Spirits & Liqueurs Rum

8 New Rum Bottles to Try Right Now

From increased ages to inventive cask finishes to summery-flavored spins, these are the rums you’ll want to be drinking.

Rum bottles
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Liquor.com / Laura Sant

Rum may be the ultimate summer spirit, most often made in tropical climes and ready to mix into Daiquiris, Piña Coladas, Tiki drinks and a wide range of other delightful cooling cocktails meant for sipping beachside or poolside.

This summer, rum producers are getting particularly creative. Some, such as Appleton Estate and Mount Gay, are giving their packaging and/or the liquid inside the bottles a makeover. Others are experimenting with elaborate cask finishes to give rum a new spin; consider Grander’s unusual rye finish, intended to dazzle with spicy sizzle, or Foursquare’s Sagacity, which uses ex-Madeira casks to add layers of cocoa and dried fruit. 

Sometimes, it’s all about the unusual. Holmes Cay sourced a Guyana rum distilled in a 300-year-old pot still, while Colorado craft distillery Montanya built a special-edition Valentia rum made end-to-end by a team of talented women, from distillation clear through to the bottling line.

But don’t lose sight of those summer cocktails. Diageo’s Captain Morgan certainly didn’t. In fact, it released a boundary-pushing, cocktail-ready spiced rum flavored with orange and vanilla that’s only here for the summer months. Lest anyone forget the connection between summer, sun and rum, follow the producer’s suggestion to blend the rum with ice and OJ into a boozy slushie—arguably the most summery cocktail of all.

  • Appleton Estate 8 Year Reserve ($29)

    Appleton Estate 8 Year Reserve

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This newcomer is the Jamaica distillery’s “most versatile expression of aged rum,” the producer says, positioning the bottling for mixing into cocktails. All the liquid in the rum has been aged for at least eight years, “creating a smoother and more robust tasting experience,” according to the brand. Crafted by master blender Joy Spence, the rum shows plenty of tropical fruit and spice. The release coincides with a brand-wide relaunch, featuring newly designed packaging.

  • Captain Morgan Orange Vanilla Twist ($18)

    Captain Morgan Orange Vanilla Twist

     Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This flavored spiced rum, bottled at a relatively low 30% ABV, is described by its producer as tasting like “nostalgic orange and vanilla swirl.” In other words, think Creamsicles, Orange Juliuses and other frosty, summery treats. In fact, this is specifically a summer-edition bottle, released in March 2020 and expected to disappear from shelves by Labor Day. Mix it with cola or ginger ale, both typical pairings for spiced rum, or blend it with ice and O.J. into a slushie format.

  • Foursquare Sagacity ($70)

    Foursquare Sagacity

     Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    From the Barbados distillery dubbed “the Pappy of rum,” owned and run by fourth-generation distiller Richard Seale and known for eschewing added sugars or flavors, this bottling blends a pair of 12-year-old rums, one aged in ex-bourbon casks, the other in ex-Madeira casks, creating a mix of chocolate and dried-fruit flavors. This is part of the limited-edition “Exceptional Cask Selections” lineup, which tends to sell out quickly. For those seeking something even more exclusive and elusive, look to Foursquare’s new partnership with Wealth Solutions. Just 600 bottles of a limited-edition 12-year-old rum came to market in April 2020. It’s made with a mix of distillates produced via alembic and column distillation, fully aged in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at 62% ABV.

  • Grander Rye-Finished ($65)

    Grander Rye-Finished

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    The inaugural bottling from Grander’s Barrel Series, which will comprise limited releases of fine rums finished in exceptional casks, is a blend of 12- to 25-year-old single-origin Panamanian rums finished in Kentucky rye whiskey barrels and bottled at 50% ABV (100 proof); this one will have a limited run of just 1,680 bottles. “Rye whiskey imparts a beautiful spicy note,” its producer says. “Finishing in rye barrels delivers a uniquely different and beautiful rum hard to find in the market today.”

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  • Holmes Cay Guyana Port Mourant Demerara 2005 ($149)

    Holmes Cay Guyana Port Mourant Demerara 2005

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This 100% pure pot still rum was distilled at Demerara Distillers in Guyana in 2005 and bottled in New York State. Notably, it was distilled in a Port Mourant double wooden pot still; now nearly 300 years old, it’s the only functioning double wooden pot still in existence. The rum then was aged for 15 years in the U.K. in ex-rum casks, with no sugar, color or flavors added to the rum and bottled at cask strength (a whopping 56.4% ABV). You will need to look hard for this one and will want to move quickly once you find it; when it was released in May, a mere 180 bottles were made available.

  • Montanya Valentia ($55)

    Montanya Valentia

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    From Colorado’s Montanya distillery, this limited-edition rum “celebrates the progress women have made in distilling,” the producer says. The liquid is a four-year-old rum distilled by Montanya distiller Renee Newton and finished in ex-Catoctin Creek rye barrels (a whiskey distilled by Becky Harris); it was even bottled by an all-female crew. A portion of sales are donated to Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation, which provides scholarships and awards for the purpose of helping women advance in the alcohol beverage industry.

  • Mount Gay Black Barrel New Blend ($45)

    Mount Gay Black Barrel New Blend

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    Master blender Trudiann Branker tweaked this blend, released in April 2020, to create a selection of older rums. This bottling now comprises a blend of three- to seven-year-old rums, as opposed to the previous two- to seven-year range, and includes a higher content of double-distilled pot rums for bolder and more robust flavor. While the blend is still finished in deeply charred bourbon casks, the finishing time will be extended to six months from the previous mere four weeks. Taken all together, these changes are expected to enhance the robust, bold character of the Barbados rum.

  • Mount Gay XO ($65)

    Mount Gay XO

     Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    This bottling, also released in April 2020, has also been “enriched” with a more complex blend, its producer says, expanding the age range of the rums in the blend to five to 17 years from eight to 15 years. In addition, the rums selected for the blend are individually aged in three different casks: American whiskey, bourbon and cognac.