10 Best White Rum Brands


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White rum is somewhat deceptive. How can any spirit that is so clear have so much depth and body? The best white rum brands we review today have been aged for just as long as the many dark rums. So what is the secret? It’s all thanks to filtering.

With its clean and crisp taste, yet incredible depth and body, white rum is the spirit of choice for many classic cocktails. We have the Mojito, Daiquiri, plus Robert Holmes even had a smash hit with his catchy tune, Pina Colada.

What Is White Rum Made From?

Much like its darker rum cousins, white rum is made from molasses, the thick dark brown treacle-like liquid produced from refined sugarcane. It is these fermented molasses that give all rums their distinctive sweet, yet spicy flavour.

How Is White Rum Made?

White rum is made in the same way as darker rum varieties. Molasses are combined with yeast and water to ferment for approximately 72 hours. Once the sugars are converted into alcohol, the mixture is then distilled to obtain a higher concentration of alcohol.

The distilled rum spirit is then placed into oak casks and aged for at least 2 years. It is here that the white rum production process differs from that of dark rum. Whereas dark rum is bottled at this point and ready for consumption, white rum is put through a rigorous filtering process that removes any inherited colours but preserves the flavours.

Top 10 Best White Rum Brands

We have carefully selected the 10 best white rum brands that are clean, crisp, and also have exceptional depth. Each is perfect for sipping neat or as the vital ingredient to many Caribbean style cocktails.

1. Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old

Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old

Overview

  • Distiller: Havana Club
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Cuba
  • Colour: Clear/Straw

Review

Havana Club is a joint venture between Pernod Ricard S.A. and the state-owned Corporación Cuba Ron S.A. to make the worlds finest rums. With over 27 medals for ‘best taste’ under their belt, clearly, they are doing something right.

Havana Club Añejo 3-Year-Old is a molasses-based white rum that is slightly straw coloured. The spirit is aged after distillation for 3 years in American oak casks the previously held bourbon. The rum inherits delightful woody/caramel notes from the barrels and its previous occupant.

On the nose: This rum is sweet, fruity, and slightly caramel-like.

On the palate: Begins smoothly and sweetly with notes of pineapple, pear and berries. Soon becomes woody/oaky with black cracked pepper and a slight ginger twang. The finish is clean, slightly spicy with mild citrus and more oaky tones.

Havana Club Añejo, 3-Year-Old, is presented in a classic white rum bottle with a yellow and red label. The delightful rum inside gives a slight straw glow.

Summary

Sets the bar for white rum quality, and should reside in your home bar. Great for enjoying neat and is one of the best rums for a mojito.

2. El Dorado 3 Year Old White Rum

El Dorado 3 Year Old White Rum

Overview

  • Distiller: El Dorado
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Guyana
  • Colour: Clear

Review

El Dorado 3 Year Old White Rum source their molasses from the local sugar factory. Once fermented and distilled, the resulting spirit is then aged at their Diamond Distillery in small ex-bourbon American oak casks for 3 years. It is then charcoal filtered to remove any impurities, but lock in the inherited flavours.

This is an award-winning rum that has taken Gold at the International Review of Spirits and Silver at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

On the nose: Nutty, butterscotch and sweet citrus of pineapple.

On the palate: Begins smoothly with the dark sweetness of burnt sugar. Coconut and juicy pineapple are also in ample supply. Soon becomes more creamy chocolate-like. The finish is long, with a bitter-sweetness that becomes drier as the taste tapers off. Delightful.

Presented in an eye-catching ballooned bottle with an oversized circular base and neat label.

Summary

El Dorado 3 Year Old White Rum is a light, delicately flavoured spiced rum that deserves to be enjoyed neat. Try drinking fridge chilled but allow to acclimatise first for 10 minutes in a non-chilled glass with no ice.

3. Plantation 3 Stars White Rum

Plantation 3 Stars White Rum

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 41.2% (82.4 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean – Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Plantation is an artisan Caribbean rum distiller who has a collection of the finest rums from the great terroirs of the tropics. Plantation 3 Stars is a blend of rum from three primary terroirs: Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad.

The raw molasses for the Barbados rum is fermented and distilled using a twin column and pot still and is un-aged. The Trinidad rum uses a copper pot still (much like gin). Finally, there is a touch of pot-stilled 10-year-old rum from Jamaica.

On the nose: Deliciously sweet and dark brown sugar, coffee, honey and vanilla.

On the palate: Sweet to start with smooth notes of caramel and slightly bitter dark chocolate. Finishes with pepper, spice and somewhat fudge-like.

Presented in an old fashioned style rum bottle with Plantation Rum name and logo embossed in the glass, and historic-looking yellow label. Would make a terrific gift.

