My 20 absolute worst rum purchases after more than 5 years

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Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Posted 4 Apr '23

After 464 reviews in 5 years, I have totally given up on trying new rums. Since I can't remember posting a discussion on my all time worst rum purchases, I present my 20 worst ones here. Prices ranged from $20 US to $231 $US. Ratings ranged from 5 to 1. Starting with the absolute worst:

Gosling's Family Reserve Old

Old New Orleans 1718 Tricentennial Blend

Diplomatico Ambassador

Providence Dunder & Syrup

Clement 10 Year

Papas Pilar Dark

Ypioca Prata

Mount Gay XO

Koloa Dark

Diplomatico Vintage 2004

Flor de Cana 18 Year

Wray & Nephew Overproof 126

Brugal Anejo

Old Man Guavaberry 5 Year

Hampden LROK 2016 5 Year

Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Year (from the Bahamas)

Foursquare ECS 2009 12 Year

Hampden Estate 8 Year

Coruba Dark

Cockspur 12


Buyer beware!!!!!

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 80 ratings Replied 4 Apr '23

Wish I would' be seen this list before I went to the one door store. I got flor de cana 18 and their 7yr blows it away! Also got a MG black barrel and that a blows away their XO at 1/3 the price. Seems your right on target! Cheers!

Kieron wood 🇬🇧 | 621 ratings Replied 5 Apr '23

Surprised with some of them Paul but I. A Hampden funk geek ..



Worst purchases not samples for me 


M&s barbados 

Two shallows caramel shite 

Pampero blanc

Brewdog botanicals

Compagnie des Indes Boulet de Canon 10

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Replied 8 Apr '23

I now present my list of rums that are all worthy of repeat puchases. Under the column for Code, you will see five of them with FLA. These all require a 200 mile drive to my beloved Florida, which it has now been more than a year since I last visited. I now no longer drive more than 25 miles to stock up on rums. Also notice the OLD and NEW designations. The OLD ones were available when I started writng on here way back in December of 2017 and are still available. The NEW ones have appeared since then. New rums are what keep us all trying and buying.

Les 80 avatar image
Les 80 🇬🇧 | 72 ratings Replied 8 Apr '23

am surprised to see  hampeden... its  generally held in high regard ...i like the 8 year old made me a fan ..of jamican funk surprised to see Clement as well never had it but .. people seem too like it 

Anthony C avatar image
Anthony C 🇺🇸 | 236 ratings Replied 30 Apr '23

Respectfully I disagree with Pilar.  Otherwise, thanks for the info!

Les 80 avatar image
Les 80 🇬🇧 | 72 ratings Replied 1 May '23

Jimmy Cliff avatar image
Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM) 🇺🇸 | 506 ratings Replied 20 May '23

Paul this pains me to read. It seams like a lot of the expensive 20+ year old rums take a path of no return. Too much port aging like the Ambassador too much something aging in the oak. I try not to think about the bombs, by the way I'm looking at a bottle of Izalco 15 that was complete crap still on my bottom shelf. A bottle from TW Concierge The Royal cane 20 year old from 2002 distilled at Foursquare taste like paint thinner, a few Chairman's Reserve small batch releases24 years that I find hard to drink

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Replied 21 May '23


Good to hear from you again, my rum brother!  I also tried the Izlaco 15 year, which I thought was worse than crap and I never even bothered to submit my review. It was so bad, that it inspired me to quit submitting reviews for a while.

Nothing worse than spending more than $65 US on a new bottle of rum and only finiding out that it is total crap. This is why I posted my list to warn fellow reviewers.

The most that I have ever spent on a bottle of rum was $231 for a bottle of Diplomatico Ambasador. I finished it off in my back yard after Hurricane Ida nearly killed me riding her out. My impression was that it had WAY too much sherry cask aging.

My second most expensive bottle was $190 for one of the last bottles of Caroni.  I rated it as a 7 out of 10, but definitely not worth the price. Those die-hard fans must love the feeling and taste of being run over by a car tire. Not this puppy!

As for the Foursquare ECS series, I gave up doing that wild goose chase whereby investors scoop them up rapidly to sell at auction. There is a reason why their 2009 blend is still available. Word has gotten around that this one sucks!

Have a good one, brother Jimmy!

stonytokes 🇺🇸 | 25 ratings Replied 6 Jul '23

I have to agree with the MGXO and the FDC18. Both were huge disappointments when I purchased them.

rumrunner 🇺🇸 | 46 ratings Replied 25 Aug '23

what didn't you like about the Hampden 8 year? I agree with a lot on your list but I truly love the Hampden. What didn't you like about the Mt Gay XO? I love their black barrel but haven't had the XO. 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Replied 27 Aug '23


My lengthy reviews on both of those rums say it all. I rated the Hampden at a 5 and the MGXO at a 3. The MGXO has been replaced by the much better XO Triple Cask. No point in repeating what I already wrote years ago.