Posting your rating...
« Back to Posts

How do you rate your rum?


Sign up or Log In to change notification settings.
Ffffff

Yohobro

Posted 30 Mar '21 from Canada with 15 ratings

Sometimes I read reviews and wonder how people arrive at their numbers. I thought it’d be fun to see how people rate their rums as there are can be so many deciding factors. 
Personally, a big part of my rating is the price. Being up here in Canada, the price is already higher so it makes it that much more important (I’m also pretty cheap haha). More expensive rums should be held to a higher standard in my opinion. 
But yes, what are some of your deciding factors, aside from taste/smell/appearance? 
Ffffff

Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 400 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Yohobro:

Did you ever ask the right question for me!!!!

When I started reviewing for Rum Ratings 40 months ago, I had to build a spreadsheet after only having the first dozen reviews. Each rum is ranked to my order of taste and smell. Never trust appearance! I came up with a very elaborate formula to calculate the QPR (Quality Price Ratio). Guess what? This was overkill because it was inspired by wine drinkers with their Points system. The Points system DOES NOT WORK for rum! I have seen some really terrible rums rated at 89 Points or higher. Who on earth is paying the raters to boost up these points?

For me, it all eventually boiled down to being just plain and simple. Taste counts twice as much as price!!!!! So how does that equate to actual numbers? Right now, I have rated 400 rums and this figure is referenced in one absolute cell in my spreadsheet. My overall ranking will give a percentage out of all that I ranked. As for price, the most that I ever paid for one bottle was $120, so this figure is used to find the percentages for cost. I then multiply the taste percentage by two, add the cost percentage, and then divide by three. I then highlight the ones with an overall percentage of less than 20% in green as best buys, from 20% to less than 30% in turquoise, from 30% to less than 50% in white, and from 50% or more in grey to never be purchased again. I also rarely buy any of those highlighted in white. There are some damn good rums that miss the green section because their cost is too high. If they are really good, they wind up in the turquoise section.

I have been doing this for so long that I can taste the first sip and call it a 6 or 7, or more or less. However, I always adjust my reviews as the weeks pass by for each bottle. Once I assign my initial rating, I then decide which rums that it tastes better than to get it's proper ranking. Quite often, I have to do this within each classification such as Spiced, Agricoles, or Cachacas. This will get me into the ball park better. Then I sort the entire spreadsheet to see if the overall ranking needs to be adjusted. Don't laugh! This freaking works!!!!

I also have all of my rums rated to a nearly perfect normal distribution with 6 being in the middle with the most reviews, while the 7 and 5 ratings are almost equal. On the far ends are the rums with less than 10 percent each in the 10-8 ratings and 4-1 ratings. And you guessed it! If I pay more than $50 US for a rum, it had better damn well rate in my top 10%. Unfortunately this is rare, which is why I stay away from expensive rums that usually disappoint me.

I did not mean for this to become a thesis, but that is the retired civil engineer in me. Once an engineer, always an engineer. A sample of my spreadsheet from my recent rum running trip is shown, back when I only had 392 reviews.

I might also add that this method requires a pretty damn good memory on how each rum tastes even if those bottles are long gone. To give you an idea, in my single malt scotch drinking days, if I were driving along the interstate and just the thought of Caol Isla 12 came up, I could immediately smell and taste it.
Ffffff

Captain Lee (PREMIUM)

From United States with 8 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

I'm very new to rating rums, and I've been looking to see how others do it. Regardless of the scale used, I really like reading reviews that break down the components of the score if they are using a points system. I don't have anywhere near the tasting experience of Paul B and some of the others on this forum, and frankly will probably never get there. Ideally, I would want to taste everything blind initially, because so many factors are in play - knowing country of origin, distiller, bottler, price etc brings bias into the equation. And being new to this, all I really know is whether I like something or not, and can compare it only to my limited experience. So I really like the 10 point scale that a lot of the reviewers on the r/rum Reddit use, apparently originated by t8ke: 1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out. 2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice. 3 | Bad | Multiple flaws. 4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have. 5 | Good | Good, just fine. 6 | Very Good | A cut above. 7 | Great | Well above average 8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional. 9 | Incredible | An all time favorite 10 | Perfect | Perfect While I would love to have a situation where I could go to an expo or rum bar and set myself up with extensive tastings of different expressions, as a consumer with access to lots of reviews, my goal would be to never buy anything that I end up rating below a 6. I don't take price into consideration (though I understand why others do) because if I am only buying an occasional bottle, I will happily pay more to get myself into a likely 8 range versus a likely 6 range. No doubt something that I think is really special now will seem ordinary in 5 years, and perhaps I will grow to love something that my palate currently can't quite handle. I'm not sure I would know a 10 rum if it bit me right now. But the fun is in the journey, right? For me, keeping the rating as "how much do I like this right now" seems like the most reasonable course of action.
Ffffff

