Let's get a list of the best of the best going. I've been at this for a long time with over 100's of bottles and so far only 2 rums I've had stand out that I believed deserved such rating. On top and probably never to be beat was a hand bottled, corked in front of us, waxed, stamped & labeled on site J.Bally '89 20 yrs old private single barrel, tested on site at 93ABV, that never made it to market. Luckily 3 bottles made it back to the boat. Right place, right time made this the tops! That one will be hard to beat, no doubt! The second was Pusser's retired 15yr old red label. I used to buy cases of that shipped to me from from the UK, worth every penny of the shipping cost, till it went dry. Where are those fine rums at? I don't see any continuous 10 ratings anywhere. Has that high of a caliber rum gone to just billionaires that don't want the secret out? There's no rating for the outlandish but more than likely the best of the best J.Bally '29 which goes for $4k a bottle at auction and I believe that's probably a classic that will not be upended. Who has had 10 rated bottles? And, where/when were those beauties gotten and as was the price worthy?
In February of 1991, I visited Venezuela on a one day stop from my Carla Costa cruise. Loved that old ship! I picked up a bottle of their rum. When I got home, it was the best rum that I had ever tasted at that point in my life. I saved the bottle in the hopes of maybe that some will find it's way to the states. Once I got on this site almost five years ago, I realized that it was Santa Teresa Gran Selecto, which is considered as a mixer rum. So much for that!
I also started out with Pusser's 15 ranking very high in my list. It has now sunk to ranking 67 out of 448 due to the excessive added sugar. I also have in marked NLA, for No Longer Available.
Dictador 20 had been a perfect 10 for me until they recently changed it to taste just like the much cheaper Dictador 12. My heart sunk! All of my effort was suddenly gone! Then there was Foursquare ECS Shibboleth that also got my 10 rating. Then it was like good luck finding another bottle.
My whole point is that chasing these perfect 10 rums is like chasing the Holy Grail. Unless you are in a Monty Python movie, you won't find it.
La Favorite La Filbuste seems be the one with the most 10 ratings, but it is very hard to find and damn expensive. Just be lucky that you had that bottle of Bally's. My only bottle of Bally's was entry level rot gut.
Paul, Granted, there's no chasing the holy grail. That's impossible! But running into it without realizing it till it's too late is definitely possible such as that J.Bally I ran into only by pure luck. Just trying to find out what favorite others have and their experience with a fine grog. It seems we both have had exceptional finds but there must be others out there. Come on guys, let's hear about your 10 rum!
I'd say that some of the best rums I've ever tasted were actually quite affordable: some of the millesimes by Damoiseau, the full strength 1995 for instance is a pure 10/10 for me.
Wolfe, I agree. Some of the best rums out there are very affordable. There's so much out there that I find it hard to find a 10 rum except those 2 out of hundreds I listed above. They are both in the beginning of my voyage and like a virgin nothing beats the 1st time. There are those that come pretty damn close and that's where I sail. It's those special experiences that we're looking to hear about. Thanks for your most memorable input.
OK, i get it. This could be a fun topic. I have to say that there were a lot of rums that have beaten my first time. Even if losing your virginity is a special moment, which were in my case a evening with a Bottle of Centenario 20 and a bottle of Plantation XO (old edition) in 2011or 2012. Not sure anymore. Because of the Plantation i bought almost only Barbados Rum for a view years.
The real first "wow" moment i had with a Bellevue 1998 i got from a shop in my home town in 2013. You could bottle it in the shop from a big glas barrel. I got 20cl, because it was over 10€ for 10cl. But it was worse It and the first time i thought.. ok this is next level rum.
The next big moment i had was many years later when i was thinking of getting back into rum after beeing absent from rum and alcohol for some time. It was the first time i bought rum from a online shop. It were two bottles of El Ron del Artesano, Recioto and Sweetwine Cask. I had a very great time that evening.
After that i bought a lot of rum with the limit of 100€. But i also started reading more about rum. And of course i read about more expencive bottles. So i got some samples from one of the greatest guys on rum ratings and wanted to prove that no rum is worse buying it for so much money. And that brings me to my biggest WTF is that great moment in my rum history. Tasting a Bristol Classic Caroni 1997-2015. I had never tasted something like it. And man was i wrong. Same evening i also drank the Appleton Estate Hearts Collection 1995. I had to learn, that great rums can cost more than 100€, even if it hurts till today. Thankfuly i also learned that there is a great rum community where you can buy samples and split bottles.
I have to say my first Hampden (LFCH) was also a big "ooh my god what is that" moment and i had great fun that evening. Even knowing it was low ester. I just love it.
This year it was the KFM 1991 which gave me a big "WOW" moment. Very great complex rum.
All this moments i had my best friend and also rum enthusias with me. It is so much more fun drinking toether and sharing the moment and thoughts.
After nearly five years on this site, I finally got a hold of a bottle that I have been wanting for more than a year. It is now my new top ranked rum and with my rating of 10. It is Selvarey Owner's Reserve. It is a creation of the legendary Don Pancho from Panama. Bruno Mars may own the company that bottles this brand of rums, but these are by no means "celebrity rums". Check out my review from yesterday!
Looking back at my cabinet I found considerable 9 rating and the following 10: LaFavorite Filbuste, Foursquare Nobiliary & 2008, Centenario Costa Rica 30 & Real, Appletons 30, Zafra 30, Pusser's Trafalgar, Diplimatico 2004 single vintage. Looking back I see many Foursquare rums at 9, along with Don Pancho 30. I'm not sure why Zafra 30 outscored Don Pancho as he makes them both. Maybe mood number of rums I've sampled on rating night, etc. why the the 10s for those Foursquare and not the infamous Criterion?
Ocaisionaly I'll revisit my ratings and subjectively they could go 1 rating up or down at most. I realize that's @ diverse list some sugared rums some pure but if I like it I like it.
I had composed a lengthy response to your post, but pressed a wrong key and lost it all. So I will now reiterate highlights of what I wrote.
I have Don Pancho's 18 year Origenes rated as a low 8, so I am not about to spend five times as much for his 30 Year Old. I also do not like his Grander and Panama Pacific rums. No one can win them all.
Out of your 10 ratings, I have only been able to find one of them within a 400 mile radius. I now have the Diplomatico 2004 vintage rated as a 5 to never be bought again.
As many on here know my tatstes, I am convinced that Foursquare ECS rums were created for bourbon lovers who wish to slowly migrate to rum. Those bourbon notes are why I don't care for most of them. Exceptions are Shibboleth, Redoutable, and Indellible. The worst that I found was their 2009, due to excessive tannins.
I've decided to give out 10's to one rum/Area or style.
So by moment it's:
Barbados: St. Nicholas Abbey 12yo
Jamaica: Appleton Joy
Guyana: El Dorado 25yo (not sure if it will get a 10 in a retest)
Rest of English styled: English Harbour 1981
Spanish styled: Zafra 30
Martinique: Clement XO (Old drop bottle)
Guadeloupe: Have some untasted great releases from Montebello & ReimonenQ of which I'm sure there will be a 10. Best one right now with a 9+ is the Damoiseau 1986 15yo.
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