White Rum

Best White Rum

The Fifty Best White Rum Tasting


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 14 white rums with 16 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the rums were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The countries and states of origin are identified for each brand.



Angostura White Oak
(Trinidad & Tobago)

Nose: Molasses, maple, pear, tropical fruit, citrus, orange peel, floral, honeysuckle, ginger, cheerios, light tobacco, very clean distillate.

Palate: Butterscotch, vanilla, creamy, cane sugar, molasses, honey, peach, pear, pineapple, citrus, orange, lime pith, ginger, hot pepper, coffee, well-balanced, silky, elegant.

Finish: Passion fruit, floral, pepper, well balanced, complex, very soft, smooth, very mellow.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

   Angostura White Oak Rum

Papa's Pilar Blond
(Caribbean/Florida/Central America)

Nose: Toffee, butterscotch, caramel, nougat, praline, buttery, vanilla, cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup, maple, toasted coconut, citrus, lemon, cocoa , nutmeg.

Palate: Butterscotch, praline, crème brûlée, Creamsicle, hard candy, burnt sugar, maple syrup, tropical fruit, pineapple, coconut, orange, almond, marzipan, triple sec, spicy, nutmeg, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, tea, grains, well balanced.

Finish: Honey, cream, whipped cream, custard, coconut, cocoa, nutty, clove, spicy, smooth, well balanced.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

 Papa's Pilar Blond Rum

Tanduay Asian Rum Silver

Nose: Apple, green apple, pear, banana, coconut, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, mango, mandarin, lime, grassy, verbena, vanilla, licorice, cola, clean.

Palate: Butterscotch, toffee, cane juice, sugarcane, molasses, honey, maple syrup, tropical fruit, orange, coconut, coconut water, fig, herbal, flowery, jasmine, ginger, mint, spice, nutmeg, clove, thyme, grain.

Finish: Sweet coconut, vanilla, sugarcane, floral, spearmint, nutmeg, complex, smooth, well balanced.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Tanduay Asian Rum Silver Rum

(Chicago, IL)

Nose: Molasses, apricot, pear, banana, mango, papaya, citrus, fig, fruity, orange blossom, jasmine, herbal, mint, grassy, nutty, coffee, whipped cream, leather, ash, agricole.

Palate: Sugarcane, light papaya, fig, floral, lilac, rose, herbal, sage, mint, hazelnut, spicy, pepper, anise, licorice, tobacco, mineral, woody, buttery, robust, complex.

Finish: Honey, floral, lilac, pepper, oak, cereal, tea, flavorful, well balanced, complex, very smooth, mellow.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Taildragger White Rum

Skotlander White

Nose: Butterscotch, molasses, vanilla, cream, pear, banana, ripe banana, orange peel, floral, lilac, violet, hibiscus, grassy, licorice, dry agricole style.

Palate: Sugarcane, molasses, vanilla, banana, coconut, pineapple, citrus, grapefruit, herbal, peppermint, cinnamon, clove, white pepper, licorice root, oak, hay, sea salt, crisp, almost vodka-like.

Finish: Powdered sugar, vanilla, lime, guanabana, spicy, pepper, ginger, woody, flavorful, robust, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal

Skotlander White Rum


(So. Africa)

Nose: Toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, maple syrup, burnt sugar, crème brûlée, cream, coconut, citrus, fig, date, floral, orange blossom, jasmine, honeysuckle, dry green herbal, leather.

Palate: Butterscotch, cane sugar, burnt sugar, crème brûlée, orange zest, papaya, coconut, chocolate, ginger, herbal, eucalyptus, grassy, pepper, allspice, nutmeg, tobacco, clean, refreshing.

Finish: Molasses, burnt sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut, mint, spice, pepper, well balanced, silky, smooth, satisfying.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Zulu White Rum

Rhum Barbancourt White

Nose: Cane juice, sugarcane, crème brûlée, whipped cream, pineapple, banana, grapefruit, lime, citrus, orange blossom, grassy, spearmint, mint, cinnamon, leather.

Palate: Honey, citrus, violet, herbal, verbena, mint, eucalyptus, menthol, grassy, light licorice, walnut, maple bacon, white pepper, mineral, grain, smooth.

Finish: Citrus, nice off-sweetness, woody, clean, mellow.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Rhum Barbancourt White Rum

Flor de Caña Blanco Reserva

Nose: Custard, crème brûlée, honey, sugar syrup, apple peel, tropical fruit, guava, pineapple, orange rind, honeysuckle, mown grass, clean.

Palate: Sugarcane, toasted sugar, salty caramel, creamy, apricot, pineapple, citrus, light coconut, anise, pepper, gentle, flavorful.

Finish: Light citrus, grassy, hints of oak, clean, soft, well balanced.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Flor de Caña Blanco Reserva Rum

Gubba Silver Organic

Nose: Coconut, vanilla, citrus, fruity, citrus oil, perfume, verbena, nutty, baking spice, anise, subtle, clean.

Palate: Sweet orange, orange blossom, coconut, vanilla, limeade, 7-Up, ginger, cola, spicy, red pepper, smooth, well balanced.

