Posting your rating...
« Back to Posts

My ranking of best buy rums costing $80 US or more


Sign up or Log In to change notification settings.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

Posted 21 Jul '21 from United States with 420 ratings

When I started out on this journey, I put a $50 US per bottle limit on myself after not liking Don Q Gran Anejo at all. As you can see from this list, this has changed. I chose $80 US for my minimum cost because quite a few ran at this same price and the next one down was $72 US creating a gap. My maximum spent was on my only bottle of Caroni at $190 US. Next in line was the $138 that I spent the other day on my bottle of Foursquare Shibboleth. The way that I calculated these rankings is that taste counts twice as much as cost, plain and simple. My maximum cost has been $120 US for that part of the calculation, and the aforementioned two went over that amount. For taste, it is VERY important that I properly rank all of my rums, which lets me know if a rum falls in my upper percentage or lower than dirt. Don't laugh, this works for me! I first tried a complex QPR formula and that did not work. KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.And now for my ordered list:Highly recommended-----------------------------Dictador XO InsolentDictador XO PerpetualClement Cuvee HomereFrigate Reserve 21 YearBacardi Facundo ExquisitoChairman's Reserve 1931Ron Zacapa XODon Pancho Origenes 18Good if you have the money--------------------------------------Admiral Rodney HMS FormidableBacardi Gran Reserva Especial 16 YearRhum J M 2008 10 Year (just bought my second bottle)Appleton 21El Dorado EHP Single BarrelFoursquare Shibboleth 16 Year ($100 would be a better price)Hampden Estate Great House 2020El Dorado 15 Year Madeira Sweet Cask FinishEl Dorado 21Never to be purchased again!----------------------------------------Carupano 21 Year (I would not let anyone pay me to try this one again)Caroni 2000 110 Proof 17 Year (if it were only $100, then that would be a much better buy)Diplomatico Vintage 2004 (Very disappointing)I hope this helps.
Ffffff

kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 30 ratings Replied 22 Jul '21

Paul, Thanks for sharing your experience. I think you could avoid loosing money on expensive rums by getting a sample first. A 5cl sample of Caroni 17yo would probably cost some 10 USD. A small sample would be enough for you to instantly realize that this rum is not what you like. This is how I saved some 100 USD on Abuelo Centuria, two sips and I knew I didn't like it.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 22 Jul '21

kudzey: Thanks, but where I live, it is illegal to have any spirits shipped to me. Samples also cannot be sent to nearby liquor stores for me to pick up. This is actually not the location of the most archaic alcohol laws leftover from Prohibition in the USA. Since I already know that Abuelo Centuria is way too sweet, I would never drive 200 miles to pick up an entire bottle. However, had a I somehow gotten a sample of that Caroni, I would still have wanted an entire bottle. It is just that it appealed less to me after 40 days when I finished it. For $100 US, the Caroni would have been a good buy, but anyone who pays more than $200 US for it as an investment is an absolute fool unless another fool is willing to pay even more.
Ffffff

kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 30 ratings Replied 22 Jul '21

Paul, I'm sorry to hear that law in your neighbourhood is hostile towards your hobby. It's impressive that you rated so many rums despite this uncomfortable situation. High pricing is a factor that I tackle other way. I don't drink very frequently, maybe a glass or two or week, if there are no parties with my friends. I sometimes just decide to buy a rum twice as expensive but to limit its consumption to very rare occasions. It happened to be that my favorite rum so far is also the most expensive one I've ever drank (I hope this is not just a hedonistic self-deception). If I drink it only to celebrate special occasions, I don't get used to this luxury good and every tasting is inspiring for me. Of course, I can't afford some rums but in general I try to keep diverse price levels and keep the price-to-consumption-time constant. What's the longest you had a bottle open for?
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 22 Jul '21

Kudzey: It looks like Royal Navy Tiger Shark is your top luxury rum. I cannot even get that one over here. Lucky you! Each state has certain brands that they are allowed to carry. Before we got three new Total Wine stores in my state, I would have to drive about 400 miles to the west to get exclusive rums in Texas. Now I can get them here locally. Then there is Florida, which has their own unique choice of rums. I am one of those people that when I decide that I want something, I damn well find a way to get it with no excuses. For what I have spent on this nearly four year rum journey, I could have had a new luxury car instead. No regrets there! But the reason that I am saving so much in retirement is that I am not wasting money on buying a new car every year. I also fulfilled all of my retirement travel wishes before starting this rum journey. This left me with a good bit of disposable income to be spent on rum, especially since I no longer have a gold digger at my side. I now have reviewed enough and I have a list of about 40 repeat purchases. If I come across a prospective new rum that I have not tried, I will certainly get it as long as it is less than $200. But I will no longer go out of my way to find another new rum. So how long have I kept a bottle? Probably about a year because it was so bad that it just sat there. I cannot even remember what it was. As of today, I have 11 bottles that have been opened for four months. The good and affordable ones seem to go fast. I no longer buy rums with more than 20 gpl of added sugar because they do not last in the bottle.
Large 1ad53a03 9844 4e80 a54e 555a7b289a4c

Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 321 ratings Replied 23 Jul '21

I like your choices and agree on everything except Dictator. The two that I have tried tasted heavily flavored like maple syrup.I will have to try the specific ones you mention. If it’s available find a bottle of Foursquare Detente released earlier this year. I think it’s incredible, mid strength 51% and great value at $65-69 bottle. It’s going fast I buy every bottle I can find. I’m still waiting on my preorders of Shibboleth and 2009.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 23 Jul '21

Jimmy: My only bottle of Detente wound up only in my top 28% of my own rankings. It is an easy drinker, but there is just too much other competition out there for me to buy it again. My recent purchase of Shibboleth has already moved up from a high 8 to a low 9 rating. I just hate bourbon notes and this one has none. There is one other bottle available within 50 miles and I just may drive over and get it before it is gone. Maybe they took cues from J M Rhum from Martinique, who scrape the excess char from the barrels before aging their rhums. My recent purchase of Grander 8 Year single barrel is sinking fast in my ratings. I see what you are saying when Marlin fishing inspired their names. They are neither Grander nor Trophy Releases. As for me, I gave up fishing in 1987 because I got tired of cleaning fish. I then got certified for scuba and always went down with my underwater camera. That was the best 10 years of my life, diving on the underwater walls of the Caribbean. Fish are not stupid for the most part. As for Dictador, their XO series is very special. At midway through aging, they remove the rum from the barrels, char the barrels again, and replace the rum into the newly charred barrels. The list price on those is $110 per bottle, but I always find them on clearance nearby for only $80 because no one wants to deal with the sticky outside of those bottles. Fantastic rum in terrible bottles. The company also sells coffee beans and uses those barrels for aging their rum and aguardiente. These already sweetened barrels are why they never need to add sugar to their rum. I did find one Dictador that I absolutely hated, which was the 100 month aged Claro. That one was atrocious.
Ffffff

kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 30 ratings Replied 25 Jul '21

Paul, if you are a fan of Dictador rums, I defenetely recommend trying the "best of" series. I know the prices are quite high (polish online stores sell them at some 180USD) but the quality gap between the 1979 I drank and the XO is much greater than between the XO and basic range of 20 and 12.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 26 Jul '21

kudzey: I cannot even get the Dictador "best of " series where I liv.
Large 3136f450 fba0 49d6 b236 49db4cd74120

RumGuy1

From United States with 46 ratings Replied 28 Jul '21

Paul B: Does Louisiana still have laws restricting home shipments? I thought since the pandemic that those laws had been loosened a bit. Am I wrong?
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 28 Jul '21

RumGuy1: In March, I asked the clerk at one of my favorite liquor stores if she could have rums sent to their Louisiana store from Florida. I already knew that they could not be sent to my home in southeast Louisiana. Her answer was that spirits could not be sent to their store for me to pick up from there. So I had no choice except to place three orders with Total Wine stores in central Florida and drive all the way over there to pick them up after receiving email confirmations from each. What a way to celebrate having been fully vaccinated. Would I do that again? Hell no!
Ffffff

kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 30 ratings Replied 28 Jul '21

Paul, is there any open debate on changing this ridiculous law or people just accept it? I'm so impressed by your devotion to rums despite such difficulties.
Ffffff

vomi1011

From Germany with 392 ratings Replied 28 Jul '21

https://www.foodandwine.com/news/mail-alcohol-usps-law-change-bill-proposed That will probably take a few more years, but after that the shipping will be more and more possible.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 28 Jul '21

kudzey: You cannot possibly understand the crazy politics in Louisiana. The ONLY way that we were able to get Total Wine stores here was from a famous congressman being good friends with the owner of Total Wine. Had it not been for that, I would still have to drive to Texas just to get Doorly's. People know better than to try and change these ridiculous laws, which is similar to one beating their head against the wall. Having access to more rums is also very low on most people's list. If I want more choices for my repeat purchases, I simply drive 200 miles to the Florida panhandle and enjoy those gorgeous beaches while I am at it.
Large 3136f450 fba0 49d6 b236 49db4cd74120

RumGuy1

From United States with 46 ratings Replied 29 Jul '21

Paul B: I meant companies like Whisky Exchange or ordering from small specialty liquor stores ( in other states) that are willing to ship to you. Total Wine only ships in Florida.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 29 Jul '21

