White Rum
 

Best White Rum

The Fifty Best White Rum Tasting 2021

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 10 white rums with twelve members of our spirits judging panel. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. Each of the rums were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. 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. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states of origin, distilleries and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.



DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Rum Dog Rum
( Edmonstone & MacMillan, SC) 90 prf
Twice distilled, twice charcoal filtered.

Nose: Lime seltzer, Sprite soda, 7-UP, subtle lemon-lime, citrus, green apple Jolly Rancher, watermelon, pineapple, peaches, strawberry, apple peel, hot pear, warm vanilla spice, peppermint, mossy, light, morning fresh.

Palate: Taffy, cream, cane sugar, maple syrup, smooth vanilla, honey, coconut, tropical fruit, fresh lime, lime peel, lemon zest, orange peel, minty, light wheat, allspice, sweet spice, rich, creamy mouthfeel, lively, delicious.

Finish: Lingering honey, sugar, candy, pear, citrus, lingering mint, mild black pepper, spicy, nice heat, well balanced, great on the rocks, soft, supple, silky smooth, pleasant, lovely, perfect.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 



Rum Dog Rum




GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Distillery 36 Brigham Rum
(Utah) 80 prf
100% natural cane, Rocky Mountain spring water.

Nose: Caramel, molasses, cola, ripe banana, cantaloupe, sweet plum, strawberry, rose, rose hips, fresh lime, cucumber, vegetal, corn, popcorn, salted popcorn, bread, almond, raw walnuts, peanuts, plowed field.

Palate: Light caramel, vanilla, caramelized figs, dried figs, raisins, papaya, ripe banana, banana peel, orange peel, lime, mild anise, fresh flowers, floral notes, clove, cinnamon, tobacco, rich bourbon, nice balance, creamy, soft, smooth, very pleasant.

Finish: Fudge, licorice, black licorice, woody, crisp, zingy, soft, silky, creamy, nice, gentle, approachable.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Distillery 36 Brigham Rum




Resurgence Silver Rum
(Fish Hawk Spirits, FL) 80 prf
Distilled from Louisiana cane.

Nose: Burnt caramel, dark toffee, butterscotch, Laffy Taffy, sugar cane, spun sugar, vanilla, fruit gum, coconut, banana, mango, juniper, mint, grassy, vegetal, minerals.

Palate: Apricot, butter, hint of juniper, green tea, mint, leaves, grassy, botanical, cinnamon, clove, white pepper, salty, earthy, smoky, char, silky mouthfeel, smooth, light, approachable, pleasant.

Finish: Lime, slightly vegetal, mushroom, slight funk, earthy, white pepper, mild black pepper, dusty, wood notes, creamy, smooth, rich, Agricole notes, great for mojitos.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Resurgence Silver Rum




Wise Men Distillery Rum
Red Tape Series

(MI) 80 prf
Cane sugar, molasses and Lake Michigan water.

Nose: Caramel, sugar cane, straight cane, caramelized sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, peanut brittle, marshmallow, candy wrapper, honeyed, honeycomb, coconut, banana, orange marmalade, lemon/lime, lemon peel, burnt cherry, green banana, anise, green hay, Agricole, funky in a great way.

Palate: White chocolate, vanilla, milky, creamy, clotted cream, strong cane, corn, sweet coconut juice, guava, mango, citrus peel, floral note, cinnamon, allspice, clove, chicory, peppery, quinine, slate, wet stone, earthy, soft, great balance.

Finish: Caramel, chocolate, lingering tropical fruits, orange peel, ginger, faint almond, coffee grinds, starched linen, soft, zippy, flavorful.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Wise Men Distillery Rum Red Tape Series




Ron Pepón Blanco Ron Agricola
(San Juan Artisan Distillers, PR) 90 prf
Estate distilled from sugarcane juice. Double distilled in single batch copper pot stills.

Nose: Sugar cane, ripe pineapple, rhubarb, sour apple, banana peel, sliced raw potato, vegetal, bread, cereal, cereal grains, dark licorice, fermented grapes, grappa, briny, mineral, charred wood, funk, Agricole.

Palate: Dark sugar, honey, tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, pear, cherry, orange peel, herbal, cereal, biscuit, nutmeg, spice, white pepper, red pepper, grape must, mineral, briny, earthy, wet leaves, wet wood, new wood barrel, heavy char, strong Agricole, well balanced, big, bold.

Finish: Caramel, cocoa, sugarcane, pineapple, papaya, cereal, coffee, nutmeg, spicy, pepper, black pepper, woody, chewy, rich, flavorful, interesting, great in cocktails.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Ron Pepón Blanco Ron Agricola




SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Antelope Island Rum
(Dented Brick Distillery, UT) 80 prf
Organic sugar cane & molasses, artesian well water.

