Rums Around the World:
Within the Caribbean, each island or production area has a unique style. For the most part, these styles can be grouped by the language traditionally spoken. Due to the overwhelming influence of Puerto Rican rum, most rum consumed in the United States is produced in the ‘Spanish-speaking’ style.
- Spanish-speaking islands and countries traditionally produce añejo rums with a fairly smooth taste. Rums from Cuba, Guatemala, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Venezuela are typical of this style. Rum from the U.S. Virgin Islands is also of this style. The Canary Islands produces honey rum known as ron miel de Canarias and carries a geographical designation.
- English-speaking islands and countries are known for darker rums with a fuller taste that retains a greater amount of the underlying molasses flavor. Rums from Grenada, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Saint Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, the Demerara region of Guyana, and Jamaica are typical of this style.
- French-speaking islands are best known for their agricultural rums (rhum agricole). These rums, being produced exclusively from sugar cane juice, retain a greater amount of the original flavor of the sugar cane and are generally more expensive than molasses-based rums. Rums from Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique are typical of this style.
Cachaça is a spirit similar to rum that is produced in Brazil. (Some countries, including the United States, classify cachaça as a type of rum.)
At Mount Gay on Barbados rum is said to have been distilled as early as 1663. The eclipse line is very fruity, mellow, and light. Distinctive hints of cane and banana in the body make this white rum a good cocktail mixer. Though relatively inexpensive and matured only two years (in used bourbon barrels), this rum still manages to be very convincing. A Best Buy.
Aged in used American white oak, offers sweet vanilla notes, some herbal character, and a touch of light menthol. A good choice for a dark mixing rum, showing well with a wide range of recipes.
Appleton Estate is the oldest rum producer on the island; the distillery was founded in 1825. A holdover from the days when Jamaica was famous for its dark, heavy, highly flavored rums; the Extra is wonderfully mature, spicy and full-bodied. Notes of apricot, brown sugar, butter and bacon can all be found.
This top-quality liquor has a fascinating aroma of candied peel, rancio, and smoke. Velvety and full-bodied, with a strong note of fruit and cinnamon that lingers on the palate. Matured exclusively in French oak barrels.