vomi1011

From Germany with 325 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

My criterias are in my profile:
1. complexity, how many flavors are in the taste and how often do they change.
2. Intensity, how intensive and saturated are the flavors. High abv intensifies the flavors. I deduct points when I taste alcohol.
3. Balance, are there dominating flavors, how do they change in the initial, middle, finish, aftertaste.
4. Aging, how much wood influence, tannins, heavy flavors like rubber, leather, tobacco are in the rum.
5. Clarity, is there a distillery character. Are the individual aromas clearly perceptible? Meets this rum my expectation and is it better than my reference rum.
6. Excitement, do I experience something new according to a reference r(h)um. Is there something exceptional.
7. A good scent should be reflected in the taste. Taste counts the same as the smell.

 I prefer a scala up to 100 points, I just round up:
99 - 95 Perfect rum, offer an extraordinary experience.
94 - 90 Very good rum that inspires.
89 - 85 Very good rum that meets expectations.
84 - 80 Good rum that falls slightly short of expectations.
79 - 75 Satisfying rum that is sipable.
74 - 70 A rum that is suitable for mixing as well as drinking pure.
69 - 50 Good for mixing, can also be enjoyed pure if necessary.
49 - 30 Pure mixer, not suitable for sipping.
29 - 1 Bad, even for mixing

I rebuy rum with >85 points.
Large 403c5f11 2f48 4dea 8823 9856dfa4a809

Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 217 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

I rate rum just after their smell and taste. 
 After pouring I warm it in one hand placing the other hand over the opening to keep all the flavors inside the glass. When it reaches approximately 27 degrees Celsius I take it to my nose and registrate the smell. After that I go on checking the taste in the front of the mouth, at the palate and during the finish. 
The rating getting higher the more flavorful, the more complex and the more intense it is. 
It’s also getting higher if it’s good balanced (the balance between sweetness and ABV is very important for me when it comes to sweet rum) and also higher the longer the finish lasts. 
I also have different scales for different types of rum cause it’s for example impossible to compare a Latin styled “Ron” with an AOC Rhum. 
So if one check my ratings he/she will find high ratings of rum from different categories. 
During the tasting I normally compare the tasted rum with another rum. If the tasted rum is Latin styled and I assume it’s a 7 I compare it with some other Latin styled rum that I tasted before just to check that I’m not over or under rate it. 
Price is not a criteria that affect my rating, it’s only interesting when it comes to repurchases. 
My scale goes from 1 to 10 with half steps, which gives 19 steps. I normally write out the half steps with a + in the headline.
Ffffff

Harrie

From Netherlands with 76 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Good question! I rate mostly on scent, taste and complexity and of course on how nice it is with all these factors combined. Price is a factor though most of the times a small one; usually price can bring my rating up or down just one mark depending on whether I consider it a (very) good deal or a (very) bad one.

Another factor is additives; unless it is a spiced rum sugar or sweeteners will bring my rating down. Sofar the highest rating for a sweetened rum has been a 6 but most of the times it will be at 4 or below; apart from (unsweetened) fruit juices and a porto once and a while I simply don't like sweet drinks very much. For me adding sugar to a spirit is just a very cheap way to hide its flaws and try to make it more full-bodied.

But in the end my rating is simply my overall feel for a rum and if I don't like it I will still not give an extra mark for complexity or anything else.
Ffffff

Kamamura

From Czech Republic with 31 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

I rate several categories:

1) Impression at first glance - how attractive is the bottle, packaging color of the rum in bottle and in glass. Sometimes, simple stuff is actually more inviting than the "overpremiumized", jewel-box like marketing fluff.

2) Aroma from the glass, after several minutes of focused sniffing

3) Taste, its development in time (if there is any), complexity or lack thereof

4) Finish - aftertaste, feeling after having the sip, how easy is it to drink

5) Overall impressions - how do I like the rum as a whole, whether it's demanding or on the other hand easy to drink, or perhaps a good mixing component.

Unlike my US friends, when I use 100 or 10 points wide scale, I try to use all ratings - so 50 (or 5) is nothing special, average drink for me (while it's 82 in US ratings) I see no point of using just the scale 70 - 100.
Ffffff

kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 18 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Vomi, have you ever had a 100? Answering the question, I stick to my personal taste and don't care about the price. I rate only my sipping experience, I don't rate cocktails performance. And I don't like points, I decide on buying or trying rums based on the reviews of some people here that I know like similar things to me.
Ffffff

vomi1011

From Germany with 325 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Nope, never had 100. This would be "the one to rule them all". Maybe a Skeldon 1978. This one got 100 from some reviewers. I had a SVW 1996 with 97 points and Hampden 30 TRC got also 97 point.