Summary

Plantation 3 Stars White Rum is a smooth and slightly sweet rum that is perfect for both Daiquiris and simply enjoying neat.

4. Doorly’s 3 Year Old

Doorly's 3 Year Old

Overview

  • Distiller: Foursquare Distillery
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean – Barbados
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Rum has been produced in Barbados for more than 300 years, so there is considerable local know-how passed down from generation to generation. The Foursquare Distillery is located on the site of a former sugar factory dating back to 1636.

Doorly’s 3-Year-Old white rum has been aged in oak barrels for 3 years, then filtered to remove any inherited colouring. This filtering may raise alarm-bells, however, the good news is the smooth delivery of creamy, woody, fruity and slightly spicy notes remain intact.

On the nose: Clean and fruity with notes of lush pineapple.

On the palate: Begins cleanly and oh-so-smooth with notes of coconut and pineapple. The mid-palate has slightly sweet caramel notes and woody tones. The finish is crisp but peppery with mild coconut.

Presented in a full curved bottle with a striking label featuring a parrot really sets the Caribbean tone.

Summary

Doorly’s 3-Year-Old rum is ideal for making classic rum cocktails. Also makes an excellent sipping rum with its smooth woody and fruity delivery.

5. Santiago De Cuba Carta Blanca

Santiago De Cuba Carta Blanca

Overview

  • Distiller: Santiago De Cuba
  • ABV: 38% (76 Proof)
  • Country: Cuba
  • Colour: Clear/straw

Review

Founded in 1862, the Santiago De Cuba distillery is the oldest rum factory in Cuba. This history plays an essential part in the flavour of the rum, as some of their oak casks are over 90 years old.

Santiago De Cuba Carta Blanca is made from fermented molasses, then column distilled. The resulting rum is then aged in oak casks for 3 years. A final process of charcoal filtering used to remove impurities and colouring. The final product is a white rum with a slight straw colour and heaps of flavour.

On the nose: Clean and fresh with fruity tropical notes, plus slightly herby & spicy

On the palate: Begins lightly with a little sweetness. Some mild spices cinnamon of nutmeg is also present. Mid-palate is more herbal and ever-so floral. The finish is warming with slightly sweet notes of toffee and tobacco.

Presented in a traditional looking rum bottle with a 1950s looking label and white cap. The off-white rum inside seems incredibly appealing.

Summary

Santiago De Cuba Carta Blanca is an easy-going rum that makes a great addition for cocktails. Perhaps overly filtered to be a pure sipping rum, although it is clean and fresh with some warmth.

6. Ron Pampero Blanco Rum

Ron Pampero Blanco Rum

Overview

  • Distiller: Pampero
  • ABV: 37.5% (75 Proof)
  • Country: Venezuela
  • Colour: Clear

Review

Venezuelan Ron Pampero has been making quality rums since 1938. Known locally as “Caballito Frenao” which translates pretty much to “Rearing Horse”, the brand is extremely popular in its native Venezuela.

Ron Pampero Blanco white rum is made from fermented molasses and distilled in traditional copper-pot stills. The resulting spirit is then stored and aged in American oak casks that were previously used for bourbon. After 3 years, the rum emerges and is charcoal filtered to remove impurities and colour caused by the ageing process. Thankfully the flavours remain intact.

On the nose: Light and fresh citrus with a touch of coconut and fresh fruits.

On the palate: Begins almost citrus-like with a surprising cleanness. The mid-palate becomes fruitier with notes of coconut, white grape and touches of orange peel. The finish is smooth, slightly zesty with a subtle hit of black cracked pepper as the flavour dissipates.

Presented in a wide-bodied clear glass bottle with the “Caballito Frenao” proudly displayed on the label. They have just gone through a re-branding exercise so you may see 2 differing bottles.

Summary

Pampero Blanco is a refreshingly smooth white rum which makes it a good sipping rum for the summer. I also discovered it works exceptionally well in my favourite cocktail, the Mojito!

7. Diplomático Planas

Diplomático Planas

Overview

  • Distiller: Diplomático
  • ABV: 47% (94 Proof)
  • Country: Venezuela
  • Colour: Clear

Review

The Diplomático Distillery nestles at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Venezuela. Here they use locally sourced sugar cane (Romana, Venezuela and Canal Point) and pure mountain water to create some of the finest rums available.

Planas white rum is created from fermented molasses using a combination of pot still, column and batch kettle rums. The spirit is then aged for up to 6 years, where it develops a surprisingly intense depth for a white rum. Before the bottling stage, the rum is charcoal filtered to ensure clarity without the loss of those intense flavours.

On the nose: Fresh with notes of vanilla, coffee and coconut.

