If you love rum, you're sure to be a fan of spiced rum. Find your next favourite bottle with rum expert Ian Burrell's top must-try buys.
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They say that rum is the new gin but in reality, it's spiced rums that are the new gins. These rums are made similarly to normal rum in that they are distilled from a byproduct of sugarcane – however, once flavours, spices or extra sugar are added to a rum, it becomes a rum liqueur, flavoured rum or spiced rum.
With an amazing array of spices available to enhance the many rums on the market today, it's no wonder that this subcategory of the sugar cane spirit is becoming so popular. Here are 10 spiced rums that you have to try.
Dead Man's Fingers spiced rum (37.5% ABV)
This spiced rum was created in the tropical county of Cornwall by the owners of The Rum & Crab Shack in St Ives. It's made using a blend of rums from Trinidad and Barbados, which have been aged for up to three years, then married with spices.
When tasting neat, notes of orange, vanilla, nutmeg, raisins and toffee are dominant on the palate, but this spiced rum is best enjoyed mixed. For an almost treacle-like taste, mix it with cloudy apple juice, a squeeze of fresh lime and plenty of ice.
Chairman's Reserve spiced rum (40% ABV)
Made in the beautiful island of St Lucia, Chairman's Reserve brings Caribbean warmth to your glass. There are hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, coconut, allspice, lemon and orange, with a more moderate sweet side.
At 40% ABV, you're getting a full-bodied spirit that punches way above its weight, whether you're drinking it with your favourite mixer, in a cocktail or with ice and a twist of orange (the latter being my personal favourite way to drink this award-winning spiced rum).
Don Q oak barrel spiced rum (45% ABV)
Aged for a minimum of three years in white oak barrels, Puerto Rican Don Q spiced rum is infused with a blend of cinnamon, vanilla, clove and nutmeg. These spicy notes shine through in the spirit, which is bottled at an amazing 45% ABV.
It has a medium to long finish, with touches of apricot and caramel. The perfect way to serve this dry spiced rum? In a tall glass with plenty of ice, tonic and a slice each of orange and lime. If you really want to impress your friends, add a vanilla pod to the glass.
Foursquare spiced rum (37.5% ABV)
Created at Richard Seale's award-winning Foursquare distillery in Barbados, this is a high-quality dry spiced rum. The distillery uses natural spices and no added sugar, and is known for the purity within its products. You'll find this drink very subtle in its spiciness, with touches of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and vanilla.
Bounty spiced rum (40% ABV)
Another spiced rum from the island of St Lucia. Bounty spiced rum is packed with vanilla, cinnamon and allspice, as well as the potent bois bande bark – a punchy local spice that gives this drink a uniquely St Lucian kick.
It's aged for two years in former bourbon casks before the spices are macerated in the liquid, culminating in a light, spicy liquid that's easily drunk with your favourite mixer. Try this spiced rum with ginger beer or ginger ale for a refreshing long drink.
RumJava signature rum (35% ABV)
This spiced rum takes advantage of one the most popular flavours used in the drinks industry today: coffee. With the subtle help of dried coconut, vanilla and caramel, this signature blend is the flagship of the RumJava range.
The rum is double distilled using Floridian sugar cane, then infused with freshly roasted Java’Mon Coffee beans. The natural flavours are then added to create a rich spiced rum, with a well-balanced dark coffee and sweet note finish. It's perfect on the rocks with a twist of orange peel or in an espresso martini, with the RumJava replacing the vodka.
Pusser’s spiced rum (35% ABV)
A spiced spirit from long-time rum producers, Pusser's. These guys are known for making strong rums that warm you up as you sip them, a tradition which this spiced rum continues. It's made using Caribbean rums, spices and sugar to create a well-rounded drink. In the mouth there are big notes of ginger, nutmeg, orange peel and demerara sugar that make this a very popular tipple.
Drink it neat, over ice or with ginger beer. Alternatively, go for a classic touch with a navy grog: mix one part lime juice, one part sugar, two parts Pusser’s spiced rum and two parts water, then enjoy.
Saint Aubin spiced rum (40% ABV)
A naturally spiced rum from artisanal distillery Saint Aubin, on the island of Mauritius. Unlike the majority of rums, this spiced rum is made from fresh sugar cane juice rather than molasses. The fresh juice base produces aromas of tropical fruit, such as caramelised banana and pineapple, enhanced by the maceration of additional flavours like orange peel, vanilla and sweet peppers.
Sadler's Peaky Blinder black spiced rum (40% ABV)
Named after the Birmingham-based Peaky Blinders street gang from the late 19th/early 20th century, this is a traditional blackened spiced rum blended with spices and dark caramel.
It erupts with big flavours of vanilla, cloves, flamed orange peel, treacle, sticky toffee and burnt caramel. A classic dark spiced rum, it's made to be mixed in a highball glass with ginger beer as a dark & stormy, or with cola and a slice of lime.
Bayou spiced rum (40% ABV)
A spiced rum inspired by the spicy Creole flavours of Louisiana. A special blend of Creole baking spices is rested with Bayou's rum for up to 30 days, resulting in a spirit bursting with sweet cinnamon and banana aromas, followed by flavours of allspice, clove, pepper and maple syrup.
A versatile spiced rum, it's best enjoyed with ginger ale, ginger beer or tonic. It also works well in classic cocktails such as an old fashioned – simply add a sugar cube, Angostura bitters and ice, and stir until cold, then finish with a twist of orange peel.
The best spirits, tested by experts
This review was last updated in February 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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