Ffffff

Yohobro

From Canada with 15 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Ahh this is great. So many different ways to do it. I love the spreadsheet, and how some people have a very structured approach while others go by the ‘feel’ of a rum. I can see the merits of both ways. It’s also good to know that most people seem to disregard price/value. So my follow up question for everyone: which rum holds your top rating thus far? This is an easier question than “what’s your favourite rum?”, as I assume most people would be unable to answer. Also if you could, please add the rough price so I have a point of reference. Cheers!
Ffffff

Harrie

From Netherlands with 76 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

I have several rums rated a 9 but one is clearly ahead; Chairman's Reserve 1931. Prices vary in the Netherlands from €65-90 online.
Ffffff

Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 400 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Yohobro:

My answer to your latest question is very easy. Blackwell's Reserve is $20 US and I have it ranked 13th out of 400. About two years ago, I first tasted it at a bar against a $120 bottle of Appleton 21 Year side by side. To my surprise, the Blackwell's Reserve easily won that taste test! However, these lucky bargain finds are rare indeed.

I also like viewing all of the different methods that we use to rate our rums. However, after seeing crap like Plantation Isle Of Fiji 2020 rated by the "experts" with 98 Points and quite a few other questionable results, I have lost all respect for these so called Expert Reviewers. One of them rated Captain Morgan with 89 Points for crying out loud. I also noticed that only ratings of 82 Points to 98 Points are posted by those "expert" reviewers.

I trust reviews on this site posted by my most respected fellow reviewers.
Large 403c5f11 2f48 4dea 8823 9856dfa4a809

Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 217 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

My favorites in different categories is by moment.
Jamaica rum: Appleton Joy, €300
Bajan rum: St Nicholas Abbey 12yo, €140
Demerara rum: El Dorado 25yo, €550
Other British styled rum: English Harbour 1981, €350
Cuban rum: Havana Club Union, €270
Other Latin styled Ron: Zafra 30yo, €170
Agricole AOC: Clement Cuvée Speciale XO, €200
Agricole Guadeloupe: Longueteau XO, €120
Other Sugar Cane Juice based rum: Barbancourt 15yo, €50
Agricole Blanc: Montebello 50, €24
Other White Sugar Cane Juice based rum: River Antoine Royal Grenadian Rum 69, €47
Molasses based white rum: Hampden Rum Fire, €30

Unfortunately are many of them in a price range that makes them impossible for me to have them as an everyday rum or even repurchase them if I don’t find them Taxfree. Picture: Some of the above.
Ffffff

Yohobro

From Canada with 15 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Harrie - is there a specific edition of the CR1931 that you’re referring to? Paul B - these are the finds I love! Great rum for great prices. I will definitely add that to my list, thank you! Stefan - those are some pricey bottles! Special occasions for sure haha. A couple of those have been in my sights though, specifically Barbancourt 15 and Longueteau.
Ffffff

Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 400 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Yohobro: When it comes to my all time favorite rum, irregardless of price, that one is Dictador XO Insolent. It usually runs $100 US, but I often get it on clearance for only $80 US. I always tell the clerk, "Fantastic rum in a terrible bottle that sticks to your hands". That nasty sticky paint job on the bottle is what saves me $20 each time, since not many people want to deal with it. When I can't find that one, a close second is the readily available Dictador 20 Year Solera. with no sticky bottle at about $58 US and never on clearance.. Having found these top two that have yet to be dethroned has been my inspiration to keep my limit per bottle to $120 US.
Large earl profile picture  3

Earl Elliott

From Canada with 202 ratings Replied 30 Mar '21

Great topic! First off is the selection of a rum. I have used several methods for purchasing rums but I have come down to looking at what the Rum Rating community has posted, what country the rum is from and what other rums I have from that country. Price is a factor in what I purchase which is why I always refer to Rum Ratings before I shell out the dollars. As for ratings I use smell, initial taste, smoothness, and how long and intense the flavour and burn is. Then I compare them to my top shelf rums and rate accordingly. I used to have a spread sheet but gave up on that and just followed my nose and palate. A rating of 7 is the tipping point. It's a great mixer or a sipper if nothing else is on hand. 6 and below are always mixers. 8 is an alright sipper but could be better. 9 is a very good sipper but didn't get a 10 because I have better tasting rums that are a 10 as they are best in class. But everyone has a different palate and I respect whatever your choice of a great rum is.
Ffffff

