I started out this journey by carefully selecting 5 rums that all wound up being sugar bombs. I just could not believe the amount of reviewers who are obsessed with no sugar being added. Then I found out the hard way that rums with 20 gpl or more of added sugar lose their flavor after only 4 months, along with causing ill effects the next day. I gradually turned towards dry rums, but found it much harder to find a dry rum that was good enough to sip neat. I kept trying many rums and tallying my results.
The other day, my new bottle of Cruzan Estate 5 Year White tasted quite bad, but still was not the worst white rum that I ever had. I tried adding Pepsi or ginger ale, which made it still almost undrinkable. Then I tried my old standby of Simply Limeade, which I also kept on hand for margaritas. This made it drinkable as a 50/50 mix. Then I had ill effects the next day, but Cruzan hardly ever adds sugar to their rums. So finally, I read the fine print on the back of the limeade bottle. Holy smoke! It has more than 84 gpl of added sugar, which is even worse than a sugar bomb! Then I checked the cola and the ginger ale and they were even worse. I won't touch any diet sodas because those are very bad for you!
My whole point is why go out of the way to find a dry rum and then make the big mistake of adding the wrong mixer? So this inspired me to tally up my average results for four classifications of sugar content.
Here are my results with the carefully chosen 35% ranking being the best and 59% ranking being the worst because many of those were cheap enough to risk purchasing.
Added sugar (gpl) Rums Average Rating Average Rank
0-9 56 6.5 38%
10-19 15 6.5 37%
20-29 15 5.5 59%
30-49 5 7.0 35%
Based upon these results, I am better off with the 5 sugar bombs and sipping neat. By the time I add a mixer to the dry rums, there could be more sugar than a sugar bomb. Finding a good mixer for the dry rums is another arduous task unless I simply drink them on the rocks. One way to sweeten dry rums is to use barrels that had been used to age sweeter spirits, but in my case, I hate rums aged in barrels that once held fortified wines such as sherry, port, or Madeira.
I hope that this all helps!
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Hey Paul, how are you overlaying sugar with the rum you're rating? If there's a widely available list I can try to figure out how to add it to the RR database.
Also, I haven't tried it personally but maybe soda water as a mixer because it doesn't have sugar? When I want to ensure an OK next day I'll drink vodka soda and generally it seems to work well :)
Here is the link for added sugars. Earl Elliot and Nomad also frequently post added sugar amounts that agree with this list.
For mixers, I calculate the gpl of added sugars from the mandatory labeling.
I refer to rumproject before buying new rums. I don't mind the odd sugar bomb, but if I am buying lots of new rums, then I try and limit it to one!! I far prefer those with nothing added.