The Best Rum Brands in the World

The options are endless when you’re looking for the best bottle of Rum.

You’ll find plenty of top-shelf options, one more expensive than the next. But what you won’t find a guide to really help you break down and understand which brand of Rum you never knew you wanted.

This is that guide.

Rum Might not be your first choice for an on-the-rocks sipper.

But on this list, you’ll find absolutely divine flavors and you will learn to enjoy Rum like you never have before.

And of course, if you prefer a nice cocktail instead, our recommendations will work brilliantly with all your favorite mixes.

Below, you’ll find our list for the top brands in the world and a buyer’s guide to Rum as well as answers to how it’s made and what types are there.

Finally, we’ll round off this article with tips on how to drink and really enjoy Rum as well as the key tasting notes and vocabulary you’ll need to become a true aficionado.

The 10 Best Rum Brands you can buy

Before we introduce the 10 best Rum brands, let us check out the top 5 Rum brands you can choose from without any single thought:

RankBrandBest for:
1Plantation RumBest Overall
2The Real McCoyBest High-End Option
3Mount GayBest Value
4Dons QBest for Brand Prestige
5Holmes CayMost Easy To Drink

Now, let us introduce you to the top 10 best Rum brands you must definitely try:

Mount Gay

Mount Gay is a popular rum brand produced by the Mount Gay Distilleries in the eastern part of the West Indies. It is also one of the oldest companies since its establishment in 1703 and its first introduction in the year 1890. In fact, Mount Gay is one of the oldest commercial rum distilleries that, even today, sell to 110 countries worldwide. The brand offers four different rum variations named Mount Gay Eclipse, Mount Gay XO, Mount Gay Black Barrel, and Mount Gay Silver.

Mount Gay Eclipse is an aged rum that was produced in 1911, Mount Gay XO, aka Mount Gay Extra Old, is aged in selected casks for at least 8 to 15 years, Mount Gay Black Barrel is not only a matured rum but is aged in Bourbon oak barrels for a second maturation, and Mount Gay Silver is a white rum that is produced with column distilled rum and pot still blend. The taste of all these bottles is distinguished and very flavorful.

This rum brand has been widely acknowledged by experts as well as popular competitions, including the Beverage Tasting Institute’s 2008 Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy brand is influenced by Bill McCoy, who is known to be the first person to sail a boat full of liquor through the Caribbean sea to reach New York. The brand is, however, established by Bailey Pryor. Pryor got the idea of creating a rum brand based on McCoy when he produced the documentary film about McCoy.  Pryor, along with Richard, who is the 4th generation master distiller of Foursquare Distillery in the Caribbean island, made the idea of creating a rum brand based on McCoy come true.  However, ever since the brand’s launch in 2013, The Real McCoy Rum has become a popular choice amongst the nations.

The brand offers six different variations of rum, including the ‘McCoy Rum, 3 years aged, 5 years aged, 12 years aged, Distillers’s, and The Real McCoy limited editions: The 6000 bottle Prohibition Tradition 100 Proof. The original The Real McCoy, along with the other bottles, are some of the top-listed, most awarded, authentic bottles of rum you can get your hands on. As a result, you can enjoy real and crisp rum bottles that are extremely flavorful and delightful on the tongue.

The brand, in fact, is known to be a consistent winner of the Best Rum Producer of the year since 2016. Not only has the brand won the hearts of local rum lovers but also experts from around the world.

Appleton Estate

Appleton Estate is one of the oldest rum distillery companies that has been producing rum since the year of 1749 in Jamaica. The brand was sold in 1957 and later became a subsidiary of Lascelles deMercado companies. However, in 2012, another Italian company took over and is currently its present owner.

Appleton Estate Rum is produced by sugar cane that covers at least 11,000 acres of land and is harvested in both old-fashioned and mechanical ways. The brand currently offers Appleton Estate Reserve Blend, Appleton Estate Signature Blend, Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old, Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum, and Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum. all of the premium rum is aged in old oak casks for a tropical taste, texture, and color. Every bottle of rum offered by Appleton Estate has a bold character of its own with fruitful flavors.

Appleton Estate has become a widely preferred rum brand that goes best with any type of cocktail or mixed drink. It has also won awards and recognition from famous spirit competitions based on their taste and prices.


Produced in a Barbados-based distillery, Plantation is one of the best rum brands in the world. Alexandre Gabriel established the brand in 1999 and 2012, the brand released its wide range of rum made with dedication and artsy. In recent days, the brand has served its large of rum bottles across 68 countries.

