Aged Rum 2022

Best Aged Rum - 2022

The Fifty Best Aged Rum Tasting 2022


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 11 aged rums with fourteen 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 distilleries, states, countries of origin and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.


Papa's Pilar Legacy Edition 2021 Dark Rum
(FL)  86 prf
Sourced from Barbados, D.R., Panama, Venezuela & Florida.
Pot & column distilled. Solera blended in bourbon barrels, Port wine casks & Spanish sherry casks. Finished in rye whiskey barrels.

Nose: Caramel, toasted caramel, burnt caramel, toffee, butterscotch, chocolate, sweet molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, bourbon vanilla, rum & coke, crème brûlée, French toast, fruit cake, raisins, very ripe fruit, orange zest, coffee.

Palate: Caramel, toffee, chocolate, cocoa, chocolate latte, dark chocolate filled with vanilla cream, vanilla, banana, raisins, dried fruit, citrus, oats, coffee, cinnamon, sweet spicy, dark wood, oak, cedar, nice sweetness, rich, gourmand.

Finish: Smooth chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, maple syrup, French toast, coconut, banana, dried fruit, citrus, peppery spice, white pepper, sherry notes, well balanced, complexity, hearty, rich, creamy.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal


Papa's Pilar Legacy Edition 2021 Dark Rum

Flor de Caña Centenario 12
Single Estate Rum

(Nicaragua)  80 prf
Aged 12 years in whiskey and bourbon oak barrels.

Nose: Butterscotch, warm caramel, toffee, sweet molasses, brown sugar, beckoning cane, candy corn, vanilla extract, apricot, cola, almond, pecan, cashew, hazelnut, nutty, oak, distant wood, sherry, delicate.

Palate: Toffee, chocolate, cocoa, burnt sugar, brown sugar, vanilla bean, vanilla, honey, dried apricot, citrus peel, licorice, nuts, spicy, leather, woody, wood, oak, sherry, madeira, fruit & tannin balanced, nicely balanced, layered, very approachable develops, smooth, deep & rich, elegant.

Finish: Toffee, milk chocolate, cocoa, mocha, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, oak, good length, smooth, nice afterglow of raw cane, flavorful, delightful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal


Flor de Caña Centenario 12 Single Estate


Twisted Path Dark Rum
(Twisted Path Distillery, WI)  90 prf
Distilled from organic molasses. Aged in whiskey barrels.
Organic & gluten free.

Nose: Rum toffee, caramel, sweet molasses, demerara sugar, brown sugar, maple, vanilla, nougat, crème brûlée, honey, ripe guava, citrus, coffee, nutty, white pepper, musty, tobacco, leather, light minerality, toast, oak, smoked oak, rich.

Palate: Toffee, dark chocolate, molasses, burnt sugar, brown sugar, buttery, vanilla, dark raisins, peach, apricot, lemon peel, coconut, walnuts, rye, barley, grain, toasted oak, dry oak, velvety.

Finish: Rich cocoa, light mocha, vanilla, brown sugar, lingering honey, raisins, prunes, nutmeg, warm spices, peppery spice, oak, wood, like a log fire, balanced, nice, robust.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal


Twisted Path Dark Rum

Saison Rum Sherry Cask
(Barbados & Trinidad)  84 prf
Aged at least 5 yrs. in American & French oak barrels.
Finished in first fill Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, cooked sugar, honey, bubble gum, pineapple, banana, guava, mango, tropical fruit, ripe apple, tangerine, citrus, orange peel, citrus peel, dried fruit, dried cherry, banana peel, gardenia, musty, sauterne.

Palate: Caramel, butterscotch, molasses, brown sugar, burnt sugar, vanilla, milky, crème brûlée, coconut, strawberry, pineapple, guava, apple, orange, citrus, orange peel, warm spice, smoke, oak, toasted oak, wood, well-rounded, soft, refreshing.

Finish: Chocolate, vanilla, honey, apricot, peach, orange, bergamot, tropical, spices, white pepper, toast, smoke, wood, spicy wood, cedar, balanced, nice, soft & elegant.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal


Saison Rum Sherry Cask

Thomas Tew Reserve Rum
(Newport Craft Distilling CO., RI)  100 prf
Made with blackstrap molasses. Copper pot distilled.
Aged a minimum 7 years.

Nose: Caramel, toffee, cocoa, demerara sugar, vanilla, honey, raisins, barley, rye, walnuts, faint mint, strong cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, tobacco, toasty, wood, forest, oak, pine sap, sweet wine.

Palate: Caramel, toasted caramel, buttery, creamy, butterscotch, vanilla, molasses, honey, dried herbs, nutty, clove, allspice, cinnamon, warm spices, spicy, earth, strong oaky-ness, overwhelming wood, sherry, bourbon-like, higher proof, nice heat, balanced, nicely done.

Finish: Caramel, cocoa, brown sugar, honey sap ribbons, honey, dried prunes, raisins, fennel tea, herbaceous, clove, peppery, wood, oaky, good to sip, nice, elegant.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal


Thomas Tew Reserve Rum

Ron Colón Salvadoreño
High Proof Aged Rum

(San Salvador)  111 prf
Distilled from sugar cane.