RumGuy1: I now have 55 bottles in my collection. I would say that I do not need any more. And I certainly do not wish to add high shipping fees on top of after market prices.
Large 3136f450 fba0 49d6 b236 49db4cd74120

RumGuy1

From United States with 46 ratings Replied 29 Jul '21

Paul B: 55 bottles you say? Before the pandemic i had about 60. Now I have 0. Just drink more and give yourself an excuse to buy more. But your right, it can be expensive but that’s the consequence of buying  and drinking rum as a hobby. I enjoy it but I’ve run out of new rum to drink because I’ve drank almost everything.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 27 Aug '21

RumGuy 1:

As of today, I have 33 opened bottles and 23 bottles still closed. With Hurricane Ida approaching in a few days as a possible Category 3, I will be damn glad to still have these in my collection. I really have no urge to add any new ones to this collection, as it is now only repeat purchases of my best buys. I have finally stopped grabbing new ones when I go to get repeat purchases. There is just no more point to it after 420 reviews.

Way back in 2012 in my bourbon days, I rode out Hurricane Issac. The tree branches started beating on my roof and put a few small holes in it. So with a belly full of bourbon, I climbed up on the ladder at age 57 in between feeder bands. I used my 12-dollar hoe to remove any branches that could cause any more damage. With that much booze in me, that was the ONLY way to get up that kind of nerve and survive through it. This time, it will be rum, but I have already removed the problem branches.

Last year, I rode out Category 3 Hurricane Zeta with no alcohol at all in me. It was a terrifying two hours and thankfully this was a fast moving hurricane. I had to stay sober in the event that I had to immediately evacuate. At least I finally got to walk out into the eye of a hurricane and see the stars! Then hurry back into the house before the south eye wall sends flying debris to womp me upside of my head. I quit counting how many of these hurricanes that I have been through. I even rode one out on a 110-foot dive yacht in Belize way back in 1996, but the eye was near Cuba.

Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 29 Aug '21

Update during category 4 Hurricane Ida:

 

The first feeder band knocked out my power at 615 am. Since there was no telling when it would come back on, I started drinking rum from my collection and all OTR so that I can protect each drink from rain entering them into a plastic covered cup with a straw (God forbid). It was really sad not having my spreadsheet to choose my best rum for this experience, so I questioned the entire purpose of this spreadsheet. My first was Appleton 15 Year Black River Cask. When that was gone, I went to Foursquare Probitas. I enjoyed the 35 mph breezes with a belly full of good rum on my back yard swing, but my dog hated the occasional misting rains. The worst of the storm had passed and would turn north to get worse around midnight.

Some of you have criticized me for living in a place like this, but we are an extremely tough bunch of people who roll with the punches. After each hurricane, we simply dust off our knees and move on with life. Not many can do this. And no one has ever accused me of being a gentleman, which I would consider as the ultimate insult!!! I am proud to have always referred to myself as "Crude, rude, and downright disgusting!!!"

Large 1ad53a03 9844 4e80 a54e 555a7b289a4c

Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 321 ratings Replied 30 Aug '21

God love you Paul I hope the worst is over. Living on east coast of Florida I understand. Enjoy and stay safe.
Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 3 Sep '21

Jimmy:

Thank you for the kind words!!!

By the time the worst part of Category 4 Hurricane Ida came closest to where I live (65 miles on the strong side), I was sound asleep from the rums I mentioned in my previous post. Then came the hell the next day with all of the tree branches down and a lot to slowly pick up. My home had a minor amount of damage and no flooding. We did not get power back on until at least 76 hours later. Those three days were absolute hell in a 93 degree home whereby it was cooler to sit outside. All in all, I wound up drinking about 4 full bottles of rum over three days just to get through the misery. And this was with very little food, which I do not recommend! Yes, I lost 10 pounds, but what a price to pay.

As the power came back on, I was finally able to see what happened in areas closest to the eye. I feel ever so lucky! A close friend's house is a total loss and he was at wit's end as to what to do, so I gave him advice on which locations would still have places to live.

As for getting gas, it is a two hour wait at about 30 miles away IF one can find gas. I only have 115 miles left in my SUV, so I can afford to play the waiting game as more stations are getting power and more gas. I have enough food in my home. No more rum for quite some time! My memories of riding around with several extra containers of gas after Katrina and then having lung problems afterwards for a few months have inspired me not to stock up with those red plastic containers.

In 2005, I went to see The Rolling Stones in St Petersburg a month or two after Katrina. Then came Hurricane Wilma. Damn it if I did not get caught up in that evacuation from south Florida. So, your hurricane evacuations are more of a nightmare than mine!

Advert Image

Advertisement | Go Premium to remove

Advert Image

Advertisement | Go Premium to remove

Advert Image

Advertisement | Go Premium to remove