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Recommendations for a new rum drinker?

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Posted 10 Nov '21 from New Zealand with 1 rating

Hi all,

I have been drinking rum for the 5 years that I've been legally able to, but I've never invested more time into it than the few cheaper ones I've had.

I really do enjoy drinking rums and I am wanting to start trying more and bringing more rum into my life, so I was wondering if anyone had would be able to suggest some rums that they think would be good for a beginner to try. Something that gives a good spread of the various types, and isn't too much on the expensive side. Thank you to anyone who lends me their time and thoughts.

Cheers lads, happy guzzling.



From Germany with 25 ratings Replied 11 Nov '21

In my opinion you cant do anything wrong in the beginning. Just enjoy discovering the world of rum. Good rums, mediocre rums, cheap or pricy, strong or diluted - whatever you have accesss to. Once you gain experience you will not be as open minded as now. Also keep in mind that your preferences will most likely evolve over time.




From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 11 Nov '21

At the beginning you need to find out your preferences so I discourage you from buying the 0.7l bottles (unless you carelessly drink very much or can afford spilling out the ones that you don't like). Instead try looking for sample kits, you will be able to compare many different types of rum side by side. Christmas is close, maybe you can find a rum advent calendar like this: ttps://

Many crap rums are overpriced so don't spend too much money unless you are sure this is precisely what you want.

Good luck in your rum journey!


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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 11 Nov '21

Here are 8 rums that I rated as a 7 or 8 and all cost less than $30 US.

Plantation OFTD 138 Proof

Blackwell's Reserve

Stade's Bond No 8 Dark

Rum Fire Overproof

El Dorado 8

Plantation Original Dark Double Aged

San Zanj

Bacardi Reserva Ocho 8 Year



Rene Rum (PREMIUM)

From Switzerland with 440 ratings Replied 13 Nov '21

Listen to the guys, these are all good suggestions.

Just let yourself drift on your rum journey. Try this and that, but not every rum fit to every season. Your sensibilities will change over the years and you may not like the rums you like now. So, the rum journey is exciting and varied.

Enjoy it!



From Denmark with 24 ratings Replied 14 Nov '21

I recommend: 

Quorhum 30th aniversario 

Millonario XO 

Opthimus 25 Y Oporto Finish 

Dictador XO 

Diplomatico Familia 

Unhiq XO 



From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 14 Nov '21

Seems you are looking for reference standards:

Chapter four is also great:

Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 14 Nov '21


None of these rums are cheap, which is what the first poster asked for.



From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 14 Nov '21

I would like to add the appleton 12 and Doorlys XO to your recommendation Paul.There are many rums in your recommendation that have shaped and accompanied me on my rum journey. I still like them today.

Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 15 Nov '21


Doorly's XO is a repeat purchase for me, but did not rank high enough to be added to my list of 8. Appleton 8 Year is also a repeat purchase. Appleton 12 found a love/hate relationship with me. However, Appleton 15 Year Black River Cask was a pleasant surprise.




From United States with 32 ratings Replied 15 Nov '21

Cost is relative so here are some of my 'budget' friendly options that punch well above the price.  That said, I am keen on certain types, so don't let that dissuade you from others.

At the very affordable end, Flor de Cana 5 is tought to beat.  A bit more interesting than most in the range.  Sipping with one cube, or in cuisine, mixed drinks works well.

Doorly12yr is very much under rated and very much UNDER PRICED.  Spix macaw on the label.  If you can find it, buy it (or as many as allowed).  It is that good if you fancy bajan rums.  It is really that good btw.  @ 25$ there is NOTHING better out there for under $50.

Matusalem grand reserva 15.   It works well for me too.  No longer made in Cuba, but that is not relevant to me.  A great rum in general for ~30$

Easily sourced, the barcardi 8 is a great intro.  Used to be much less costly 5-10 years ago.  The ocho now has a premium price for the 'age', but quite a good value in general.   It works at the ~30 range.

A bit more expensive the El Dorado 12 is great (30-40 dollars where I live).  The 12, 15 and 18 are good, but the 12 can scratch the itch at a fair price.

also at the 30-40$ range

Diplomatico reserva is always a treat.   It just works and does not disappoint.  You can spend more, but not get 'more'.

At the ~60$ range,  plantation XO is really really hard to beat.  I've spent 2x+ on bottles and not facied them as much.  If I didn't not enjoy the hunt, this would be my grail.  I am sure there are better, but cost, limited time (and I've bought/tried many) and borderline disappointment have kept me from exploring higher end rums these days.  Beyond this price point, you have to know what you want and palettes differ.  

If I could only have 3 options forever, it would be the Doorly's, Diplomatica re, and the Plantation XO topping things off.

Caveats - If you like dry rums and French style rums go for it.  I have had 6-15 and while good, they are just not my favorite and not necessarily budget friendly.

You can get good deals on Columbian style rums.  I don't necessarily care for the dryness or approach in general compared to others, etc.  It is personal preference and there are many great ones though, so if this is something you like, then by all means, go for it.  I've found canesteros varieties a better value than dictador's, etc.





Large jessica for rum ratings

Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 16 Nov '21


Great post and obviously from a real computer instead of one of those damn smart phones that I hate.  However, it was either your rum drinking or lack of proof reading that had all of those typo errors.  Go back and fix them!

Glad to see that you have been a member longer than I and have come back into the fold.



From New Zealand with 1 rating Replied 17 Nov '21

Great responses thank you everyone, I'm very excited to embark on my rum journey 

Large picture1a


From Australia with 23 ratings Replied 18 Nov '21

Zangy, can you get Duppy Share over there? It's a blend of Barbados and Jamaican rums which I rate highly. And it's not Blackheart or coruba 😉

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