The 15 Best Rums to Try in 2021
The rum renaissance is well and truly upon us.
For so long the tipple of salt crusted sailors and partying rum cocktail drinkers, the spirit is coming back to the forefront with accessibility now at historic levels.
Rum production is rising in the US and particularly the Caribbean, with old favorites, matured expressions from leading brands, and a fleet of flavored fancies from upstart independents all part of the thriving landscape.
The following list of 15 rums to try in 2021 will suit everyone; from the new school mixologist or expert sipper to the hardened veteran of heavy duty navy rum, there’s a taste in here to suit you.
1. Rhum Barbancourt Reserve Speciale 8 Year
Rhum Barbancourt Reserve Speciale (5 Star) is a product of Haiti aged 8 years to perfection in 100% French Limousine oak (as is the finest Cognac).
Barbancourt is produced from pure sugarcane juice and double distilled in a manner like that of Cognac. Afficionados often rate it superior to AOC Rhum Agricole (from the Isle of Martinique) but at a much more affordable price.
This powerful, fine rum includes notes of fruit, vanilla and pepper, and is perfect for simple sipping or carrying a tropical cocktail such as a daquiri or mai tai.
Rhum Barbancourt Réserve Spéciale is a unique head turner sure to draw comment from those checking it your collection. You can take it up a notch with the kick ass Estate Reserva, a sensational sipping rum.
2. Bacardi Gran Reserva Limitada
The premium rum expression from one of the world’s most beloved brands mixes some of Puerto Rico’s finest aged rum, then is aged for 12 years in oak barrels.
Bacardi Gran Reserva Limitada features clean oak flavor with distinct woody, vanilla and toasted almond notes. Hints of butterscotch and dried fruit give way to a long, dry finish.
Bacardi Gran Reserva Limitada is the most expensive bottle on our list, but is a standout sipping rum for you to add to your home bar.
3. Flor de Cana 12 Year Old Rum
A 12-year old, ultra-premium rum with no added sugar Flor de Cana (sugarcane flower) is a sustainably produced, gluten free, and Fair Trade certified premium rum.
The Nicaraguan product of a 5th generation family estate, Flor de Cana rum is distilled with 100% renewable energy and naturally aged without sugar or artificial ingredients.
This rum has aromas of red fruits, nuts and honey, which give it a beautiful amber hue and well-balanced taste.
If you’re a rum drinker looking for a well-priced, socially conscious gold rum for all occasions then look no further than than Flor de Cana 12 Year.
4. Brugal 1888
Brugal 1888 is now made by the fifth generation of the founder’s family and the leading rum brand in the Dominican Republic.
Brugal Rum is cask-aged for the entirety of maturation, but is smoother and less sweet due to the brand’s continuous distillation process.
Brugal 1888 is pleasant, smooth and full-bodied rum meant for drinking neat or on the rocks, with great tasting notes of banana, caramel, cinnamon and dried fruit.
5. Diplomatico Rum Reserva Exclusiva
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is a Venezuelan rum distilled in copper pot stills and aged for 12 years.
Diplomático is produced from molasses and sugarcane honey from the syrup left behind from the cane’s first boiling. It’s a subtly spicy, dark rum, with the banana flavors augmented by notes of vanilla and tropical fruit.
Distinctively bottled in green, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is an aged rum suitable for sipping or use in a range of fruity cocktail choices.
6. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
Iconic Jamaican rum brand Wray and Nephew is a white overproof rum carrying extra wallop (at 63% ABV). It’s responsible for 90% of domestic Jamaican rum sales.
It’s a fruity fiery white rum for the rum lover who enjoys holding court in social situations, and is best used in cocktails such as Jamaican rum punches, daiquiri, or mai tai.
Wray and Nephew Overproof White Rum is designed with your party in mind.
7. Bumbu Original Rum
“Bumbu” was the term West Indian sailors called their rum concoction of the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s fruity flavor and hard-hitting finish made it popular among the Islands.
This Bumbu is a quality rum that uses the same native spices and Caribbean fruits, aged in oak for up to 15 years..
Bumbu is distilled in small batches, blended by hand, using no artificial colors or flavors.
The bottle is badass too, with the prominent crossbones and proper cork stopper letting know that you’re in for a classical rum experience.
8. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Look, I’m a tattoo guy first and foremost. I write about booze for fun and profit. Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins was an icon of ink, a sailor of repute, and all-around interesting guy. Funnily enough, he didn’t drink, but I’ll never hold that against him.
Sailor Jerry is a fine rum brand that distills spiced rum the old school way. Its taste is a finely balanced mix of oak, vanilla, cinnamon and clove flavors designed with simple drinking in mind.
