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The Best Rums Under $50 To Try in 2021
Rum is steaming through 2021. Accessibility to great-tasting and well-priced rum is now at historic levels, prompting more innovation and investment in the rum spirits and cocktail market. Rum production is rising in the US and Caribbean, with old favorites and flavors, matured expressions, and interesting independent producers creating a thriving range of options for rum drinkers and samplers.
With interest in rum at an all-time high, the following article provides the best rums under $50 to try in 2021. There’s a mix of varieties and ages that are all great tasting and useful for different purposes, whether you’re sipping rum over ice or enjoying a party with a massive cocktail glass of pina colada.
1. Bumbu Original Rum
“Bumbu” was the term West Indian sailors called their rum concoction of the 16th and 17th centuries. Its fruity flavor and hard-hitting finish made it popular among the Islands. This Bumbu expression is a great rum that uses the same native spices and Caribbean cane sugar and dried fruit.
Bumbu is distilled in small batches, blended by hand using no artificial colors or flavors, then aged in bourbon barrel oak for up to 15 years. The medium char bourbon cask aging gives Bumbu rum a vanilla sheen and vibrant golden color.
The Bumbu bottle is badass too, with the prominent crossbones and proper cork stopper letting you know that you’re in for a classic rum experience. I prefer it as a smooth sipping rum or splashed into a bubbly, refreshing glass of ginger beer.
2. Banks 5 Island Rum
A blend of rums from five distilleries, each aged between three and twelve years. The rums are from Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, and Guyana, but also include Batavia Arrack from Java.
Batavia Arrack is a sugar cane juice and molasses distillate produced exclusively on the Indonesian Island of Java. The maturation process includes the addition of local fermented (red) rice.
Banks 5 Island Rum is a big, characterful rum full of fermented molasses that boldly sits well in a classic daiquiri. Filtered until it’s crystal clear, this barrel-aged rum offers more character than most light rum types.
Banks 5 Island is just the type of lively expression that’ll liven up any rum cocktail, or work just as well with lime juice, ice, and a little bit of fresh tropical fruit. Banks also has a golden rum blend of 23 rums from seven countries that we highly recommend if a sweeter Caribbean rum for sipping on the beach is more your kind of thing.
3. Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
With 300 years of heritage, Mount Gay is the oldest rum distillery in the world. The robust Black Barrel blend is crafted from intense and aromatic rums distilled in traditional copper pot and column stills.
After distillation, the rum is matured between three to seven years in American Whiskey casks and then finished for another six months in deeply charred ex-bourbon casks. This robust and bold golden rum offers rich notes of spices, gingerbread, and toffee, and is well suited to mixed drinks such as a Black & Stormy, rum Manhattan, or a heavier kicking poolside cocktail like a Mai Tai or rum punch.
4. Diplomatico 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.
5. Wray and Nephew Overproof White Rum
Iconic Jamaican rum brand Wray and Nephew is responsible for 90% of domestic Jamaican rum sales and is the pre-eminent “strong” overproof rum brand sold worldwide.
Wray and Nephew overproof rum carries an extra wallop (at 63% ABV) and is designed with your party in mind. It has a natural sugar-sweet aroma with overtones of fermented molasses. The palate is fruity, and the extra booze kick is tangible alongside notes of banana and a little oak.
The finish is long and filled with the flavor synonymous with Caribbean spiced rum. It’s a fruity fiery white spirit for the rum lover who enjoys holding court in social situations and is best used in cocktails such as a Jamaican rum punch, daiquiri, or Mai Tai.
See more about - The 10 Best White Rum Brands to Try in 2021
6. St Aubin Rhum Agricole Vanilla
Rhum Agricole is the French term for sugarcane juice rum rather than molasses. St Aubin Agricole Rhum Vanilla is a delicious, laid-back flavored rum in combination with vanilla grown on the St Aubin plantations in Mauritius.
The vanilla pod – you’ll find it at the bottom of the bottle – combined with the sugarcane juice helps make this an excellently complex, smooth flavored rum. For those who prefer darker rums with a sweeter touch for sipping ginger beer, a daiquiri, or tasty pina colada, this is precisely the rum brand you need.
7. Flor de Cana 12 Year Old 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. 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.
This rum has aromas of red dried fruit, nuts, orange peel, and honey, which gives 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 Flor de Cana 12 Year.
8. Angostura 7 Year Old Rum
Angostura uses the highest quality molasses, fermented with proprietary yeast cultures, distilled in continuous stills, then aged in charred ex-bourbon barrels. Angostura 7 Year Old is selected from light, medium, and heavy rums that have been aging for a minimum of seven years. The blend is then returned to casks to further marry its flavors.
Master Distiller, John Georges, and the blending team are involved at every stage to ensure the highest quality and consistency, from molasses selection through to cask selection. The nose offers a fruity bouquet of aromas, creamy vanilla, dark chocolate, brown sugar, coffee, baking spice, and oak, which extends to the palate of caramel, coffee, and roasted nuts. Rather than fiery spirit, this medium-bodied rum lingers gently on the palate, the lengthy finish fading to notes of cinnamon and other tropical spices.
9. Brugal Extra Dry Rum
The pride of the Dominican Republic, the fourth and fifth generations of the original Brugal’s direct descendants continue to honor his legacy by acting as the personal guardians of the entire rum-making process.
The Brugal family recipe is a closely guarded secret. Brugal Extra Dry Rum is a blend of American oak barrel-aged, double-distilled rums aged from two to five years, triple charcoal filtered, and then bottled at an easy-going 80 proof. After going through the distillation process, Brugal Rums are aged for up to eight years in hand-picked American oak casks.
Brugal offers spice and subtle brown sugar sweetness on the nose followed by coconut, vanilla, and baking spice. The finish is warming and spicy with cardamom and coriander.
If you’re looking for a cheap, light rum versatile enough for use in cocktails, or to be thrown into a glass with ice and fruit juice, then Brugal should be near the top of your list.
10. 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 a new take on old favorites; it’s a great dark spirit to introduce to the veteran spiced rum drinker and new taster alike.
Bonus: O.V.D. Demerara Rum
O.V.D. stands for Old Vatted Demerara, a style of rum blending unique to the Demerara region of Guyana. All Demerara rum is distilled in Guyana, regardless of where it may be aged and bottled (with plenty of this happening for brands elsewhere in the world).
The rum is derived from sugar cane juice grown along the Demera river. O.V.D. rum is distilled from molasses in a wooden Coffey still in Guyana before it’s blended and bottled in Glasgow before sale.
O.V.D. is a syrupy thick, dark rum that is resplendent with banana, butter, and sweet coffee, with a lingering molasses finish.