While rum is a favorite component of tropical cocktails, some rum’s flavor should be savored and sipped. There’s no one defining characteristic that makes a rum excellent for sipping neat or on the rocks.
A range of production styles and aging times are utilized in the creation of these spirits. The best sipping rums have unique flavors and finishes.
Some are valued for their aroma, while others provide an inviting smoothness. No matter your preferences, you’ll find a sipping rum that suits your style.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Serve the best sipping rums at your next get together, or savor them outdoors in solitude. There are plenty of ways to enjoy these spirits. Many of these options are great additions to cocktails too!
If we missed your favorite sipping rum, let us know in the comments below. We’ll check it out and might add it to this list!
I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.
In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.