What's a Decent White Rum?

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Dave2522 avatar image
Dave2522 🇺🇸 | 28 ratings Author Posted 13 Dec '22

I have half a dozen aged sipping rums and am exploring more, but I'd like to have a single decent bottle of white/silver rum when mixed drinks call for it.  With vodka I shake my head at those costing more than $25, there's just no point with such an unsophisticated spirit, but perhaps white rums have more character than I know.  I'm not looking for cleaning fluid and won't be picking up any of the $8 options, I hope to find something in the $18-$25 range.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 471 ratings Replied 13 Dec '22

Here are my top 5 white rums:

Yolo Silver (a genuine Cuban style rum from Don Pancho, who has lived in Panama for about 30 years)

Diplomatico Planas (it passed a surprising taste test among my white rums)

Selvarey White (the price has shot up to $31 and it is also from Don Pancho)

Plantation Artisinal 3-Stars (a very affordable white rum that is available almost everywhere)

Cana Brava 3 Year (no longer available, but Selvarey White contains some of it)

I cannot recommend any other molasses based white rums. Rhum agricoles are in a class by themselves.

Dave2522 avatar image
Dave2522 🇺🇸 | 28 ratings Author Replied 14 Dec '22

Thanks much, unfortunately I can't get the Yolo Silver or Diplomatico Planas locally.  The only white rum I currently have is Havana Club Anejo Blanco Puerto Rican, which has mixed reviews and I could only rate it as a Five--it's not as bad as some say, though it leaves me wanting.  Lacking other options I just ordered the Plantation Artisinal 3-Star.  When I first started exploring I enjoyed several other Plantations, their Dark and the 5-yr are still tasty to me though I've mostly moved onto drier rums.  I still enjoy their Pineapple Stiggin's, it's a nice change-up and doesn't taste like a flavored rum to me at least.  For a white I'm going with Plantation again, their darks have some sugar I've outgrown but I trust the 3-Star isn't overly sweetened.  Plus the $23 price is within my comfort zone.  Thanks for your recommendations and I'll keep an eye out for the other ones you mentioned, and thanks for the heads-up on agricoles, I was tempted.  Have you tried Ten to One, it has mixed reviews?  Another one still on my wishlist it Foursquare Probitas, though $40 seems like too much for a clear spirit...I have some experience with vodkas and know that anything over $25 is a pure marketing scam, yet you can pay $1,000,000 if you demand the best...some people actually purchase, consume and review that stuff that's filtered through cut diamonds, but I'm on a tighter budget.  Thanks for your response and recommendations!

Dave2522 avatar image
Dave2522 🇺🇸 | 28 ratings Author Replied 14 Dec '22

There's also the 126-proof Wray & Nephew for $30, many praise it but I'm kinda intimated by something that alcoholic, that's a rather crude spirit IMO.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 471 ratings Replied 14 Dec '22

Wray & Nephew Overproof is one of the worst rums that I have ever tried. Jamaicans use it to pour around the perimeter of their house to ward off evil spirits. There are also You Tube videos of young ones drinking this crap straight and then getting sick. A good Jamaican overproof white rum is Rum Fire by Hampden.

I have Probitas rated at a 6 out of 10. I loved it at first, but after a few bottles, I did not care for it. The price is also up there.

As for Havana Club Anejo Blanco, it is similar to the five white rums that I recommended. All are really slightly aged anejo rums with the color filtered out. The Havana Club has a long and interesting story, but that is about it. Check my reviews on both of theirs, Blanco and Classico.

Have no fear on the added sugar on Plantation Artisanal 3-Stars. Because of all of us complaining about their added sugars, this white rum now only has 12 gpl of added sugar, which qualifies it a semi-dry. Five years ago, it had enough added sugar to qualify it as being sweet.

As for Ten To One, I have been wanting to try theirs, but I would have to drive about 300 miles to get it. My rum running trips with my dog do get a bit weary.

As for rhum agricoles from Martinique and other islands in the French West Indies, these are for ADVANCED tatstes. They are also not cheap. Variations of these include cachacas from Brazil and clairins from Haiti. These are also for advanced tastes. The wrong ones can make one become very ill the next day because the cane juice was fermented after 90 minutes ripening out in the hot tropical sun. Artisan cachacas do not have this problem. The national drink of Brazil is the caipirinha, which was created to disguise the awful taste of industrial cachacas.

rumtrinker 🇩🇪 | 45 ratings Replied 15 Dec '22

Paul B: Totally disagree on the Wray & Nephew White Overproof. The stuff is excellent. And if you like Rum Fire, there is no way to hate W&NWO - they are very similar. Maybe possible to tell apart in a blind tasting, but same style and very close to each other.