Plantation offers not only the Signature blends but also the Bar Classic and Limited editions. Under its signature blends, you can enjoy the Plantation Xaymaca, Plantation Barbados 5 years, Plantation Black Cask, Plantation Gran Aneio, Plantation Isle of Fiji, Plantation XO 20th Anniversary, etc. on the other hand; you can also check out their Bar Classic options like Plantation 3 Stars, Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum, Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple, etc. As of its Limited edition, you can enjoy a wide range of tropical collections of Plantation Vintage collection, Plantation Extreme collection, and lastly, Plantation Single Casks collection.

The brand is so popular amongst experts and locals that Plantation rum has won several popular recognition around the world. In fact, the founder, Alexandre Gabriel, has won the best Master Blender awards. Just like their wide range of rum choices, Plantation also got a long list of achievements rolled up in their sleeves.

Holmes Cay

Homes Cay is another popular rum brand founded by eric Kaye very recently. The brand has only been a part of the industry since 2019, but even so, Holmes Cay has become one of the top 10 best rums of the century. The brand offers a grand and exclusive collection like never before.

Holmes Cay offers a collection of rums known as the Single Cask editions and the Single Origin Editions. Under the Single Cask Editions, you can enjoy a wide range of authentic rum collections, including Fiji 2004 17 years, South Africa Mhoba 2017, Barbados 2012 Port Cask, Guyana Uitvlugt 2003, Jamaica Wedderburn 2011, Belize 2005, Fiji 2004, and many more. In addition, you can enjoy the 46% ABV 2021 bottled Fiji Rum as of its Single Origin edition.

The brand has not only won several awards but has also gained strong recognition from the world of rum. It is surely one of the best new-generation rums you must definitely give a try to!


Diplomático, aka the most awarded rum on the planet, was established by a local man named Don Juan Meléndez or Don Juancho. Don established Diplomático in the year 1959. The original recipe is carefully crafted by Don himself.

The brand offers a wide range of rum delicacies including Diplomático Mantuano, Diplomático No.1 Batch Kettle, Diplomático No.2 Barbet Rum, Diplomático No.3 Pot Still, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, Ambassador, and, Diplomático Planas. Each of these exclusive rum bottles is made with some of the best ingredients that allow you to experience the true brilliance of Diplomático rum. You can expect the finest quality along with passionate flavors that will make you want for some more of Diplomático rum.

Diplomático is the first-ever rum brand that has won the title of Spirit Brand of the Year at Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards. It has also become one of the best, rather excellent rum to sip. The taste, smell, and texture of Diplomático are everything you are looking for in a rum brand.

Rhum J.M

Rhum J.M is a unique rum brand that produces rum from 100% Rhum Agricole (pure sugarcane juice). Established by Jean Marie Martin in 1845, Rhum J.M is an authentic rum brand that is known to be one of the best rum producers in the world. In fact, to date, the brand uses traditional techniques to cultivate and produce rum.

The brand offers a wide range of rum options, including Rhum J.M Gold ESB 50% ABV, Rhum J.M VO 43% ABV, Rhum Blanc 40% ABV, Rhum Blanc 50% ABV, Rhum Blanc 55% ABV, Rhum J.M Shrubb 55% ABV, VSOP 43% ABV, Rhum J.M XO 45% ABV, and Rhum J.M Sirop de Canne. Along with that, they also have a 10 year Vintage and 15 year Vintage edition that is aged in re-charred bourbon casks. The flavors of every bottle offered by Rhum J.M are a mastery of their own, and there is no other brand that could offer what Rhum J.M has to.

This brand has gained attention worldwide and continues to serve the best quality rum bottles. In fact, experts and spirit competitions around the nation have acknowledged Rhum J.M.

Don Q

Don Q is one of the best-selling and popular Puerto Rican rum that has been competing against Bacardi in the international market. This bottle of rum is not only produced but manufactured and marketed by Destilería Serrallés. Don Q was originally established in 1865 and was released in the US market in the year 2009.

Don Q is purely distilled from 100% real sugar cane. The distilling, aging, and blending method of this bottle of rum cherishes a character of its own. There is a wide range of Don Q types including the Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2007, Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced, Don Q Gran Añejo, Don Q Double Aged Rum, Don Q Gold, Don Q 151, Don Q Añejo, Don Q Cristal, Don Q Limón, Don Q Pasión, Don Q Coco, and Don Q Mojito.

The color and the texture of Don Q will make you fall in love with it. It is no wonder why it is considered the best rum in Puerto Rico and the US. Don Q has won several recognitions from experts around the world. It has also won numerous awards and medals from various spirit competitions held worldwide, such as the Spirits International Prestige Awards and San Francisco World Spirits Competitions.


