The best spiced rum taste tested 2023
If you love rum, you're sure to be a fan of spiced rum. Find your next favourite bottle with our top must-try buys.
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.
Spiced rums can vary in style: from intensely sweet to varieties where the spice adds a touch of heat. Notes of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg are common from the spices, giving a toffee sweetness to the finished spirit. With ageing, this may mature into deeper treacle or malt flavours. Complex varieties may add elements of smoke, coffee - there is plenty of room for experimenting and innovation. The Caribbean feels like the home of spiced rum, with some of our top picks below using rums or spices from St Lucia, Barbados and more.
Spiced rum is a versatile spirit – sip neat, add simple mixers like lemonade or coca-cola, or use in classic rum cocktails to add even more flavour. Our hot cinnamon butter rum recipe is a winter warmer, whilst in summer try this pink gin iced tea for refreshment packed with flavour.
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. Our drinks experts Ian Burrell and Richard Davie have selected their top picks of the best spiced rum, covering prices from £22-£40, to find a bottle to suit everyone. Whether you're looking for a spiced rum to mix into cocktails, prefer a heavily spiced style or are looking for something unique, our selection covers it all.
For more unbiased expert buyer's guides, visit our reviews section to find 400+ round-ups of everything from gin and whisky to mezcal and pisco.
Best spiced rum to buy at a glance
- Best spiced rum for cocktails: Dead Man’s Fingers spiced rum, £22
- Best Caribbean spiced rum: Chairman's Reserve spiced rum, £31
- Best aged rum: Don Q oak barrel spiced rum, £28.95
- Best natural spiced rum: Foursquare spiced rum, £29.74
- Best unique spiced rum: Bounty spiced rum, £22.95
- Best spiced rum for coffee lovers: RumJava signature rum, £35
- Best sugar cane spiced rum: Saint Aubin spiced rhum, £24.95
- Best blackened spiced rum: Sadler's Peaky Blinder black spiced rum, £26
- Best Creole spiced rum: Bayou spiced rum, £21.45
- Best spiced rum for full-on spices: Chamarel Exotic Spices spiced rum, £37.31
- Best small independent spiced rum: Cabby's Spiced Rum, £29.95
Best spiced rum to buy 2023
Dead Man's Fingers spiced rum
Best spiced rum for cocktails
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
Best Caribbean spiced rum
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
Best aged rum
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.
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Foursquare spiced rum
Best natural spiced rum
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.
It makes an amazing spicy mojito or daiquiri but is also delicious served with dry ginger ale, Angostura bitters and a lime wedge for a refreshing Bajan spiced mule.
Bounty spiced rum
Best unique spiced rum
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
Best spiced rum for coffee lovers
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.
Saint Aubin spiced rum
- Available from The Whisky Exchange (£24.95), Master of Malt (£24.94)
Best sugar cane spiced rum
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.
It's best served in citrus-based cocktails such as daiquiris, or as the base for a mai tai-style punch, with pineapple, lime, syrup and a dusting of nutmeg.
The Whisky Exchange (£24.95)
Master of Malt (£24.94)
Sadler's Peaky Blinder black spiced rum
Best blackened spiced rum
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
Best Creole spiced rum
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.
Chamarel Exotic Spices spiced rum
Best spiced rum for full-on rich spices
The Chamarel rum distillery, in south-west Mauritius, is slightly unusual amongst its peers for the fact that the estate still cultivates its own sugarcane. With the close oversight this allows, they aim to go from harvesting to the stills within four hours. The Exotic Spices variety takes Chamarel's normal Gold rum, already aged eighteen months in oak barrels, and gives it a further three months to infuse with their selection of spices.
It opens with a big rich nose, wafts of baked apples, tropical fruit, cinnamon, citrus zest, vanilla and cloves and delivers on all those when sipped. It is smooth but full and intense. It would also be great served long with grapefruit, simple syrup and sparkling water.
Cabby's Spiced Rum
Best small independent spiced rum
Despite rum having been a fixture of London's drinking for centuries, the Taxi Spirit Co are the first ever rum distillery to open in the city. Founded in 2018 by Moses Odong, the name is a nod to his other job as a London cabby. Alongside this spiced take, they also produce a white rum and a molasses spirit-based gin.
Vanilla, ginger, allspice and cloves, with hints of honey and violet, sit on top of a clean, characterful rum. It’s sweet with hints of the molasses. The base spirit is good, so why not just sip it, but still, it sings with chilled ginger beer and a wedge of fresh lime.
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This review was last updated in October 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.
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