What makes a good rum?

Rum is a popular and versatile spirit that has been enjoyed for centuries. Whether you prefer it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, there are a few characteristics that make a good rum stand out from the rest.


The first characteristic of a good rum is its age. Generally, the longer a rum is aged, the smoother and more complex it becomes. Look for rums that have been aged for at least 5 years, as these will have a more developed flavor profile.

Type of Barrel

Another important characteristic is the type of barrel in which the rum is aged. Rums aged in oak barrels tend to have a rich, woody flavor, while those aged in stainless steel or other types of barrels may have a more neutral taste.

For example, St. Nicholas Abbey Rum is aged in used American Oak bourbon barrels.

Distillation Process

Finally, the distillation process plays a role in the quality of a rum. High-quality rums are typically made from molasses or sugarcane juice, and are distilled in a traditional pot still or column still. These methods produce a purer, smoother rum compared to those made with other processes or cheaper ingredients.

Mount Gay Rum uses the best Barbadian and Caribbean sugarcane refined into top-grade molasses.

“Annabelle” a combination pot still and distillation column at St. Nicholas Abbey, Barbados

Overall, a good rum is one that is aged for a sufficient amount of time, aged in a type of barrel that enhances its flavor, and made using high-quality ingredients and distillation methods. When searching for the perfect rum, keep these characteristics in mind to find a bottle that truly stands out.

Visiting Barbados? Take a Rum Tour to discover more about the rum making process and enjoy some samples!

Barbados Rum Tours

Join a local rum tour to discover how Barbados creates some of the world’s best rums!

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