Yohobro

From Canada with 15 ratings Replied 31 Mar '21

Paul B - I wondered if the Dictador 20 is worth it. I really enjoyed the 12 and see the 20 in my future. Good to know as I often see it on sale. The XO insolent/perpetual I’ve never seen for less than $120 CAD. Earl Elliott - I often use rum ratings as well, it’s a great source to see how others view the rums. This is precisely why I wanted to know exactly how others rate rums haha.
Large 403c5f11 2f48 4dea 8823 9856dfa4a809

Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 217 ratings Replied 31 Mar '21

Yohobro,
You got the answer you asked for, but I will here also give you some great aged rum that’s very pricewhorty. All of them at a maximum price of €45 and rated by me from 7 to 8+.
Jamaica: Smith & Cross, €25; Appleton 12yo, €25;
Barbados: Doorly’s 12yo, €36; Cockspur 12yo, €25;
Antigua: English Harbour 5yo, €20;
St. Vincent: Captain Bligh XO, €30;
St. Lucia: Chairman’s Reserve Original, €20;
Grenada: Clark’s Court Old Grog, €45;
Navy Rum: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof, €25;
Martinique: J.M XO, €45;
Guadeloupe: Montebello 6yo, €45;
Cuba: Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros, €42;
Panama: Malecon Rare Proof 13yo, €36

Large img 4861

Bonandy

From Poland with 36 ratings Replied 31 Mar '21

I am absolutely beginner. I learn by reading the reviews of vomi 1011, Stefan Persson and others. Today, the basis for me: tasty or not.
Ffffff

Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 400 ratings Replied 31 Mar '21

Yohobro:

I have both of my Dictador XO's rated in the upper 22.55% in the taste-price ratio. The much cheaper Dictador 20 rates in my upper 15.33% for my same ratio. The differences in taste between them is quite subtle, but the price difference is rather large. Go with the Dictador 20 first. I always keep two bottles on hand. I have one unopened bottle of Dictador XO Perpetual with the usual paper towel wrapped around the neck. Rubbing alcohol or dish washing liquid does not remove the sticky film from the paint job on the bottle. No doctoring of the bottle will be needed for the Dictador 20.

I have also included my top 10 recommended rums with price tags that are less than $25 US AND are readily available where I live. They are ranked in order of my preferences. For about $25 US, I also highly recommend the Plantation OFTD at 138 Proof.

Blackwell's Reserve
Rum Fire Overproof
El Dorado 8
Plantation Original Dark Double Aged
Doorly's XO
Foursquare Spiced
Ron Centenario 9 Commemorativo
896 8 Year
Plantation Artisinal 3-Stars
Alleyne Arthurs Special Barbados Rum

Enjoy!

Ffffff

Harrie

From Netherlands with 76 ratings Replied 31 Mar '21

@Yohobro; The CR1931 is only one edition that should be permanent, though that is not entirely certain anymore. The annual editions are just named 1931, without Chairman's Reserve on the label.

 They are all listed here; https://rumratings.com/brands?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=1931 and the one I am talking about is at the bottom of the list.
Ffffff

kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 18 ratings Replied 2 Apr '21

Vomi: do you mean the 1973 or 1978? I hope to be able to try these one day but I don't feel ready yet. Good luck in searching for your 100. Yohobro: so far I liked Pusser's blue label and Appleton 12 yo the most. Not expensive at all but so many await to be tasted.
Ffffff

Yohobro

From Canada with 15 ratings Replied 3 Apr '21

Thanks for these recommendations, this is great! Nice to have some insight from people with so much experience!
Ffffff

vomi1011

From Germany with 325 ratings Replied 3 Apr '21

@Kudzey
I mean the 1978, it's the best one and the 1973 got too old. You are right there is no 1976 😆
Maybee there is no 100, I found three 97 rums and they were amazing. TheRumCask Hampden 30, Caroni 1996 Kirsch Whisky and Velier SVW 1996.
I'm going to rate Black Tot Last Consignment soon. Maybe it's another 97.
Ffffff

kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 18 ratings Replied 3 Apr '21

When you have your 97s, which factor is usually not maxed out?
Ffffff

vomi1011

From Germany with 325 ratings Replied 3 Apr '21

Most of time the smell is a little bit better than the taste. I often wonder if the rum couldn't be any better. Possibly by less tannins, or a further aroma. If that question doesn't come up, that would be a 99 (a perfect rum from a certain distillery, that I can't imagine to be better). And a 100-grade rum should be better than any other rum. It means I wouldn't prefer a Caroni or Hampden or Demerara, this one would be better than any rum from another distillery. That's why I don't believe in ever finding a 100-grade rum.
Advert Image

Advertisement | Go Premium to remove

Advert Image

Advertisement | Go Premium to remove

Advert Image

Advertisement | Go Premium to remove

Advert Image

Advertisement | Go Premium to remove