Rum is intimately entwined with the history and culture of the Caribbean. White, dark, and spiced rums, which had humble origins as by products of sugar-cane production, are produced in nearly every Caribbean nation -- some for export, some for connoisseurs, and some primarily for local consumption. In collaboration with Uncommon Carribbean co-founders (and noted lovers of all things rhum) Steve and Patrick Bennett, here's our picks for the top Caribbean rums and why we think they're so great, with a chaser of old island history on each label for good measure.
By far the most popular and best-selling rum in Jamaica, Wray & Nephew dates all the way back to 1825 when company founder John Wray opened The Shakespeare Tavern in Kingston. Over the centuries, this stuff has become as ingrained in the Jamaican culture as any reggae song you’ve heard, any jerk chicken you’ve tasted, or any ska steps you've danced. Wray & Nephew accounts for about 90 percent of all rum sold in Jamaica.
The Goslings have been enjoying this older, more lovingly crafted version of their famous Black Seal Rum for generations without sharing any with the world. Even now, despite letting us all in on the pleasure of enjoying their Old Rum, the Goslings still aren’t into sharing very much, thus keeping this bottle and its contents a rare indulgence.
And how exactly does it taste? It’s elegantly smooth, lightly smoky and subtly sweet with just enough of a robust kick the longer you spend with it.
Steve Bennett says: "The spicy flavor is a little too much for my normal taste (it’s no Cruzan 9), but it’s not as overwhelming as some other peg-legged pour I might mention. For me, it’s nice to sip on the rocks when I need a little extra flavor… and the kick of Kraken’s 94-proof liquid courage!