Spirits & Liqueurs Rum

The Best High-Roller Rum

(photo illustration: Laura Sant).

You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why.

Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state. And we have included a cachaça.

  • Appleton Estate 21 Year ($113)

    “Love this rum! It tastes amazing—so many layers of flavor.”—Yani Moraitis Frye, owner, operator and head bartender at Detroit's Bad Luck

  • Avuá Tapinhoã (Cachaça, $78)

    “Technically not a rum, this sugar cane spirit aged for two years in very rare Brazilian wood barrels is exceptional and a hidden gem not to be missed. Hints of toasted coconut, honey and light citrus make for a great-tasting holiday spirit neat, on the rocks, with tonic or in a fancy cocktail like a Paper Plane (minus the bourbon).”—Joseph Pereira, bartender at Las Vegas’ Electra

  • Foursquare 2004 ($75)

    “It has the perfect amount of oak—so rich and sweet for having no sugar added. It’s high proof!”—Adam Fortuna, assistant general manager and sommelier at Grand Rapids, Mich.'s Reserve Wine & Food

  • Foursquare 2005 ($97)

    “Foursquare is doing all the right things. This rum is sure to change your perception of the spirit and illustrate what it really is and should be. This particular bottle is pure magic. It’s bottled at 12 years old, coming from used ex–American oak barrels, bottled at cask strength, free of any sugar or additives and matured purely in the tropical land of Barbados. This has tons going on. Expect greatness!”—Jordan Joseph, bar manager at Raleigh, N.C.'s Centro and Gallo Pelón

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • Foursquare Zinfandel Cask ($60)

    “You might not fancy drinking zinfandel on its own, but you’ll enjoy the cask’s effect on this rich, delicious sipping rum—thoroughly enjoyable.”—Franky Marshall, bartender and beverage director at New York City's Le Boudoir

  • Plantation XO 20th Anniversary ($44)

    “It’s a beautiful representation of what Plantation does well.”—Fortuna

  • Santa Teresa 1796 ($60)

    “I love introducing people to drinking neat rum with Santa Teresa.”—Jose Medina Camacho, bar manager at Birmingham, Ala.'s Marble Ring