Nose: Butterscotch, butterscotch candy, buttery, cream, caramel, demerara sugar, fresh cane juice, rich vanilla, honey, coffee cake, Banana’s Foster, sweet wine, cherry, stone fruits, guava, lemon, lilac, herbal, grass, agave, apple cider vinegar, oak.

Palate: Molasses, raisins, fig, papaya, banana, Granny Smith apple, dried apple, melon, hint of pear juice, orange peel, herbs, grass, spice, black pepper, earth, peaty, smokiness, toast, oak, butter, funk, Agricole.

Finish: Caramel, butter, cream, sugarcane, honey, ripe pineapple, ripe banana, apple, esters, balanced, complex.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Ron Colón Salvadoreño

Kō Hana KOHO Hawaiian Agricole Rum
Barrel Select

(Manulele Distillers, HI)  90 prf
Distilled from Kō Kea native Hawaiian sugar cane.

Nose: Caramel, molasses, vanilla, honey, raisin, sweet citrus, clementine blossom, wildflower, apple blossom, floral, subtle corn, rye bread, wheat, dried hay, pine, fragrant oak, dark wood, Agricole, clean.

Palate: Vanilla, buttery, sugar cane, honey, peach, plum, dried fruit, corn, cereal, toast, orange blossom, anise, spices, straw, bamboo, earth, funk, heavy char, woody, very oaky, underlying sweetness, nicely blended flavors, develops, complex, Agricole.

Finish: Sugar cane, honey, golden raisin bread, wheat, rye, licorice, vegetal, spices, white pepper, leather, oaky, wood, good heat.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Kō Hana KOHO Hawaiian Agricole Rum Barrel Select

Mount Gay Black Barrel Barbados Rum
Double Cask Blend

(Mount Gay Distilleries, Barbados)  86 prf
Aged 3-7 yrs in American whiskey casks,
finished in bourbon casks.

Nose: Toffee, caramelized, burnt brown sugar, brown sugar, toasted sugar, demerara, sugar cane, vanilla, honey, honey Graham cracker, toasted coconut, banana, lemon peel, hint of citrus, almond, cinnamon, spicy.

Palate: Creamy caramel, cooked caramel, butterscotch, cocoa, nougat, vanilla, maple, honey, raisin, herbal, spice, light grain, toast, nice tannins, wood, oaky, balanced, semi-rich.

Finish: Caramel, brown sugar, dark dried fruit, raisins, plum, lingering honey & spice, white pepper, black pepper, pine, oak.

Gold Medal
   Gold medal

Mount Gay Black Barrel Barbados Rum Double Cask Blend


Alto Grande Puerto Rican Rum
Aged 5 Yrs

(Club Caribe Distillers, PR)  80 prf
Distilled from rganic sugar cane & molasses,
artesian well water.

Nose: Caramel, toffee, chocolate, molasses, sugar cane, toasted sugar, honey, toasted coconut, banana, light citrus, floral, powder, resins, wood, oak, dessert-like.

Palate: Burnt sugar, molasses, faint vanilla, honey, dried fruit, dried citrus peel, coconut husk, herbs, warm spices, earthy, oak, well balanced, rich, gentle, very nice.

Finish: Cocoa, mocha, vanilla, coconut husk, sweet spice peppery, toast, wood, oak, above average.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Alto Grande Puerto Rican Rum Aged 5 Yrs

Rumson's Grand Reserve Rum
(MA)  80 prf
Hand select barrel-aged Caribbean rums,
blended and finished in New England.

Nose: Caramel, light butterscotch, Werther’s Original, buttery, vanilla, chocolate covered brandy cherries, molasses, raw cane, candied apple, cooked apple juice, pineapple, lime rind, citrus, yellow flowers, slight vegetal, nutty, cedar, sherry.

Palate: Light cocoa, creamy, buttery, burnt sugar, honey, pineapple, mango, apricot, cherry, white grape, mixed tropical fruit, dried fruit, sweet chamomile, bamboo, peaty, wood, French oak, brandy, grape cognac, Armagnac.

Finish: Light butterscotch, cocoa, mocha, light cane sweetness, tropical fruit, lime rind, slight spice, pepper, smoky, wood, cedar, oak, nice balance, clean.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Rumson's Grand Reserve

Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum
(Newport Craft Distilling CO., RI)  85 prf
Made with blackstrap molasses. Copper pot distilled.
Aged 3-5 years.

Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, crème brûlée, banana, malt, toasted pecans, rye, grain, Earl Grey tea, wet hay, funk, tobacco, toast, charred wood, oak.

Palate: Vanilla, burnt sugar, brown sugar, banana, mango, dried pineapple, grain, strong rye flavor, licorice, black tea, spice, pepper, tannic, earthy, oaky, wood, complex, creamy mouthfeel, velvety mouthfeel.

Finish: Dark bitter chocolate, lingering mocha, touch of vanilla, green apple peel, ginseng, tangy, spice, leather, oak, round, delicate, mix in a cocktail.

Silver Medal
   Silver medal

Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum



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