Nose: Caramel, s’mores, candy corn, powdered sugar, maple, vanilla, toasted coconut, dates, apricot, currants, roasted chestnuts, anise, peppermint, menthol, pepper, tree sap, new polished wood, slight Agricole funk, ocean breezes.

Palate: Cocoa, molasses, honey, banana, stone fruit, apple, herbs, herbal notes, allspice, clove, pepper, black pepper, fresh tobacco, minerals, earthy, grape skins, grape must, musty, nicely blended, cool, crisp, light touch, soft, very smooth.

Finish: Apple, mint, cut grass, cinnamon, clove, cedar chest, woody, approachable, pleasant, great, a good sipper.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Antelope Island Rum




Skunktown Distillery Rum
(NJ) 80 prf
Cane sugar & molasses, copper pot still.


Nose: Whipped cream, vanilla cream, vanilla, dry cake mix, toast with butter, soft butter & sugar, sugar cane, dried mango, fresh rhubarb, cactus, vegetal, jalapeño, chopped greens, fresh grass, grassy fields, fresh cut pine, toasted pecans, nutmeg, allspice, mineral, cool breezes.

Palate: Toffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, creamy vanilla, cream, sugarcane, powdered sugar, hints of pear, mild anise, popcorn, coffee, oregano, white pepper, minerals, Agricole, rich, creamy.

Finish: Chocolate, lingering honey, orange peel, citrus, minty, mineral, rich oak, green, fresh, rich.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Skunktown Distillery Rum




Three of Strong Acadian Rum
(Three of Strong Spirits, ME) 80 prf
100% cold press raw Louisiana cane juice.

Nose: Dark chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, ripe tropical fruit, pineapple, pear, melon, cucumber, vegetal, herbal, shiso leaf, eucalyptus, hint of cumin, light saline, toast, lightly smoky, earthy roots, morning dew.

Palate: Creamy, buttery, maple syrup, honey, tropical fruit, tart apple, fresh lime, spicy orange, herbal, vegetal, grassy, coffee, raw cashew, roasted nuts, slightly nutty, light spice, leather, mineral, earth, peat, musty, wet bark, grappa, fresh, soft, smooth, silky.

Finish: Pie crust, cherry, orange peel, herbaceous, cool mint, nutty, red chili, spicy, woody note, clean mouth feel, nice, very smooth, creamy, velvety.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Three of Strong Acadian Rum




Big Five Silver Rum
(The Point Distillery, FL) 80 prf
100% cold press raw Louisiana cane juice.

Nose: Lemon, Meyer lemon peel, citrus, green apple, red grapes, light banana, sweet cane juice, hints of roses, fresh grass, floral, wild flowers, light pine, woody, clean, linen.

Palate: Caramel, chocolate, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, white powdered sugar, coconut water, green apple, lemon pith, lime peel, flowers, rose petals, anise, hazelnuts, dried oregano, soft, could mix with almost anything.

Finish: Lemon cream pie, light citrus, lingering vanilla, sugar, grain, clove, peppered, sharp black pepper, warming, lasting, lively, clean, fresh, nice, easy.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Big Five Silver Rum




Callisto Botanical Rum
(Calisto Spirits Co., CA) 80 prf

Nose: Pastry, powdered sugar, limoncello, lime, finger limes, lemon, lemon zest, sweetie fruit, margarita, orange, burnt pineapple, juniper, lavender, fresh rose petals, mint, spearmint, pine, grass, dried leaves, dusty, line dry clothes.

Palate: Vanilla, heavy cream, piña colada, mango, lime, Lime Rickey, lime soda, citrus, ginger, lavender, floral, grass, sweet herbs, strong nutmeg, clove, hot pepper, spicy, black pepper, mushroom, earthy, musty, bark, cedar, woody, wood barrel, creamy, smooth.

Finish: Chocolate, lavender, floral, mushroom, herbaceous, menthol, spicy, peppery, tree bark, wood, refreshing, great for mojitos.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Callisto Botanical Rum

 


 

A brief history of 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 was usually considered as the predominant producer of rum.

Known as "silver" or "light" rum, white rum 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 that 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.

White rum continues its popularity to this day. Within the last five years, production of rum has seen a resurgence with over 400 distilleries currently producing rum in the U.S. Ironically, most people are unaware that they are drinking white rum – the base spirit in a Mojito, Daiquiri, Rum & Coke, and Piña Colada – since it doesn't change the color of the drink.

 

 

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