Goslings is a rum brand established by the Gosling Family. The Gosling brothers limited is a rum blending and distributing company that was founded in 1806. The family business also began formulating rum blends from 1860, which later helped them develop a full-bodied Old Rum.

This Bermuda situated rum brand offers different variations of rum, including the Black Seal Rum, Old Rum, and Gold Rum. The Black Seal Rum is 80 Proof black rum mixed with ginger beer. You can also enjoy the 140 Proof and 151 Proof versions of this bottle. Old rum, aka Gosling’s Family Reserve, is just like the Black Seal Rum, but it is aged for more years and comes in special packages. Lastly, Gold rum is the lighter version of the Black seal. Not only is the color light, but so is its taste compared to Black Seal rum.

This brand has also won the title of Best Rum of the year, along with other worldwide recognitions.

Rhum Barbancourt

Rhum Barbancourt is a popular rum that was established in 1862 by Dupré Barbancourt. This was a private rum-producing distillery that made rum with 100% pure sugar cane juice. Over the years, Rhum Barbancourt has become one of the finest-selling rum around the world.

Rhum Barbancourt offers different varieties of rum, including the Rhum Barbancourt 5-Star 8 years, Rhum Barbancourt 3-Star 4 years, Rhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15 years, and White Rhum Pango that is aged with ingredients like spice, mango, and pineapple.

Rhum Barbancourt is a very flavorful rum that has won several medals for its exclusive collection of rum. It has also received global recognition by several spirit competitions, including the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The Beginners Buyer’s Guide to Rum

Rum is definitely a popular choice of alcohol chosen widely around the world. In fact, in certain countries, rum ought to be the first-ever choice for someone who is new to drinking. But, if you are new to drinking too, don’t worry! We have got your back. Here is a mini beginners guide that will tell you everything you need to know about Rum.

  1. Add sugary mixtures to your rum
    Rum may be made up of pure sugar cane juice, but yet the taste is nothing close to sweet. That is why adding sweet beverages like fruit juice, coke, or coconut cream will enhance the flavor and give you one of the best-tasting glasses of rum.
  2. There is more than just one rum type
    Just like any other spirit, rum too has its varieties. While most people prefer white rum, others love dark rums, spiced, or gold rums.
  3. Do not rush
    The best way to enjoy a bottle of rum is to take slow sips. And by that, we mean to keep a count of the number of pegs that suit you. Also, because rum has high alcohol content, having it mixed with sugary beverages can lead you to a bad hangover.
  4. The oldest
    Rum is the oldest spirit to exist. Not only was rum used as a medicinal alternative but also for enjoyment.
  5. The best way
    The best way to enjoy a glass of rum is to either sip it neat or add ice, lime, water, or coke. You can also try out exclusive rum cocktails for a change.

How is it made

Want to know how is your favorite bottle of rum produced? Check out the simple steps below:

  1. Raw materials such as sugar cane juice and sugar are gathered in order to begin with the production.
  2. Two processes, known as the traditional or agricultural methods, are used. In traditional method, rum is made from a by-product that was produced during the sugar cane harvest. On the other hand, the agricultural method produces rum from sugar cane and is normally fermented and distilled.
  3. If the brand chooses an agricultural method, the sugar cane juice is fermented. It can take up to three weeks to ferment.
  4. Once done, the distillation process takes place in a sealed pot.
  5. After the distilling process ends, the rum is then transferred to casks in order to mature over the years. Once the maturation process is complete, different blended are mixed for the specific flavor.
  6. The last step is bottling. Rums are typically bottled with an ABV of 40%. 

The Most Expensive Bottle of Rum in the world

J. Wray & Nephew is the most expensive bottle of rum in the world. A typical bottle costs $54,000. However, this bottle by J. Wray & Nephew is known to be one of the national treasures of Jamaica. It is an exclusive bottle of rum that is not only high in budget but also offers rum of the best quality. Currently, only four bottles of this masterpiece remain in the world.

Glossary of terms. What you need to know for Rum

Here are certain important rum terms you must know about:

  • Alembic: Pot still in french
  • Babash: rum that is locally made
  • Copper still: a vessel that produces the best spirit
  • Dock rum: rum that is aged in warehouses or in sailing ships
  • Overproof: spirit over the ABV of 50%

Methodology, how we select the best

There are over thousands of rum brands in the world, so how do we choose the best? Here is how:

  1. The brands we have mentioned are recognized by experts around the world.
  2. They are made from 100% pure raw materials required for rum. No chemicals included at all!
  3. These brands are sold all over the world, so you will not have a tough time finding them for yourself.
  4. They are some of the best-selling rum brands that have won the hearts of millions of local citizens from every country. 
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