I find that I jump around between favorite rums. But hands down my current favorite at less than $50 is Diplomatico Family Reserve. I tend to sip some more expensive rums and it ruins my pallet for some decent $30-40 rums, but Family Reserve holds its own with more expensive rums. Sip it neat, one small ice cube but never mix it.
Quite hard to say, because of the different tax rates.
Of old, my favourite cheaper rum was Bermudez 1852 Aniverario 12yo, but then they went and changed the blend and it really isn't very nice. What I seem to have at home are some of Doorly's rums. I like them all really.
Also was a fan of Sunset Captain Bligh XO. Haven't had in a while so best get some more in. And for something a bit funky, Arcane Extraroma is top notch. But in all this, it is so subjective. And as a drink, I can't think of any other that is so varied as rum. You have a whisk(e)y, brandy, gin etcetc and sure, there are many nuances that differentiate one from another. But the huge range in rum, is far greater than say an Islay vs Speyside whisky.
One thing I do find, is that very often, the rums at GBP30-50 are better than many of the more expensive ones which have been played around with far too much. I used to like Abuelo, but then tried some of the sherry cask finishes. They were so disgustingly sweet and far worse than their normal 12yo (which was sweet enough already), that it actually turned me off most sweetened rums.
You can thank my spreadsheet for coming up with this long list of rums that costs less than $50 US and rate as an 8 from me. The first one on this list is the only one with my rating of 9. Some of these are no longer available or can be quite difficult to find. With this many good cheap rums available, you can see why I get quite reluctant to try any rum costing more than $50. I actually have $60 US as the cutoff point between cheap and expensive.
Clairin Le Rocher at 98.4 proof
South Bay Small Batch
Vizcaya VXOP 21
Ron Centenario 18 Reserva de la Familia
Chairman's Reserve Legacy
Ron Inmortal 12 Year
Plantation OFTD 138 Proof
Hamilton Florida Rum Society 90 Proof
Chairman's Forgotten Casks
Pusser's Gunpowder Proof
Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican
Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum
Mount Gay XO Triple Cask
Stade's Bond No 8 Dark
The Real McCoy 12 Year Limited Edition
Ron Cartavio Solera 12
Clement Rhum Select Barrel
Santa Teresa 1796
Ron Alegro XO
Roulaison Barrel Aged
Matusalem Gran Reserva 18
Rum Fire Overproof
Papa's Pilar Marquesas Blend
El Dorado 8
So how did the rest of my rums costing less than $50 US fare? Three times as many got my rating of 7, and about 6 times as many of those listed above got my rating of 6. Together, all of these make up two thirds of my cheap rums. The other one third is not even worth buying!!!!
For me it used to be MGXO ($47 CAD) but the Triple Cask XO is nowhere the qualityof the MGXO. So I really enjoy Appleton 12 & 15 and Real McCoy 5
MGXO (the new one for me is better than the old version) and HSE VSOP, the real mc coy 12 (don t know if it stays in that price range in USA, i ve paid it 80 euro here)
That's the mythical sweet spot for me, and so far challenging to fulfill. Nothing under £50 really excites me the way Hampden or clairin does, but Black Tot is my current every day rum of choice.
Looking forward to trying Forgotten Casks and English Harbour Port Finish, and see how they fare.
Wow thanks for the great replies. I find it interesting the different rums that are available in different regions, many are not readily available in my area but I will be searching for them. Anyone that likes the Abuelo from Panama might want to try the 12 year double oak, available from the rum ratings club. For some reason Ron Abuelo is currently hard to find anywhere in my county in Florida. Both the regular Abuelo 12 and double oak are good contenders. I also agree the original MGXO was a great rum. A similar rum from St Croix Cruzan single Barrel is a good contender.
If one winds up in the poor house (again), Cruzan Gold is always the best rum for the money ( I rate it as a 6). It is light years better than anything from Captain Morgan or bottom shelf Bacardi. On the other hand, if one sees a bottle of Cruzan Gold on the horizon, then let this be a warning of tough times lying ahead. And a change of fortune could happen to anyone, especially when it comes to medical problems or major financial setbacks. Enjoy all of these good rums that one can afford now, but also realize that nothing is forever.
I'm back to ElDorado. The revamp of their line is outstanding. ED15 @ $46 is my new go to. Way better than MGXO. But that's just my opinion!
I guess it all comes down to personal taste, but the cheap one that I find quite nice is the Bayou Reserve.
I think that they've slightly changed their line up, as when I first had their rums, it was the Single Barrel and Select. The Select seems to have gone to be replaced by the Reserve. The Single Barrel seems to be a limited run and since I had it first time around, the price seems to have gone up a lot. It was only GBP3 more than the select , but now it's more like GBP23 different from the Reserve.
Currently the Appleton 12yr Rare Casks is my go-to.