As far as American rum brands go, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more suitable inexpensive choice to make a mighty mojito or crafty long island ice tea.
Grab a couple of Sailor Jerry bottles for your cocktail bar and watch the fun last long into the night.
9. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
Any company naming their Caribbean rum after the black ink of the monstrous deep-sea creature is getting a big tick from me, however there’s a reason why the Kraken is one of the fastest growing rum brands in the world.
It’s a unique, black spiced Caribbean rum redolent of nutmeg, toffee, ginger, cloves and vanilla. The Kraken is popular for those with a fondness for hearty warmth, strength, and spice flavor in their mug.
The Kraken makes for an epic shot or new take on old favorites; it’s a great dark spirit to introduce to the veteran rum drinker and new taster alike.
10. Koloa Coconut Rum
Koloa Coconut Rum is made from raw Cane Sugar distilled in a steam powered copper pot still and cut with filtered water from Mount Waialeale.
I’m not a coconut fan generally, but this Hawaiian rum offers an outrageously smooth, sweet tasting rum interspersed with the wonderful woody flavor of coconut, a hint of fresh lime juice and caramelized pineapple.
If you’re looking for a coconut expression differing from other cheaply priced flavored rum brands you can get from the liquor store, then Koloa Coconut Rum will take your pina colada to another level.
11. Mount Gay Eclipse
With 300 years of heritage, Mount Gay is the oldest rum distillery in the world. This bottle is named after the 1910 solar eclipse that was visible from Barbados, where the company calls home.
A typical Mount Gay product, Eclipse is a fresh tasting golden rum, blended from rums distilled in copper pot and column stills, then aged for 2 years in bourbon casks.
Eclipse is a gorgeous rum tasting of ripe banana, dark chocolate and almond, with hints of sweet honey from the bourbon barrel maturation;
Eclipse is an inexpensive, versatile gold rum for use in simple cocktail types, fruit juices, or mixed drinks.
12. Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum
Look, if you’re going flavored, get a sweet pineapple rum drop that was never meant for sale.
Plantation cellar master Alexandre Gabriel and author David Wondrich created this rum to share during Tales of the Cocktail conference, in honor of Reverend Stiggins whose favorite drink was the pineapple rum in the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.
The Fancy Pineapple Rum was such a hit that Plantation made it an official release, and it’s an outlier of great quality in the flavored rum market.
13. Goslings Black Seal Rum
Ginger Beer, dark rum, and lime juice. Simple and sizzling. A dark and stormy rum cocktail is made better by Goslings Black Seal Rum.
It’s such a potent combination the company has even trade-marked the name Dark and Stormy. That’s all the evidence I need.
Look, a dark rum of this type is not for everyone, but it will put you right. The molasses, brown sugar, heady spice mix and lengthy maturation process adds to its mystique, and the lovable seal on the label doesn’t hurt either.
14. Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced Rum
Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced is a unique blend of rums aged at least 3 years in American white oak barrels.
The oak notes complement vanilla and caramel flavors, with an added touch of toasted coffee in the profile and the heady mix of kitchen spices.
If you’re a lover spiced rum Don Q is a great expression to add to your collection, perfect served over ice or as part of a classic cocktail.
15. Pusser’s British Navy Rum
“Pusser” is British Royal Navy slang for a purser, who was a ship’s supply officer. They controlled the quantity and quality of rum rations each sailor was assigned (although a rationed rum supply was stopped to the navy in 1970).
Pusser’s British Navy Rum is the ultimate traditional rum recipe. There’s no added flavors or coloring added to the mix, just a mix of strong mix of spice and aged rum.
If you want a classic warm belly rum to drink by the glass, or just an old school bottle with which to spin stories from, then Pusser’s is the rum for you.
The Best 14 Leather Jackets for Men in 2021
With the winter months (hopefully) dwindling down, it’s time to start planning ahead to a time where we can wear thinner jackets and fewer layers. While it may be tempting to quickly shed your parka and grab for whatever piece of outerwear is nearby, don’t reach for last year’s wardrobe item just yet. Isn’t it time you try something new, like, say, a leather jacket?
Though it may seem all leather jackets are similar, there are actually many different designs and styles that work for different body types and tastes. In this article, we will take a look at the hottest leather jacket trends that have hit the market this season.
1. Aaron Brown Leather Bomber
The Aaron Brown Leather Jacket from The Jacket Maker is an excellent choice for any guy looking for that traditional bomber look. This awesome jacket features a slim cut and ribbed cuffs and waist. It’s made with incredibly tough, yet soft, goatskin leather, making it a great choice for guys that aren’t used to wearing leather jackets.
