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Rums with absolutely no added sugar


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Paul B (PREMIUM)

Posted 15 Feb '19 from United States with 364 ratings

It's time to give my list of bone dry rums ranked in order with my rating shown to the left. Technically, I consider dry rums to have less than 10 grams per liter of added sugar, but I have only included those rums known to have zero gpl of added sugar. I certainly do not want the sugar police coming after me.

Barbados lays most of the claims to having no added sugar, but only wound up with less than 30% in this list. I will let you count the other countries. Notice that my top ranked dry rum happens to be from Plantation as well as being an overproof. This is because it was created by a panel of experts. Check my list below to see where your favorites fit in. Also note that most of my initial ratings often evolve as the bottle slowly disappears over time.

8 Plantation OFTD
8 Appleton 21
8 Kirk & Sweeney 23
8 Don Q Single Barrel 2005
8 Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican
7 Don Q Single Barrel 2007
7 Foursquare Zinfandel Cask
7 Flor de Cana 12
7 Appleton Reserve Blend
7 Carta Vieja 8 Anos
7 Hamilton Demerara 86
7 Ron Medellin 8
7 The Real McCoy 12 Year Old
7 St. Nicholas Abbey 10 Year
7 Flor de Cana 7
7 Angostura 7 Year
7 Cruzan Single Barrel
7 10 Cane
7 Marlin & Barrel Bearing Amber
6 Foursquare 2004 Single Blend 11 Year
6 Grander 8
6 Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12
5 Plantation Xaymaca
5 Mount Gay Black Barrel
5 The Real McCoy 5 Year Old
4 Chairman's Reserve
4 Cockspur 12
3 Mount Gay XO

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Pedro

From Netherlands with 10 ratings Replied 25 Mar '19

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 364 ratings Replied 25 Mar '19

I am unable to get rums from Mauritius over here, but thanks for the tip.

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Taster

From Switzerland with 114 ratings Replied 13 Aug '19

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 364 ratings Replied 14 Aug '19

Taster:

When I first compiled my list, Dictador 12 had an added sugar of 5 gpl and not zero. This is still dry, but it probably has zero. Since I don't have a hydrometer to test my bottle, i will leave it as is with it being uncertain, 0 or 5?

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Taster

From Switzerland with 114 ratings Replied 15 Aug '19

Ok Paul,
I hoped, you might probably have a more precise Information than the one from the known lists. Yes, leave it as is, since the list says 0-5 gpl.
Have a good day!

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Jaybird

From United States with 48 ratings Replied 1 Oct '19

That's an impressive list. I also think highly of Flor de Cana 18 and Foursquare 2005. I personally think that Flor de Cana is a grossly underrated brand. Their expressions are excellent. Foursquare goes without saying. I'm also impressed by the fact that even with 0 sugar added, many of these rums come across balanced with a perception of sweetness that makes them very smooth and enjoyable to sip.
On another note have you been able to experience either the rums of Privateer in MA or the rums of Prichard's in Tennessee? I've had the Prichard's Fine and like it but have not been able to acquire anything from Privateer as yet. Both distillers are pot still and no sugar added. Cheers.

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 364 ratings Replied 1 Oct '19

Jaybird:

I have seen too many bad reviews for Prichard, so I have avoided them like the plague. They are also quite expensive.

I found most of Foursquare rums boring with the exception of their Zinfandel Cask aging. That varietal also happens to be my favorite from my wine drinking days, uniquely Californian.

Choosing the right pre-sweetened cask is the key to having slightly sweetened rums without having any added sugar. However, those casks of sherry, port, and madeira can be quite expensive. Recycled bourbon barrels come quite cheap, but there lies a risk of the rum tasting too much like bourbon. Clement 10 year from Martinique is a prime example of this, and rhum agricoles seem to be highly susceptible to this phenomenon.

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PierreM

From France with 14 ratings Replied 28 Nov '19

You can add the :
RL Seale 10 years
Nothing added. Just rhum !!! It is rare enough to be mentionned.

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 364 ratings Replied 29 Nov '19

PierreM:

RL Seale 10 Years has been on my wish list for months, but I don't feel like driving 400 miles just to be able to try it.

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PierreM

From France with 14 ratings Replied 30 Nov '19

This is something I can understand. Even in Paris, it is difficult to found. I had to order it in a small independent rhum shop. RL Seale is out from the main distribution channels.

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 364 ratings Replied 2 Dec '19

Pierre M:

Where I live it is illegal to even ship alcohol to my door. And if I drove 400 miles to get those highly rated rums from RL Seale and I wound up loving any of them with any of them getting into my top 10%, I would have to drive back to get more and most are in limited quantities in stores. I therefore see my pursuit of RL Seale rums monopolized by Total Wine as being totally pointless.

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Jaybird

From United States with 48 ratings Replied 2 Dec '19

Paul B: I agree with the chosen cask statement. That definitely gives that perception of sweetness to the final rum. I also agree that the Zinfandel cask Foursquare was my absolute favorite to this point. I don't argue your point about you finding them boring on the whole as that is definitely a personal perception and preference. I do like all of the Foursquare, Real McCoy products that I've had so far. I'm just happy we have so many great rums to choose from these days.
About the Prichard's, I did obtain a bottle recently and I think it is less interesting than I use to believe. A bit more course and medicinal that my previous bottle for sure. It was disappointing.
I just acquired a bottle of Maggie's Farm single cask that I'm anxious to try and I'm also getting a bottle of Montanya Exclusiva brought to me from Colorado next week that I've been anxious about. I'm hoping that these live up to what I've been reading.
Keep up the great posts and have a safe and happy holiday season!

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 364 ratings Replied 3 Dec '19

Jaybird:

Thanks for the feedback, but I have probably already approached the maximum number of rums to try. A very good concert in the Houston area would be a good excuse to visit Total Wine and pick up another dozen rums that I cannot get where I live. For any new rums, I always buy only one bottle. From my list of these dozen, I seriously doubt that any could move into my top ten percent. I have already tried way too many rums that I rated as a 7, good but not quite great in a crowded field.

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Mujuru

From United States with 65 ratings Replied 1 Jan '21

Just FYI a rum can contain 5gpL (and maybe even slightly higher depending on age) and still have absolutely 0 added sugar. If rum is stored in charred wooden casks for very long periods of time some of the naturally occurring plant sugars in the wood will dissolve into the rum. No AOC Agricole, Jamaican or Bajan rums are allowed to have added sugar yet a great many of the longer aged varieties measure out at having 3-5gpL. Pretty much the rule is that if the rum is produced, aged, and bottled in Jamaica, Barbados, Martinique, or Guadeloupe in the last 12 years or so then it has 0 added sugar. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will measure as 0gpL using a hydrometer and calculation, it just means it will have 0g of sugar added by the producer to the rum prior to bottling. Yes there will be a very few exceptions like a few of very, very old La Favorites and some of the Plantation varieties that say Barbados but which are actually aged in France (and then dosed there). But no Foursquare Rum, Mount Gay, nor any from Hampden, Worthy Park, or Appleton, nor Rhum JM, Neisson, Trois Rivieres or other AOC Agricole producers will by law have any added sugars.

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Taster

From Switzerland with 114 ratings Replied 10 Jan '21

Friends of unaltered rums might be interested in my latest discovery:

Mezan Rums.

The boxing says: „The untouched rum: unsweetened, uncolored and unchill filtered.“ I got me a bottle of Belize 2008. It‘s pretty wild (see my tasting note).

Even better is

La Hechicera Extra Anejo,

also one of those „sugarless“ rums (acc. to rumproject.com)

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