Personally, I am not which one I like better.


Jamaican White Overproof (W&NWO, Rum Fire, Rum-Bar are the ususal suspects) rum is totally unlike other white rums though. Very different experience and very much worth trying - I like to sip them, but need to thin them down and maybe add an ice cube.


As for "normal" white rum - Havana Club 3 Anos (the Cuban one) is inoffensive and brings enough character to not be boring. I would choose the offering that is very slightly yellow in colour, since I see no point in filtering the colour out. Plus I suspect that it is not possible to filter out only the colour and nothing else. And I prefer some taste to my spirits. (That is why I never likes vodka).

Dave2522 avatar image
Dave2522 🇺🇸 | 28 ratings Author Replied 16 Dec '22

The Wray & Nephew is available here, as is the Selvarey which with WA liquor tax runs $44.99.  At half that price I picked up the Plantation 3-star yesterday, I haven't tried it yet but I'm sure it'll serve me...I'm not looking to be a fire-breather and my tastes are nowhere near advanced so I'm leaving the W&N 126 alone for now.  My first entry into rum was via several dark Plantation varieties, I now know that they're far from great but they're still very drinkable and affordable...I particularly enjoy the Pineapple Stiggins, it's weird but tasty and not artificial.  I know from previous messaging that Rumtrinker is into potent rums and feels sugar is a curse.  The 126 proof W&N would burn out my taste buds at the first sip I think, I prefer a bit of sweetness...after the Plantations I fell for reviews elsewhere and effective PR campaigns for Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva and El Dorado 12...you can find hoity-toity statements that these are two of the finest premium rums on the planet.  Another in that category I haven't tried and will not now buy is Ron Zacapa 23, "the world's finest sipping rum."  I wouldn't use the term "pancake syrup" or "liqueur" and haven't poured out my dark Plantations, Diplomatico or El Dorado yet because after drinking a good amount I still enjoy them as an easy-drinking change (though I probably won't be refilling much of my supply)...for me, they're good introductory rums.  I'm making progress, Rumtrinker--you even convinced me to buy Pusser's Navy...it's, well, unique, and must be an acquired taste...I wouldn't take it neat and the taste is still a bit overwhelming on ice--it's the rummiest of any rum I've tried...at the moment I'm drinking it with coconut water, not the best choice so next I'll try it with lime, it seems like citrus would complement it better.  Hopefully I'll find a way to drink it enjoyably.  You're into some two-fisted manly spirits, I've gotta say.  Thanks to you both for your recommendations for good white rums!

rumtrinker 🇩🇪 | 45 ratings Replied 16 Dec '22


never meant to come across as snobbish.

While I personally do not like the more intensely sweetened rums, that is just a personal preference. Plantation does make great rums and I like many of them a lot. (Actually one of my favourite bottles is a Plantation multi-island rum, which I believe is a bit sweetened). Anyway, I do not think this is about machismo or anything, but just about individual taste.

What I want to say: No need to "grow" into anything. You like what you like and that is fine. There is no right and wrong. And if you find that your taste changes, that is fine as well. (Example: With whisky, I am currently in a phase where I enjoy light, fruity Speyside whiskies a lot. And what convinced me that whisky is for me was Laphroaig...)

As for the Wray & Nephew White Overproof - I would not recommend it for you at the moment. If you have ever experienced the typical Jamaica funk; it is that. And in a very potent and raw form. I like it with fruit juice or with ginger beer. It does great in cocktails. And I also like it as a rum-soda. As a sipping rum, it needs quite a bit of water and still is a very peculiar sort of joy (there is a Youtube channel "Different spirits" which has an excellent review of it).

And I think that it is wrong to dismiss W&NWO, while praising Rum Fire. They are so similar. (Of course, there might be something in the W&NWO that really puts off Paul B - these things sometimes happen).

Very glad you tried the Pusser's; I enjoyed your review a lot. If it is not for you now, let it sit for a while, you may come to like it. If not, I would recommend mixing it - it is a very potent rum for longdrinks and - if you are into that - cocktails. And it also works great to "tune up" other rums. I drank part of my bottle of Centenario 20 mixed with Pusser's. And it also plays very well with El Dorado (same distillery, I assume).