One of the best things about the Aaron is that it shirks the classic pouch pockets on the lower half of the jacket, opting for two buttoned patch pockets on the chest instead. This design gives it a more streamlined look than most bombers, without taking away from any of the authenticity.
2. Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
There is a reason why leather jackets and bikers are usually associated with one another. Historically, many motorcycle riders have seen a leather jacket as a stylish way to protect themselves, not only from the elements but also from the possibility of a crash. While this may seem hard to believe – it’s not like leather comes with a large amount of padding, after all – leather has actually been shown to offer more protection than your average vinyl jacket or equivalent.
Maybe you’re not hopping on a motorcycle anytime soon, but you can still treat yourself to this biker-inspired Saint Laurent leather jacket. With a price tag surpassing $5,000, it’s certainly our premium pick on this list, but if you’re looking for the leather jacket of a lifetime, you have it right here. This pick is sure to come with the “for life” quality Saint Laurent is particularly known for.
3. Reiss Keith Leather Cafe Racer Jacket
Reiss is a British fashion retailer that’s been around since the 1970s. For the first 30 years of its brand history, it focused solely on men’s fashion before eventually expanding to carry items for women as well. However, the fact high-quality items for men are at the heart of this brand is very apparent through their simple wardrobe staples such as the Keith leather cafe racer jacket.
This Reiss jacket comes at a considerably lower price point than its counterparts, which makes it a pick that packs a lot of value. It’s made from super-soft leather and features a full lining. It’s the perfect choice for anybody who prefers a slim-fit jacket.
4. Lavendard Brown Leather Bike Jacket
The Jacket Maker has something for everyone, including guys that are a bit intimidated by purchasing their first leather jacket. Not only is the Lavendard incredibly affordable, but it also has a really approachable look despite its biker moniker. With open hem cuffs and a tailored fit, it looks great with badass-inspired outfits as well as everyday wear.
The Lavendard is made of real cowhide, which means it will take on a great patina over time. But it might be a bit stiff when you first get it. The more you wear it, the faster it’ll form to your body, break-in, and soften up. The fact that it goes with so many outfits will help speed up that process.
5. Ksubi Capital Leather Jacket
The Capital Leather Jacket from Ksubi comes in 100% authentic leather and is designed to have a biker fit. It’s heavy-duty with a protective interior quilted lining. It also features retro details such as antique zippers.
Kusbi is an Australian fashion label that’s existed since the 1990s. While the brand was originally focused on high-end denim, they’ve expanded their offerings over time to include other textiles such as leather. Items from Ksubi’s collections have been shown at such high-profile events as New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, and the company operates a flagship store in New York’s SOHO neighborhood.
6. Acne Studios Off-Centred Zipper Biker Jacket
Swedish fashion powerhouse Acne Studios is well-known for their basic wardrobe pieces, so it makes sense that they would have the classic leather jacket look on lock. We love the way this off-centered jacket packs a punch of personality with its multiple buckles and zippers, but we love even more the way that it does not compromise softness or comfort at the expense of appearance.
This jacket comes with a high-end price tag, but it has the high-end materials to match. It is made of 100% genuine lambskin and comes with an interior lining of 100% viscose. Its unique off-center zip takes its inspiration from street style.
7. Airin G-1 Black and White Leather Jacket
There’s only one way to improve upon a traditional bomber: Add shearling fabric. The Jacket Maker’s Airin G-1 Bomber will have ready to strap into the cockpit, ready to fly over Europe on a midnight air-raid. It has a thick polyester-lined collar as well as ribbed cuffs and waist for a nice, snug fit that keeps the wind at bay.
The Airin is made with real sheepskin, so it’s soft but super durable, making it a great choice for almost any type of casual wear. The dual front pouch pockets are great for a phone and a pair of gloves, so if you’re wearing it on a motorcycle, you’ll have the storage you need.
8. Saturdays NYC Leather Harrington Jacket
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand Saturdays NYC, prepare to fall in love. As a laidback lifestyle brand, Saturdays NYC infuses its love for all things surfer culture in all of its fashion offerings. While primarily known for their loungewear, such as sweats and pullover sweaters, they also happen to make one of the best leather jackets on the market right now.
The leather Harrington jacket features a smooth design and has deep pockets for your convenience. It is made of 100% lambskin leather and features a lining made of polyester. Staying true to its brand’s carefree nature, this jacket features a more relaxed fit than many classic leather jackets.
9. Berluti Piped Venezia Leather Jacket
Unlike the other options we’ve included so far, Berluti is known less for being a fashion brand and more for being a leather maker. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the Paris-based manufacturer has been producing fine leather clothing items and accessories, from belts to bags to jackets.
