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The sweetest rum among them...

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Posted 23 May '20 from Italy with 0 ratings

Hi everyone, I write from Italy and use a translator, so sorry if there will be any errors.

I entered the world of rum a few days ago, I left with great enthusiasm, but after tasting my first bottle (Appleton Estate 12 Rare Blend) I went into crisis ...
Too strong and too hard for my palate!

So I'm looking for something less strong, softer and sweeter to try.

After various tips and readings, I made this list, staying within my budget, of these rums:

- Diploma Reserva Exclusiva
- El Dorado 12
- Dos Maderas 5 + 5 PX
- Millonario 15
- Abuelo 12

In your opinion, given what I said before, which of these could be the best choice for my next purchase?

Thanks everyone for the help!

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From United States with 310 ratings Replied 23 May '20


I see! You started off with a dry rum that has no added sugar (by Jamaican laws) and are now listing some heavily sugared rums. DRE has the most reviews here and everyone even myself starts out loving this one. However, after one gradually gets away from sweet rums to dry and semi-dry rums, most will find that they just cannot go back to the heavily sweetened rums.

So after more than two years of reviewing on here, only two of the sweet rums survived in my list to be best buys. They are Plantation XO 20th Anniversary and Vizcaya VXOP 21. What you have in your list is a good start. However once you have a half bottle left on each of these after only one month, you will find that they just don't taste the same because of oxidation of the sugars.

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From Italy with 0 ratings Replied 23 May '20

Thanks Paul!

Thanks for your answer and your considerations, I will definitely consider them!
Having said that, the 2 rums that you recommend are slightly out of budget for me ...
Among those I have said, are there any you prefer and would you recommend? Or someone you would avoid me?


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From United States with 310 ratings Replied 24 May '20


Unfortunately the rums to avoid far outweigh the rums to recommend, which is quite sad really. At the very bottom of my list of recommendations is Goslings Family Reserve Old. Between my low rating for it combined with it's very high price, it takes my prize for worst overall value in rums. Sweet rums to avoid are Ron Zacapa 23, Captain Morgan Private Stock, Pyrat XO, and anything from Papa's Pilar. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Less than 10 percent of the 296 rums that I have rated qualify as being good enough for repeat purchases, which is what I am into now.

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From United States with 9 ratings Replied 25 May '20

A cheaper alternative to the Plantation XO 20th anniversary as recommended by Paul might be the Plantation Barbados 5-year (I can get it for just over $20 USD). It would surely fit the bill as softer and sweeter compared to the Appleton. Personally it’s too sweet for my tastes as a sipper but it does work well in that regard if you’re looking for those characteristics. For me it works great in a cocktail that calls for rum plus simple syrup, I’ll omit the syrup and just use this or a similar sweetened rum. I happen to enjoy the Jamaican funk and consider the Appleton 12 a toned down expression of that. The Diplomático and El Dorado you mention are popular choices if you’re looking for a sweetened, more rum liqueur type experience.

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From United States with 29 ratings Replied 11 Jun '20

I am not sure I understand the previous comment on the Papa’s Pilar rums, other than maybe a general distrust of sweetened rums. If you are looking for something sweet, the Papa’s Pilar blends would be a great choice. I actually prefer them to DRE and the pricing is reasonable at $40.

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From United States with 21 ratings Replied 11 Jun '20

El Dorado 12 if you're looking for something tolerably sweet.

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From United Kingdom with 0 ratings Replied 11 Jun '20

Lower price points of any A H Riise or Ron de Jeremy XO

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From United States with 10 ratings Replied 24 Jun '20

My advice would be to keep drinking the Appleton and grow into it.

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From Netherlands with 45 ratings Replied 27 Jun '20

The point is, sugar is cheap and will turn any half decent rum into something drinkable if you like them sweet. The sweetest rum is the rum with most added sugar so do as the blenders do and add the sugar yourself. You will probably be surprised how a $15 rum with a bit of sugar is suddenly just as good or better than your Diplomatico, Plantation or (most certainly) A.H.Riise.

It is not cheating, or at least no more as the sweetened rum blenders do and you can add exactly what you like.

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From United States with 310 ratings Replied 27 Jun '20


Totally agree! If some rums can get away with adding their favorite pancake syrup instead of granulated sugar, then so can we. I recently tried making a Cuban daiquiri with cane syrup instead of simple syrup. That was NOT a good idea. The trick is to find the best tasting dry rums from reading lots of these reviews. And then one has no need to add sugar.

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From Netherlands with 45 ratings Replied 28 Jun '20


"The trick is to find the best tasting dry rums from reading lots of these reviews. And then one has no need to add sugar"

Aye, aye captain, we all should keep our compass in that direction ;-) !

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From Germany with 155 ratings Replied 30 Jun '20

Most rum drinkers are started with openers like Diplomatico or Zacapa.
The palet is not developed in the beginning, I think no one can start with dry Jamaica or Guyana rums.
I can't understand why anyone should start with dry rums when their palet is limited to the essentials.
There is maybe just one reason, to stop drinking alcohol at all.
Just start with the Diplomatico RE, it is mild and quite good to start with. After that you will find you way to dry rums.

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From Canada with 0 ratings Replied 1 Jul '20

I would consider myself a beginner with a limited palet, but maybe I'm a bit different. The Appleton Estate Rare Blend was my first attempt at buying a sipping rum and I couldn't believe how good it was. I also bought the El Dorado 15 YO and love it equally even though it is sweet.

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From Netherlands with 63 ratings Replied 5 Jul '20

The sweet rums are also my favourites but I've been trying quite some different now and it certainly helps appreciating the Jamaican, Barbados and st.Lucia Rums which I hated when I started. I prefer the Venezuelan, Dominican and Costa Rica rums. A good one and one of my favourites which is not overly priced is the Centenario 20 years. If you have more to spent, the Dos Maderas Luxus and the Zacapa XO are excellent in my opinion.

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