In this range I'd say Pusser's, Doorly's and Appleton 12 rare cask. Equiano is somehow on the edge of the price limit but I'd recommend it too.
Wow that is a tough question. Pushing the $50 limit I would have to say el pasador de oro gran reserve followed by plantation XO and the real.McCoy 5 year. Whether some of us are long time rum lovers or just getting into the great experience I think everyone can agree that for under $50 there are some really amazing rums out there and spending more than $50 absolutely guarantees nothing as far as getting a really better tasting rum
I certainly hope that you fared well in Hurricane Ian. I am sure that your rum collection survived.
Thank you Paul, the storm was weaker when it came directly over us in Melbourne area and back offshore. Living through many hurricanes it seems like the backside always packs the punch after the eye. Seems like we both live in storm magnet areas.
WHEW!!! Glad that you are okay! I had thought that you lived in the Fort Myers area.
I have been through so many hurricanes in my life that I quit counting. Where I live is 26 feet above sea level and my lake is not connected to where the storm surge can get there. My home has survived countless hurricanes and rum gets me through the ones whereby I did not evacuate. The power outage in intense heat afterwards is always the worst. Gas can always be found at truck stops!
I now have two new rums that each cost less than $50 and both are truly incredible!!! Yolo Gold and Yolo Silver. Both are products from Don Pancho with the Yolo company being based in Denver. My reviews will be coming soon.
My 3: Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, Plantation 20th Anniversery and Papa's Pilar Marquesas Blend
In addition to the Appleton 12-yr Rare Casks, other favs under $50 would be Pusser's Gunpowder Proof, and (don't laugh) Gosling's 151. Another would be OFTD. I love the taste of Plantation OFTD, but it gives me such a hangover for some reason that it's not worth drinking it IMO. I tend to really like darker, overproof rums so YMMV.I sure wish I could find Plantation XO 20th Anniversary for less than $50 in my area, I'll tell you. It's $72 for 750ml here.
I got one more new rum the other day. It is Myer's Single Barrel and it appears to be exclusive to Total Wine & More. However, not all of their locations carry it. I rated it as an 8 and paid $33 for it. It is aged in former casks that held Sazerac Rye Whiskey.
I like to reap the rewards of my very large rum spreadsheet. So I sorted all of the excellent buys by price and plotted them. The bulk of them were in the $20 to $50 US price range. Only two were less than $20 US, Doorly's 8 Year and Foursquare Spiced. Seven wound up in the $60 to $83 price range.
So what was my batting average for $20 to $50 US per bottle of rum to wind up in my excellent buy category? Only 14%!!! The bulk of rums in this price range wound up in the bad buy category. So, randomly choosing a rum is a crap shoot, no matterr what the price. And if it were not for all of these reviews, my luck would have been much lower.
I have enclosed a plot of all 461 rums that I have reviewed based upon recommendations to buy.
There's no way I can keep a large inventory. Guess that's the pirate in me. I just tried the ED 8yr and at $24 that's a good bang for the buck even though the ED 15 is my favorite in this range.
It has taken me almost five years to review 461 different rums. I never had more than 50 bottles in my collection at any time and I usually keep about 14 bottles opened at all times. For the really bad rums, I either gave them away or poured them down the toilet. These days, I concentrate on repeat purchases and run across a new rum every now and then. With those kinds of risks, sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. More often than not, I wind up losing. There is a lot of crap out there.
I have seven bottles open at the minute, Doorlys 12 year(£37) Santa Teresa 1749 solero (£33) Mount gay golden rum black barrel (£27) Foursquare spiced rum (£22) Appleton estate signature (£16) Ron zacapa solero 23 (gifted) el dorado 12 yr (£30). The he only one I'm not a fan of is Appleton.
At the moment I am trying to see if I can find a top rating bottle at an affordable price so looking at anything that in average has scored a 9 and then looking to see if I can purchase it for under £100 just to see how it compares to the above bottles...
That Appleton Signature Blend is a mixer rum and one of their worst buys. I have it rated as a low 6. Their 8 Year Reserve Blend is only $7 US more and I consider it as an excellent buy with my rating of a high 7. However, it can be somewhat hard to find because most stores push the more expensive 12 Year version instead.
After almost five years on this site, I finally got my hands on several bottles of Yolo Gold at less than $30 US each. This is now my top recommended buy and it finally beat out my previous best buy of Blackwell's Reserve.
mwb1:I'll agree with Paul B here, the Appleton Reserve ($29 US in my area) is quite a bit better than the Signature Blend ($23 US), and as I stated before, the 12-yr ($40 US) is my current go to under $50.As far as a suggestion for a bottle under $100 that's a 9, my suggestion would be the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary which retails for $75 US in my area and is rated at an 8.5 on this site. Pretty tasty but a bit more than I want to spend on a regular basis.
Are you sure?
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
Add RumRatings to your home screen for quicker access.
All you have to do is click the
icon and then
Add to Home Screen