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My final top 15 rums in 3 different price categories


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Paul B (PREMIUM)

Posted 4 Apr '21 from United States with 400 ratings

After 400 reviews in the past 40 months and finally getting my badge of Captain Of The Seven Seas, I see absolutely no reason to go any further in trying new rums. Since most of us do not have money coming out of our ears, I have broken down my top 15 rums ranked by my own tastes in each of three different price categories.  Anything over $120 US are ones that I have refused to try because I know damn good and well that I would regret the purchase the next day when I would literally piss some of it away. Yes, I can afford a $500 bottle of rum, but what is the point?

Without further delay, here they are!

Top 15 rums priced $51-$120 US each
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Dictador XO Insolent
Dictador 20
Dictador XO Perpetual
Chairman's Reserve 1931
Frigate Reserve 21 Year
Frigate Reserve 15 Year
Rhum J M XO
Plantation XO 20th Anniversary
Bacardi Facundo Eximo 10 year
Ron Zacapa XO
Bacardi Facundo Exquisito
Appleton 21
Bayou Mardi Gras XO
Don Pancho Origenes 18
Clement XO (new bottle)

Top 15 rums priced $25-$50 US each
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Dictador 12
Clairin Le Rocher 2018
South Bay Small Batch
Vizcaya VXOP 21
Ron Centenario 18 Reserva de la Familia
Chairman's Reserve Legacy
Plantation OFTD 138 Proof
Hamilton Florida Rum Society
Chairman's Reserve Forgotten Casks
Pusser's Gunpowder Proof
Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican
Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum
Ron Cartavio Solera 12
Plantation XO Guatemala
Santa Teresa 1796

Top 15 rums priced $5-$24 US each
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Blackwell's Reserve
Rum Fire Overproof
El Dorado 8
Plantation Original Dark Double Aged
San Zanj
Carta Vieja 8 Anos
Ron Centenario 9 Commemorativo
896 8 Year
Doorly's XO
Selvarey White
Cana Brava 3 Year Old
Plantation Artisinal 3-Stars
Foursquare Spiced
Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced
Oak & Palm Spiced

I truly hope that this helps to guide newcomers. No two tastes are alike, but I have gone through tremendous effort in organizing all of my rum rankings, which this list was derived from. As for my list of my 15 worst rums in each of those price categories, I am very reluctant to publish that one because a few will get quite upset about it.

It has been lots of fun, and I will continue to respond to discussions, but only those that are specifically addressed to me.


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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 217 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

Paul, Congratulations!! I have tasted far from all on your lists and many of them aren’t available for me, but those I’ve tasted is great and good value for money.
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Rene Rum

From Switzerland with 410 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

Dear Paul, think about your rum road trips and the great stories you gave us, the exiting moment when you open a new bottle, discover new flavours, update your spreadsheets..... all this will come to an end? I'm sure there will be new nice rums released without horrible costs, every year. So, I hope we will hear great stories further on. Congratulation for your "Captain Of The Seven Seas" badge. Great list !!!!!!!!!!
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 400 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

Rene: I may still be a part of the discussions, but now at a bare minimum. The road calls out to me again, but this time with absolutely no more rums to look for. In two weeks, I will be returning to a place that I promised myself to return to for more than one day. That promise was made more than 17 years ago. Unfortunately, my dog will have to stay back home in the kennel this time. No matter how much time and money one has, this world is simply too big to explore in just one lifetime.

Here is another good short story.  Around the late eighties when my frequent trips to the Caribbean all began, I came up with the phrase, "Drink rum! Support the Third World countries."  My mom replied that this was the stupidest reason for drinking that she had ever heard. But she was a teetotaler and never understood my side of it.

And here is another good one! I am the only one that I know of that bruised both of his elbows on a boat just to save a beer. It was November of 1996 and my ex-wife and I were scuba diving all week on the Belize Agressor, at about 5 dives per day each. Hurricane Marco formed off of Cuba that week, so we all had to deal with 15 foot seas and could not dive for a day or so. I got myself an awesome bottle of Belikin Stout.  As I was walking on the top deck drinking it, our 110-foot yacht hit a big wave. I slipped and fell with the stout foaming from the top as I slurped it up. All I could think of as I fell was , "Save the beer! Save the beer!".  Just as I laid there on the deck, the second mate turned the corner and asked what in hell happened to me, so I told him about saving the beer. I did not tell him about the bruised elbows. Had it not been for that beer, I would have used my hands to break the fall. He just shook his head and walked off.
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Rene Rum

From Switzerland with 410 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

Yes Paul, life is too short to explore the whole world and promises are to be kept. Don't leave your dog alone for too long. I like your slogan "Drink rum! Support the Third World countries." Don't risk your neck for a beer, for a good bottle of rum, you can think about, man.
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