Finish: Light coconut, vanilla, complex, soft, smooth, well balanced.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Gubba Silver Organic Rum


Daufuskie Island Silver Edition White
(south Carolina)

Nose: Maple syrup, burnt sugar, vanilla, praline, lemon, jackfruit, herbal, grassy, hazelnut, baking spice, anise, licorice, tobacco, chocolate, cereal grains, light minerality.

Palate: Caramel, sugarcane, melted sugar, burnt sugar, maple syrup, creamy, vanilla, pear, citrus, grassy, tarragon, toasted walnut, pepper, sweet grain, smooth.

Finish: Mint, walnut, nutty, spicy, anise, mocha, well balanced, complex, smooth, soft, gentle, mellow.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Daufuskie Island Silver Edition White Rum

T. Rutter

Nose: Brown sugar, butter, banana, raisin, passion fruit, tangerine, poached pear, bubblegum, floral, honeysuckle, violet, lilac, grassy, mint, spearmint, nutty, popcorn, white pepper.

Palate: Molasses, honey, creamy, apricot, cherry, melon, banana, orange, floral, elder flower, lavender, rosewater, grassy, sage, nutty, clove, anise, spearmint, mint.

Finish: Honey, floral, clove, oak, clean, flavorful, well balanced, very complex, very smooth.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

T. Rutter Rum


Nose: Apple, green apple, apricot, guava, pineapple, coconut, tangerine, citrus, lemon, lemon oil, Fanta orange soda, banana cream pie, bread pudding, cola, floral, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, grass.

Palate: Apple, citrus, pear schnapps, creamy, floral, violet, herbal, licorice, anise, mint, walnut, spicy, cinnamon, nutmeg, tarragon, silky, well balanced.

Finish: Mint, anise, licorice, baking spice, well balanced, complex, smooth, mellow.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Tiki Rum

Desert Distilling White

Nose: Molasses, sweet butter, vanilla, pineapple, coconut, citrus, fig, date, prune, coffee, grassy, licorice, Unicum, wood, clean, crisp.

Palate: Molasses, sugar cane, simple syrup, burnt sugar, crème brûlée, coconut, banana, citrus, floral, herbal, herbaceous, anise, mint, baking spice, coffee, woody, balanced.

Finish: Banana, cream, grass, peppery, oak, well balanced, very complex.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Desert Distilling White Rum

Black Coral White

Nose: Toffee, maple syrup, vanilla, cream, cereal, biscuit. hay, nutty, almond, Nordic spices, cocoa, floral, grassy, tobacco.

Palate: Butterscotch, burnt sugar, fig, date, dried fruit, mocha, cocoa, cocoa powder, cereal, grains, grassy, eucalyptus, tobacco.

Finish: Grass, eucalyptus, spicy, pepper, slight vanilla, robust.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Black Coral White Rum



What is white rum?
Rum is a sugar cane distilled spirit that is directly influenced by terroir, tradition and technique. Sugar cane can be grown anywhere in the world that hosts a tropical climate. But the Caribbean is considered the predominant producer of rum.

White rum is also known as "silver" or "light" rum. It is light-bodied, light in color and lightly sweet in flavor. As is all rum, white rum is produced from sugarcane juice and molasses, and normally has a short distillation period. But unlike gold, dark and aged rums which are matured in charred oak casks, white rum is mellowed in plain oak casks or stainless steel tanks for about a year, then filtered. By aging the spirit in this way, the final product remains clear. Rhum Agricole is produced mainly in the French West Indies. The main ingredient in Rhum Agricole is sugarcane, with a tasting profile defined by dry, grassy notes. This differs from rums produced from molasses with sweeter, vanilla flavors.

Rum in the Americas.
During the 18th century, the 159 distilleries in New England produced huge quantities of quality rum from molasses shipped to the colonies from the islands. More rum was made in Colonial America than in the Caribbean, and rum became the colonists' most popular spirit. Twelve million gallons of rum were consumed annually by the early colonists. After the Revolution, as the trading of molasses was restricted by the British, Americans switched to home-grown products such as corn and grain. The American whiskey industry was born, and whiskey replaced rum as the tipple of choice. Most New England distillers closed shop, but rum production continued in the Caribbean, shipping most of the product to Europe.

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, knew the value of supplying the public with a little rum. When running for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1758, Washington gave out 28 gallons of rum and 50 gallons of rum punch, as well as wine, beer and cider – to 391 voters. It cost his campaign £50 (about $8,000 today), but he won his seat.
The strangest rum fact: When Admiral Nelson died in the Battle of Tralfager, his body was preserved during the voyage home in a cask of rum before it was laid to rest.

Following World War II, rum became hip in pre-Castro Cuba where luxury hotel bars in Havana became notorious for their rum-based cocktails. Ernest Hemingway's favorite cocktail was made with white rum at the notorious Cuban bar El Floridita. Then in the late 50s early 60s there was the Tiki Bar craze, such as Trader Vic's with its exotic rum cocktail concoctions.

And so the popularity of white rum continues. Production of American rum has seen a resurgence in the last few years, with over 60 distilleries currently producing rum in the U.S., seven in New England alone. Most people are drinking white rum without even knowing it. That Mojito, Daiquiri, Rum & Coke, and Piña Colada you're drinking? The traditional ingredient is white rum – mainly because it does not change the color of the drink.



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