I'm a bit of a novice rum drinker. I tend towards the sweet end - just got Diplomatico ER for Christmas and am loving it. Angostura 1919 is my go to mixer rum. But I'd appreciate some recommendations for a less sweet rum to give some variety to my drinks cabinet and extend my palet. I have a birthday in early Feb so need some items for the list 😊. Thank you.
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Welcome to the fantastic world of rum. Your taste will change during your rum journey, so enjoy the sweeties. The far its go the less sweet are the rum.
For less but still sweet rum, I would you recommend the Plantation series, they are nice sweetened except the single cask. They also had mid-range Prices.
Diplomatica RE is known as a sugar bomb, because it has at least 30 grams per liter of added sugar (in this case, it is a whopping 41 gpl). So I assembled two small lists from my top ranked rums that are Sweet (20-29 gpl of added sugar) and Semi-dry (10-19 gpl of added sugar). One teaspoon is 4.2 grams! You may want to start with the Sweet ones and work your way back to the Semi-dry ones. If you go straight to the totally dry rums, you may never go back to them being that you are new to this.
Plantation XO 20th Anniversary
Vizcaya VXOP 21
El Dorado 8 Year
Plantation Original Dark Double Aged
Don Pancho Origenes 8
Angostura 1919 has 14 gpl of added sugar, which is one third of Diplomatico RE. I consider this Angostura rum as their best overall value for sipping neat or on the rocks. Their 1824 is not worth the extra cost. For mixers, you can save a meager 15% by dropping down to Angostura 7 Years. This one is also 100% dry with 0 gpl of added sugar. It is a fantastic mixer, especially with ginger ale or ginger beer, but I still think that it is a bit overpriced. So, if you are curious as to the taste between Semi-dry and Dry, just try Angostura 7 side by side with your Angostura 1919. You may want to add a bit of water to each if you don't want to sip them neat.
Thanks for the comments so far - food for thought. I suspect the sweeter rums will remain a guilty pleasure in the winter but perhaps the semi-dry ones will be more of a summer drink. Very excited to learn more...
Interested to hear the comment about Angostura 1824 Paul B - I have tried it and have to say wasn't as impressed as I expected to be so your comment is quite reassuring!
I noticed that you rated Plantation XO 20th Anniversary as a 9. I recently tried Carta Vieja Golden Cask 18 Solera side by side against this highly rated rum. The Carta Vieja easily won, to my surprise. However, the weakness of the Carta Vieja is the bottle design that caused the neck to separate from the rest of the bottle. This means that everyone really needs to save the very best of their empty bottles such as Plantation XO for accidents like this and for use in making batches of pre-mixed drinks.
Just Google "Carta Vieja Golden Cask prices" and then use the website called wine-searcher to find where it can be found in the UK.
Iv just got a bottle of Kirk and Sweeney 23year old at Xmas and it's possibly the best rum I have tasted. It's about £48 A bottle but worth every penny.
I recommend Appleton 12 years. AFAIK it's not sweetened at all, it has sweet notes both in aroma and taste, though, it's pleasantly "rummy" in character and is generally the best value cheaper side rum you can get, IMO.
I would highly recommend To Gents Rum and their Redrum or Crossroads which is dry rum.
Been gravitating towards the drier rum spectrum latley myself. I’ve been really hitting the Flor de Cana 12, Smith and Cross, Appleton 12, Clement VSOP and Denizen Merchant’s Reserve recently. The Denizen is a blend of Martiniquie and Jamaican rums meant to mimic the old Wray and Nephew rum used in the OG Mai Tai. However, I may be in the minority here, but I really like sipping this one just as much as mixing it. Admittedly, it’s not very deep and complex but the aroma is intoxicating and flavor is round, friendly and unique.
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