My update on the odds of grabbing a good rum off the shelf

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Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Posted 6 Dec '23

In a previous discussion, I had stated that one had about a 33% chance of finding a good rum when just randomly grabbing one from the shelf of a store. This estimate included flavored and spiced rums, as well as rums that are no longer available since this trek began six years ago.

I have lots of reviews for flavored and spiced rums because I was never a rum snob. I also have kept track on what is no longer available since when all this started for me. Well, ruling out those rums and concentrating on real rums that are still available, my updated estimate of getting lucky at random is now 46%. When one includes first reviewing on this site before buying, that estimate would go up beyond 50%. How much? It depends upon whose reviewes that you trust that meets your own tastes. Folks, read these reviews first before buying!!!

Andy avatar image
Andy (PREMIUM) 🇺🇸 | 142 ratings Replied 30 Dec '23

I'm surprised your 'lucky good' rate is above 20% with all the rums you've already tried - almost worth picking up everything you see!

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 78 ratings Replied 29 Dec '23

Your review of Hogs Bay was right on target. Thanks to you I have been thoroughly enjoying this secret gem! CheersBreaux!

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Replied 29 Dec '23

Thanks Kevin! However, on the last bottle of Hogs Bay that I bought, I did not like it at all. One's taste buds change through time, no doubt about it. Then again, it may have been what I ate before trying it again (totally forgot waht it was). Just like wine and food pairings, there should be a Discussion for rum and food pairings. I would never dare to venture into something that complex. All I know is that one can use Diplomatico Reserva Esclusiva to cook with because of all of the exotic spices thrown into it. One could also probably use Hogs Bay to cook with, a very cheap version of Black Tot.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Replied 31 Dec '23


Total Wine does not carry Yolo Gold because a local group of about a half dozen stores has exclusive rights to it. On the other hand, Hogs Bay can only be found at Total Wine. Exclusive rights held by certain chains of liquor stores is why I have had to travel more than 200 miles out of state to get my hands on old favorites.

At six times the price as Yolo Gold and tasting very similar is Selvarey Owner's Reserve, which Total Wine carries.. Both were created by Don Pancho. The more expensive one has a much smoother finish, but for my money, I can get six bottles of Yolo Gold.

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 78 ratings Replied 30 Dec '23

Paul, By any chance are you getting the Yolo from TW? I remember when you posted about the Hogs Bay it wasn't available at my TW then all of a sudden, BAM, it showed up. Although the HB isn't close to Black Tot the price point (3 HB for1BT)  it works incredibly well. I haven't been disappointed as you have. Although being on the cheap side it is, as you've stated, an excellent buy. Here in NY rum doesn't sell, so like, in my local TW it's all the way in the back and they seldom rotate their stock. They have what sells in this neck of the woods, typical rack rum. This makes me wonder if TW is watching your postings. LOL! And hopefully Yolo will show up! Cheers Matey! 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Author Replied 30 Dec '23

I nearly panicked a few days ago. I opened up my last bottle of Yolo Gold, my ultimate best buy. Before drinking much of it, I checked the website of the store that carries it. No more!!!! Yikes!!!! Well, with me never being a quitter, I called up that store to see about ordering a case. It turns out that their other store 80 miles to the west had four bottles. I am having all four bottles sent to my nearby store in a few days. Then my bourbon friend found out and begged for one of these bottles. I will turn him into a rum drinker before it is over with. He treated his first bottle of Yolo Gold like it was priceless. Sure, I can always get Selvarey Owner's Reserve (also from Don Pancho). It is a bit smoother, but at 6 times the price.

After six years on this site, there is not too much that is still available from the late eighties and early nineties. Just cheap mixers like Cruzan Gold. The moral of the story is if one likes a really good rum, stock up on it before it is also no longer available.