Berluti’s piped Venezia leather jacket is the apex of luxury leather fashion. Made from a distinctive brown shade, this jacket line has been around since the 1980s – and it’s a style that certainly stands the test of time.
This jacket is made from 100% authentic patinated calfskin leather and features shoulder patches and a buttoned collar. For optimal breathability, the jacket even features ventilation eyelets.
10. Dean Black Leather Biker Jacket
Let’s be honest.. A traditional racing-style biker jacket is about as cool as it gets. With the high band-style collar and heavy-duty zippers on the front of The Jacket Maker’s Dean Leather Biker Jacket, you’re sure to get that badass look.
The Dean is made with 100% real cowhide leather, so it might be a little stiff at first, but it will break in and patina like none other. The Dean features three zippered pockets on the front as well as zippered cuffs, providing that authentic racing jacket-look without killing your bank account.
11. Kingsman Burnished Leather Jacket
Kingsman is a line of high-quality clothing pieces that exists as a collaboration between Mr. Matthew Vaughn, director of the film The King’s Man, and international online fashion retailer MR PORTER. The line features items that are inspired by classic military style and timeless sensibilities.
The burnished leather jacket from the Kingsman line is unique for its length as well as its appearance. It draws direct inspiration from an aviator jacket worn on-screen in The King’s Man, a period piece that takes place in the 1940s. The jacket is made out of sturdy cow leather and buttons made of buffalo horns. It also features two linings – one made of cotton, and one made of viscose.
12. AllSaints Milo Leather Biker Jacket
AllSaints is a British fashion brand from the United Kingdom. Since its founding in the 1990s, it has grown to an international presence that consists of more than 200 retail stores across Europe, North America, and Asia. The brand is mostly focused on fashion for women and men, though it also sells footwear and other accessories. It has primarily seen its popularity grow thanks to its popularity among a celebrity clientele.
AllSaints makes a number of leather jackets, but the Milo biker jacket is definitely one to write home about. This is a jacket that brings out the very best of two very different worlds – including a soft composition and sharp edges – since it is made of tender lamb leather and decorated to the nines with perfectly-placed zippers and buckles. It also has a distinctive slim fit.
13. Golden Bear Sherpa Jacket
San Francisco brand Golden Bear may have its roots in ship workers in the San Francisco Bay since the 1920s, but it’s evolved today to combine both utilitarianism and high-end style. Although not as recognized outside of its native northern California, to know the stylish jackets of Golden Bear is to love them.
The sherpa jacket, in particular, is exquisite. Like any Golden Bear clothing piece, it’s designed to be worn for life, and fortunately, it comes with a style that will be sure to stay in fashion for decades to come, with brown distressed leather and a notable shearling collar that can be detached.
14. Tom Ford Zip-up Leather Jacket
Tom Ford is well-known for their high-end scents and formal clothing, but they have a strong foot in the casual jacket sphere as well. Not that this zip-up leather jacket is something you would wear to a casual house party. Its sleek edges and formal design make it more than suitable for a fancy professional event or night out on the town.
True to its brand’s roots, no attention to detail was spared in the creation of this particular wardrobe piece. Its straightforward design features 100% authentic leather and a cotton and polyamide lining. It is truly meant to last for life. Made in Italy, this jacket has shallow pockets in the front and a zipper down the center.
Leather Jacket FAQs
While there are many different unique leather jacket configurations out there, there are four classic syles you should be most aware of. In no particular order, they are the leather bomber jacket (also called aviator jacket), the leather racer jacket (sometimes called moto), the trenchcoat, and the fencer. While bomber jackets and racer jackets tend to be more relaxed, the trenchcoat and the fencer are more dramatic.
If you care for your leather jacket correctly you should have a wardrobe piece that’ll last you a lifetime. Most leather jackets cannot be washed at home and must only be handled professionally. The first step to taking proper care of your jacket is to adhere to this rule.
You should also keep your leather jacket dry as often as possible and keep it away from extreme heat or cold air. If you are not going to be wearing your leather jacket for a period of time, such as during a warm season, then you’ll want to be sure that you are hanging it up correctly – this means out of direct sunlight and in a properly-ventilated area.
Determining how much to pay for a leather jacket is a very personal matter. For an authentic leather jacket, you will probably be paying, at a baseline, $500. However, this price can easily skyrocket from here, depending on the jacket’s materials and manufacturing process.
Some leather jackets can cost as much as $10,000! There is no right or wrong number – it’s instead about the brands you like and the style that you envision for yourself.