Mr. Rumantic avatar image
Mr. Rumantic 🇩🇪 | 296 ratings Replied 16 Dec '22

Not directly in the budget you have but i can strongly recommend the Velier Forsyths WPE White for around 40bucks. Very great white rum. SAme goes for the Velier Long Pond 2018 STCE White. The good think with white jamaica rums is, that they have a lot of flavors because of the high ester.

Alas avatar image
Alas 🇵🇷 | 503 ratings Replied 16 Dec '22

in order of my favorite:

1. Cozumel white

2. Selva Rey white

3. tres clavos coco

4. diplomatico white

Dave2522 avatar image
Dave2522 🇺🇸 | 28 ratings Author Replied 16 Dec '22

Hi Rumtrinker,

I hope I didn't come across as negative in any way, that's just me kidding around (after three strong drinks).  I appreciate your comments and appraisals, you've been very helpful to me.

rumtrinker 🇩🇪 | 45 ratings Replied 16 Dec '22



absolutely not. It is all fine.

Just wanted to rule out any misunderstandings.


And the advice from all the contributors in this thread is great!

Alas avatar image
Alas 🇵🇷 | 503 ratings Replied 16 Dec '22

Should we put the ones we don't like? Lol

1. Facundo Neo (was very surprised this was so bad as the exquisito is so good and the eximo and paraiso are above average)

2. Foursquare Probitas (also surprised as foursquare rums are all pretty solid and i have a soft spot for barbados rums)

3. Kiyomi (sad too was toooo funky, I can bear an agricole even though it's not my cup of tea...and some are pleasent like the clement line but man what a doozy)

Dave2522 avatar image
Dave2522 🇺🇸 | 28 ratings Author Replied 16 Dec '22


I appreciate your comment about not having to grow into anything, I like what I like, but I feel like I'm still acquiring a palate and learning to appreciate specific qualities.  My only real previous acquaintance with brown liquor was bourbons, which I still love and can easily identify...most of that was more than 20 years ago and the world of all liquors has sure changed...when I was younger, rum was Bacardi and little else, and now alcohol choices have exploded--those who drink were kind of frowned upon at one point and now they're considered as people with taste.  Fashion trends and popular acceptance have undergone a sea change since the 80's.

On an entirely different subject that doesn't belong here, I just came home and found a Christmas gift at my door...a bottle of 12YO Aberfeldy Scotch.  It came from a friend I've told about my rekindled interest in spirits and she's trying to turn my head.  It's a Highland that alledgedly was reserved for the core of Dewar's blended and recently they've decided to release it as a single malt.  I haven't tried it yet, at the moment I'm enjoying a Doorly's XO (and I disagree with your mediocre review).

Her preference is Islay, her son (who likely made the recommendation) prefers Highland, and you're into Speysides.  I already had a bottle of Laphroaig on my Total Wine wish list for possible purchase, along with Ardbeg 10yr--which is the best introduction to Speysides? 

My limited previous Scotch experience was with blends like Dewar's, Cutty and J&B; my single malt experience was Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and a couple I was too plastered to remember tasting.  My cabinet currently contains the Aberfeldy, some Dewar's Blended and a Glenlivet.  What should I explore next, keeping Speysides in mind?

rumtrinker 🇩🇪 | 45 ratings Replied 17 Dec '22

I am myself coming from Islay whiskies and I still think of them as my favourite category. Laphroaig surely is a great Islay, but it is also one of the more extreme manifestations of that style.


As for Speyside; Glenfiddich and Glenlivet would give you a good idea on whether you like that style or not. I am not that knowledgeable about Speyside whiskies. I have enjoyed Glenfarclas very much, even though that one might be not so typical. Arran 10 is not a Speyside whisky by region, but by character; and an excellent one.

Foglialuce avatar image
Foglialuce 🇮🇹 | 287 ratings Replied 30 Jan '23

Neisson l'Esprit

River Antoine

Rhum Rhum PMG

Clairin Casimir

Trois Rivieres Cuvée Spéciale

DB avatar image
DB 🇺🇸 | 70 ratings Replied 30 Jan '23

I gauge whites in the Daiquiri, and some of my favs., that are also reasonably easy to get, and not at all expensive - within your price range.

El Dorado 3yr., Denizen 3yr., Hamilton White Stache, Don Q Cristal, Cruzan Aged Light, The Real McCoy 3yr., Myers's Platinum White (not quite as easy to find as the dark, but...) - these all differ enough that they provide unique, but good quality experiences in mixed drinks. The Myers's is quite good actually when you want a Jamaican twist without too much proof or funk, and works surprisingly well in a Daiquiri, for me anyway! Just my $0.02...