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Top 10 Must-Try Sipping Rums

assortment of sipping rums

If you’re a rum enthusiast, you know that not all rums are created equal. Some rums are perfect for mixing in cocktails, while others are meant to be savored slowly, one sip at a time. These are the sipping rums, and they’re the stars of the show when it comes to enjoying rum in its purest form.

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Sipping rums are typically aged longer than their mixing counterparts, which gives them a rich, complex flavor profile. They’re meant to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, without any additional ingredients to mask their unique taste. Whether you prefer a light, floral rum or a dark, smoky one, there’s a sipping rum out there that’s perfect for you. So sit back, relax, and let yourself be transported to the Caribbean with every sip of the best sipping rums.

Appleton 12 Year Old Rum

Appleton Estate
Source: appletonestate.com

Master Blender Joy Spence hand-picks each rum that goes into this blended spirit. Each rum included has been aged for at least 12 years. The award-winning mixes well in cocktails but can be enjoyed straight or on the rocks to experience the most flavor. Expect a fragrant nose with hints of vanilla and coffee. 


Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez

Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez
Source: www.bacardi.com

Another blended example of the best sipping rums, this spirit uses charcoal filtration to ensure a smooth finish. Each of the rums selected ages for ten years, resulting in a fruity nose with hints of almond. On the palate, expect more fruit flavor from this gold rum with banana and vanilla notes. This spirit has a flavorful finish, melding sweetness, and spice. 

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Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

Diplomatico
Source: rondiplomatico.com

Diplomatico uses exclusive twelve-year-aged rums to create its tasty blend. Orange peel and spicy licorice lend rich sweet notes to the nose, with darker flavors coming through on the palate. Rich toffee notes last through the smooth, lengthy finish of this rum. This medium-bodied blend is a multi-award-winning sipping rum. 


El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum

El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum
Source: theeldoradorum.com

A unique blend of rums using different distillation techniques combined to make El Dorado Rum. This product has been aged for 15 years, creating a plethora of dark earthy flavors. There are bold, sweet notes on the nose, like dark chocolate, coffee, and orange. The taste is more tropical, with hints of oak with a full-bodied texture. 


Flor de Cana 25

Flor de Cana 25
Source: flordecana.com

A Nicaragua brand operating its distillery five miles away from the San Cristobal Volcano attributes the success of its rum to the mineral-enriched water of the area. Drink this sipping rum neat or on the rocks to experience the full body of this spirit. Fruity flavors dominate the palate of this amber rum, with lingering nutty notes through the finish.


Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve

Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve
Source: www.plantationrum.com

Plantation blends Caribbean rums and starts aging in the tropical climate, spending a year in former bourbon casks. This sipping rum then travels across the Atlantic for a second, aging in French oak barrels. The resulting spirit is rich with flavors of candied fruit and strong vanilla notes. Compared to other aspects of the rum, the aroma is more tropical. 


Santa Teresa 1796

Santa Teresa 1796
Source: www.santateresarum.com

Santa Teresa produces its spirits on a single estate, where the sugar cane is grown, and rum is distilled and aged on-site. The 1796 rum was crafted to celebrate the bicentennial of family-owned property. A dark amber appearance hints at the palate’s robust notes of cinnamon and pepper. Expect a dry, refined finish from this sipping rum. 

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The Real McCoy 12 Year

real mccoy 12
Source: www.realmccoyspirits.com

The Real McCoy is another blended variety with rums using two different but traditional distillation processes. This sipping rum boasts a dark amber color from being aged for 12 years. Sugary notes dominate the palate with caramel, maple, and vanilla flavors. The bold taste lingers through the long-lasting finish of this rum. 


Zaya Gran Reserva Rum

Zaya Gran Reserva Rum
Source: zayarum.com

One of the best rums to sip on with a versatile flavor, Zaya Gran Reserva, provides a blended rum that perks up cocktails and can be enjoyed on the rocks. The rich dark rum has a spicy aroma and flavor with woody and caramel notes. What stands out most about this sipping rum is the distinct smokiness in the finish.


Santiago de Cuba 11 Year Old Rum

Santiago de Cuba
Source: www.ronsantiagodecuba.com

Despite this rum’s dark amber color, this spirit has a lighter taste than others on this list. Sweet notes are most apparent with flavors like caramel and toffee. Hints of wood and smoke are also present in the sipping rum. The finish of this rum is shorter than other similar varieties but still full of robust flavor. 


Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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