On the palate: Begins smoothly with slightly fruity notes of apricot and pineapple. Mid-palate presents sweet toffee, lemon and more coffee. The finish is delicate yet with a hint of warm spice.

Presented in a rather grand bloated bottle with an official-looking logo

Summary

Planas is a smooth white rum that is both fresh and fruity. Due to its complexity, it is best enjoyed neat over ice. However, if used as the main ingredient for a rather fabulous Daiquiri will more than suffice.

8. Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum

Overview

  • Distiller: Bacardí
  • ABV: 37.5% (75 Proof)
  • Country: Puerto Rico
  • Colour: Clear

Review

In 1862 Don Facundo Bacardí Masso purchased a small distillery in Santiago de Cuba, and a future rum giant was born. Well, they may have had a helping hand from good-old mother nature, as fruit bats that were living in the distillery appear on every label. Perhaps a good luck charm?

Carta Blanca is the original Bacardí rum that was 10 years of trial and error to produce a rum that does not overpower but is clearly present. Made from molasses that are sourced from around the world, the resulting spirit is actually a blend of differing aged rums aged in white oak barrels and filtered through charcoal for smoothness.

On the nose: Carta Blanca is ultra-light, fresh citrus with a touch of almond and spice.

On the palate: Begins clean and dry with hints of pear, apple, and burnt sugar. Midway becomes spicier with a balance of soothing caramel and vanilla. The finish is smooth vanilla and black pepper notes.

Presented in one of the most well know white rum bottles. It’s classy with smooth lines and white label and cap. Have you finally noticed the bat on the logo for the first time after all these years?

Summary

No wonder it’s the bartenders favourite. Makes the perfect base for rum cocktails such as the Cuba Libre and the Mojito but does not overpower.

9. Cockspur Platinum White Rum

Cockspur Platinum White Rum

Overview

  • Distiller: Cockspur
  • ABV: 37.5% (75 Proof)
  • Country: Barbados
  • Colour: Clear

Review

In 1884 Danish seaman Valdemar Hanschell decided to have a change of residence, Barbados. He started a small rum distillery named Cockspur and would supply ships with food, and of course his splendid rum. Fast forward 100 or so years and not much as changed, Cockspur Rum is still aged in a beach-side ‘bond’ looking out onto the Caribbean.

Cockspur Platinum White Rum is matured in oak barrels before being charcoal filtered to remove colour and other undesirables, but without eliminating that all-important flavour. The end result is a white rum with incredible depth and body, considering it is a white rum. Bravo!

On the nose: Fresh and sweet with notes of vanilla and cracked black pepper.

On the palate: Begins gently with bitter-sweet notes of burnt brown sugar and slight citrus. The mid-palate becomes more creamy with vanilla and toffee notes appearing. The finish fresh yet warming with woody/peppery notes.

Presented in a striking, sharp-edged bottle with the famous cockerel strutting on the white label.

Summary

Cockspur Platinum is a crystal clear white rum that is clean and well rounded. It has a surprising amount of depth for a white rum and can be enjoyed neat over ice, or in a sublime Pina Colada.

10. Brugal Blanco Supremo White Rum

Overview

  • Distiller: Brugal
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Dominican Republic
  • Colour: Clear

Review

In 1888 Don Andres Brugal Montaner moved to the Dominican Republic with one simple, single goal; master the art of making quality rum. By 1920, Brugal had created the first aged rum in the Dominican Republic. 130 years and 5 generations later, the Brugal family still hold this incredible legacy.

On initial inspection, Brugal Blanco Supremo White Rum looks like many other. But looks can be deceptive. The fermented molasses is then distilled in copper stills, the spirit is then aged for up to 5 years in American oak casks.

But why stop there? Finally, the aged rum is filtered and incredible three times for extra smoothness and its ultra-clear colour for a rum as smooth as vodka, yet a rum through-and-through.

On the nose: Refined notes of citrus, vanilla, and sugar cane are pleasing to the nose.

On the palate: Begins very smoothly for a white rum, with notes of vanilla, coffee and cocoa. The mid-palate becomes sweeter, yet contrasted with cracked black pepper and citrus notes. The finish is clean, smooth and refined.

Presented in an hourglass-shaped bottle with netting being a rather striking feature.

Summary

If you are considering selecting a sipping white rum, then with its smooth delivery and rich flavours, Brugal Blanco Supremo is a great place to start.

Conclusion

Each of the 10 best white rum brands presented today has its own unique strengths. Some are perfect for sipping neat due to their depth after ageing, while others make a fantastic base spirit for cocktails as their flavours can shine through the other ingredients.

Many white rums are still aged for several years, then filtered through charcoal to remove the inherited colour (and other impurities). Interestingly this process maintains the many exciting tastes and aromas from the previous casks occupiers, such as bourbon.

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