Spirits & Liqueurs Rum

8 New Rums to Try Right Now

They include creative cask finishes and more.

Rum bottles
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Liquor.com / Laura Sant

Rum-lovers will be the first to point out that not all rums are alike. In fact, of all the spirits categories, rum may represent the broadest spectrum, from clear to inky dark “black rums,” and from fruity and funky to caramel-rich. Much of that has to do with the spirit’s vast range of regions and production methods, although sweeteners, caramel color, and other permitted additives play a role too. It’s eye-opening to realize that all of these bottlings start with simple sugarcane.

This versatile canvas lends itself to the imagination of rum producers. Consider, for example, a Jamaican gold rum intended to celebrate the release of the latest James Bond film, and a trio of rums that spotlight the effect of resting the spirit in casks that previously held fortified wines. The range also extends from affordable-luxury bottles that emphasize the effect of creative blending, such as Chairman’s Legacy and Appleton Black River, to full-on luxury “reserve” bottlings from SelvaRey and Ten to One. And as aged rums go darker and richer and fancier, Equiano has pivoted with an approachable light rum that’s cocktail-ready.

It’s also worth noting the effect of technology on the latest crop of rum bottles. Although that’s certainly not restricted to rum, it speaks volumes about rum as a versatile canvas—in this case, as a medium for projecting a brand’s values and aesthetics. For example, the Blackwell rum speaks to the entertainment industry, incorporating an augmented-reality experience available via a QR code on the bottle. Meanwhile, the pricey limited-edition bottle for Dictador 2 Masters Niepoort incorporates an array of “advanced security solutions,” designed “to protect our rum’s authenticity,” its producer says, ranging from gold paint with UV protection to armored glass with fingerprint technology required to unlock the bottle.

Of course, most rums don’t go to such lengths to ensure that no one messes with the liquid inside. But anyone with a good bottle of rum on hand knows that’s something to cherish. These are nine new bottles to explore.

  • 007 Limited Edition Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum ($35)

    007 Limited Edition Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This label is the creation of music legend Chris Blackwell, who now owns author Ian Fleming’s former residence in Jamaica, called Goldeneye. The limited-edition rum, released in November 2020 in conjunction with the James Bond film No Time to Die, features an augmented-reality experience available via a QR code on the bottle. Its producer describes the liquid as an “aged, rich, and fragrant dark gold rum.”

  • Appleton Estate 15 Year Old Black River Casks ($65)

    Appleton Estate 15 Year Old Black River Casks

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This newest addition to Appleton’s portfolio, which debuted in June 2021, pays homage to the Black River in Jamaica’s Nassau Valley, the source of the limestone-filtered water used to create all Appleton Estate rum. Its producer describes the rum, a blend of pot- and column-still rums aged for at least 15 years and bottled at 43% ABV, as possessing notes of “intense orange peel, rich vanilla, and subtle hints of medium-roasted coffee and molasses,” ending with “a creamy lingering finish.”

  • Chairman’s Legacy ($43)

    Chairman’s Legacy

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This new rum from St. Lucia Distillers spotlights the art of blending, incorporating rum made in three types of stills (John Dore, Vendome, and Coffey), and mixes traditional molasses-based rums with sugarcane-juice rum fermented with wild yeast. Legacy features rums aged between five and six years. Its producer describes it as “soft and easy,” with “rich, hedonistic crème brulee, sultana fruit, [and] vanilla” flavors. The rum honors Chairman’s founder and St. Lucian rum producer Laurie Barnard, who passed in 2012.

  • Dictador 2 Masters Niepoort ($1,151)

    Dictador 2 Masters Niepoort

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    Colombian rum producer Dictador teamed up with port house Niepoort for this latest release in its “2 Masters” series. The new expression is made with four Dictador rums from the 1971, 1974, 1978, and 1980 vintages, aged for 12 to 16 months in port pipes and bottled at 48% ABV. A unique feature of the pricey bottle is its “robust” security features, including armored glass with fingerprint technology required to unlock the bottle.

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  • Equiano Light ($46)

    Equiano Light

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    The second expression from the Equiano Rum Company, launched in May 2021, features a blend of lightly aged molasses rum from the Caribbean, distilled at Foursquare Distillery, and fresh sugar cane juice from Africa. The end result is a light golden rum with grassy and citrusy notes, recommended for mixing into Daiquiris and long drinks like Mojitos. In honor of its namesake, Oluadah Equiano, $2 of every bottle sold through equianorum.com goes towards Equiano Rum Co.’s charitable grant, helping abolish modern slavery in all its forms around the world through its 2021 recipient, Anti-Slavery International.

  • Mount Gay Master Blender Collection: The Port Cask Expression ($175)

    Mount Gay Master Blender Collection: The Port Cask Expression

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This limited-edition blend, new as of October 2020, is the third expression from Mount Gay’s Master Blender Collection. It incorporates the use of tawny port casks for the first time in the Barbados rum-maker’s history, yielding rich cherry, oak, prune, and almond flavors. Bottled at cask strength (55% ABV), this small batch is limited to 2,100 bottles in the U.S.

  • SelvaRey Owner’s Reserve ($150)

    SelvaRey Owner’s Reserve

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    In January 2021, the Panama rum owned by pop star Bruno Mars launched a new “owner’s reserve.” It’s a single-estate rum selected from the cellars of “Don Pancho” Francisco Fernandez, the master distiller for SelvaRey (and numerous other brands). The limited-edition blend includes 15- and 25-year-old rums that were then aged together in American oak.

  • Ten to One Reserve ($150)

    Ten to One Reserve

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This is the first-ever reserve from Ten to One. It’s a limited-edition expression sourced from four hand-selected casks of 17-year-old Trinidadian rum, and it pays homage to founder Marc Farrell’s birthplace. Aged in ex-bourbon barrels, the rum is described by its producer as containing notes of pawpaw, passion fruit, ginger, and apricot.