wants to take the next step.

Ten to One Rum is a high-quality rum that should be considered a spirit of choice, and that is why it earned a spot on my list of best rum brands. 

Ten to One produces both white and dark rum. I like both, but the white rum is my personal favorite.

The white rum is a blend of Dominican and Jamaican pot still rum. It is then finished in American oak casks. 

Rhum J.M.

Rhum J.M. can trace its history back to 1845 when J.M. Martin opened the distillery and started producing rum under his initials.

Over the last 120 years, the distillery has continued to refine its rum production and, in 2016, became a no-waste distillery. 

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I am a big fan of Rhum J.M. It is a beautiful amber color that draws your attention immediately.

It has a prosperous and developed flavor with maple, caramel, oak, vanilla, and almond notes. It also has hints of cinnamon and sap on the nose. 

Bundaberg Rum

Bundaberg Rum strives to make the world’s best rum. They use only the finest ingredients in the production of Bundaberg Rum Original.

They have been fine-tuning their recipe for over 130 years and, as a result, have won several awards.

This award-winning rum has earned its spot on my list of the best rum brands. 

Bundaberg is my favorite Australian rum. It is an appealing orange-gold color with a sweet aroma.

It is not an excellent sipping rum, but it is fantastic for mixing. My favorite mixers for Bundaberg are cola or ginger beer

Rhum Barbancourt 

Rhum Barbancourt is one of the finest rums from Haiti. Its recipe dates back over 150 years, and the same formula is still in use today.

Rhum Barbancourt is a 4th generation family-owned and operated Rum distillery.

The distillery uses only the most refined locally-grown sugar cane to make its rum. This high-quality rum gets a unique taste from being aged in limousin oak barrels. 

Rhum Barbancourt is one of my favorite rums. It is a great sipping rum.

It is smooth on the palate and drier than many other rums. It also doesn’t have the sweet aroma commonly associated with rum.   

Cruzan Rum

Cruzan Rum was established in 1934 on the island of St. Croix. However, it can trace its history to a sugar mill that opened in 1760.

Cruzan Rum prides itself on staying true to its rich family history and the island influence of St. Croix. 

I thoroughly enjoy Cruzan Rum. This rum is a rum blend aged from 1-4 years in American oak casks.

I love how smooth this rum is, and its dry taste with notes of vanilla makes it an excellent sipping rum. However, it also goes great with cola or ginger beer.  

Captain Morgan 

Captain Morgan rounds out my list of the best rum brands. This rum brand is one of the most iconic globally, and its pirate mascot is easily recognizable.

It is named after the 17th-century Welsh pirate, Sir Henry Morgan.

Captain Morgan is one of my favorite rums. It has a warm, fruity, tropical, and spiced nose.

It is a smooth drinking rum with notes of vanilla and spices. Although it is sippable, I prefer it in a cocktail like a Scorpion. 

Now that you have read through my list of the best rum brands, you are ready to become a rum connoisseur. These rums hail from all over the world, and all of them offer something unique.

I highly encourage you to try out all of them and see for yourself why these are the best rum brands in the world. 

Did I leave your favorite rum brand out? Please, let me know below, and be sure to check out my list of the best rums for making Daiquiris.


Leave a Reply
  1. Where is Dos Madera, the smoothest, most carmelly, most flavorful rum ever distilled. Every rum you listed is harsh.

  2. Have you tried Bumbu? Definitely worth a try, I’ve only had the original and I enjoyed it straight even though it was warm.

  3. Excellent article. I am partial to Ron as we call it in Spanish as it represents the spirit of the Caribbean in so many ways. I have tried several of the Rums on this list and will try to try the others, but there are a few that I would also recommend. I like sipping rum so these are with that in mind: Barbancourt 15, the 8 is very good but the 15 is a step above; Brugal leyenda, sweet and super mellow, you can drink it all night neat, but be careful :); Oliver punta cana black, gentle with great aromas of spices, molasses and smoke wood, perhaps my favorite; last but not least, and if you can find it Ron Santanero 11, light and airy for it’s age. Enjoy it!

  4. I realize there are more brands of rum than one can count…and I’m not sure if you tried any of Caribana sol…specially the spiced rum…they out of Barbados…Capt Morgan can’t hold a candle to this rum.
    .everybody…i mean everybody i introduced it to loves it…I’m in Costa Rica and i buy mine on the border with panama at a duty free shop $8 quart…if your a professional…I’d love for you to try it and give your opinion…maybe that’s not a good idea…then popularity come and price goes up?

  5. You left out Ron Zacapa NO. 23. From Guatemala, aged 6-23 years, it is one of the most smooth, tasteful rums out there. It’s cousin, Botran Solera 1893, is another wonderful rum to enjoy. Both are blends from the Sistema Solera aging process. They are aged 6-23 and 5-18 years, respectively, in a sequences of barrels that previously were used for American whiskey, Sherry and Port/Pedro Ximenez wines.

  6. None are Craft. Only the big boys, made in big production….we all get it but you are missing something special with small batch craft distilleries . You will taste the local, not the food coloring or chemicals. You will get it when you investigate it. At some point all these brands were local, then they got huge and were bought and they forgot where they came from. Enjoy the normal as we explore the small guys who make big flavors…am I bias? Yeah I am one of them, do I want my brand listed? No, just want people to really understand what goes into to a bottle. Go try your local!

  7. Zacapa
    Brugal Leyenda
    Brugal 1888
    Havana Club (the cuban one)
    Areucas Miel Rum (dessert Rum)
    Carupano añejo

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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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