I am decently new to rum, but have quickly learned that it is my favorite spirit by far. My favorite drinks so far are Mai Tais, Zombies, daqs, and the occasional authentic pina colada. I also really enjoy funk. Additionally, I am not a whiskey fan at all, and do not prefer the oaky, incredibly aged tastes all that much.
For whites I've been using plantation 3 star and Probitas. For Jamaicans I've been using Smith and Cross and plantation Xamaya. I really enjoy all of those. I also have a bottle of Centenario 15 year for a sipper.
I've been wanting to expand my rum knowledge recently, so I wanted to see what y'all would recommend based off of the drinks I like to make and my pallet.
Enjoy Appleton 12, 15 at sipping
For whites, interestingly enough, the 3-Star is one of my least favorites. Deifnitely in a minority there I think. I do very much like Don-Q Cristal, Flor De Caña 4yr. Extra Seco, Denizen 3yr., Matusalem Platino, and El Dorado 3yr in the classic daiquiri. (ED3 is my favorite) - these are all decent rums for your typical cocktails that are sadly non-specific and call for "white" or "light" rums. They work in the Piña Colado too. Probitas is intersting too.
Not saying you will for sure, but if you like funk, *maybe* you'd like agricole rhum - totally different flavor profiles, but those that like funk are at least open-minded. I like Barbancourt Rhum Blanc to a degree (and light agricoles can be fun mixing a bit with other light rums into cocktails for a bit of a spin), but I very much like the 4yr. as a sipper. There are plenty of good, agricoles for sipping and mixing.
I might recommend you pick up a copy of Smuggler's Cove - you'll learn a good deal about rum and many cocktails, and although it is pretty much non-specific as to which rums go into which cocktails, it does suggest categories that the authors have defined that are made of of specific rums. Sippin' Safari is also a good read, though also largely non-specific.
Enjoy your journey!
Stades No.8 , Myers single barrel, Plantation dark are really nice and all are really priced right at well under $30 and they do not have that whisky taste that you are trying to avoid. Appleton 12 and 15 year are also fantastic choices but almost double the price.
My favourite bargains: H.S.E. Rhum Agricole Très Vieux VSOP 45.0% -> Martinique, Smith&Cross -> Hampden, El Dorado 8 -> Demerara, Blackwell -> Jamaica, Holey Dollar Gold -> Fiji (pot still), Appleton 12 (new rare cask version) -> Jamaica
If you like Jamaican white rums and funk, Hampden Rum Fire takes Smith & Cross and cranks that up a few notches.
For something rather different, I rate Diplomatico Planas - it's aged 7 years then charcoal filtered to make it clear. Like Probitas, it's 47% but I would say tastier.
Cocktails wise, my go to are Hurricaines! Ideally with Haitian Clairin, but Wray & Nephew does fine too.
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