White Rum
 

Best White Rum

The Fifty Best White Rum Tasting 2020

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 10 white rums with fifteen members of our spirits judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the white rums were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The country/state of origin and ABV are identified for each rum.



DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Tanduay Asian Rum Silver
(Tanduay Distillers, Philippines) 80 prf
Distilled from heritage Asian sugarcane.

Nose: Coconut, coconut syrup, buttery, clotted cream, vanilla cream, vanilla, molasses, Black Haus Blackberry Schnapps, pear, tangerine, lime, agave, elderflower, rosehips, subtle sweet orange blossom, florist shop, nutty, nutmeg, cedar.

Palate: Caramel, butterscotch, buttery, molasses, lightly burnt sugar, dates, piña colada, raw coconut, coconut water, whipped cream, vanilla, shortbread, floral, herbaceous, peppermint, nutmeg, tobacco, dark wood, smooth, wonderfully complex.

Finish: Coconut, piña colada, banana peel, fruit wraps, demerara sugar, marzipan, butter cookie, buttery, leather, mint, grassy, spicy, white pepper, mineral, creamy, smooth, great for cocktails.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 



Tanduay Asian Rum Silver




Rum Dog Rum
(Edmonstone & MacMillan, SC) 90 prf

Nose: Passion fruit, mango, banana, apricot, light pineapple, grape, green apple, lime x 10, lemon, cool citrus, elderflower, floral, mint, grassy, menthol, cotton candy, pepper, tannins.

Palate: Passion fruit, banana, dates, coconut, dried coconut, vanilla, cream, buttery, highly browned, ginger, lime, orgeat, elderflower, rose, floral, grass, wintergreen, clove, allspice, pepper, rounded palate, gin-like.

Finish: Papaya, guava, peach, apples, lemon, verbena, warm vanilla, cream, white sugar, elderflower, rye, peppery, great for mojitos, creamy, smooth, delicious.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 



Rum Dog Rum




GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Ron Diplomático Planas
(Venezuela) 94 prf

Nose: Chocolate, dark chocolate, brown sugar, sweet cream, sugar donut, toasted coconut, pineapple, apricot, apples, orange peel, hints of lime, honeysuckle, lilac, floral, tea leaves, dried leaves, touch of cinnamon, baking spices, coffee, woody, wet oak, fresh air.

Palate: Chocolate, cocoa, brown sugar, molasses, cream, vanilla, honeyed, candied pecans, pineapple, citrus, anise, eucalyptus, cinnamon, pepper, white pepper, musty, tannins, cedar, oak, creamy, smooth, rich, bourbon.

Finish: Chocolate, toffee, pecan pie, sweet cream, crème brûlée, umami, floral, mint, grass, clove, pepper, peppery, fire, nice heat, complex.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Ron Diplomático Planas




Black Pearl Silver Rum
(Seven Three Distilling Co., LA) 84 prf
Distilled from Louisiana cane.

Nose: Mango, banana, peach, light guava, figs, pear, apple, green apple, lime, citrus, dates, honeysuckle, violets, lavender, rose, floral, mint, eucalyptus, thyme, sage, bamboo, creamy, buttery, cedar.

Palate: Vanilla, creamy, custard, candy swirls, chocolate, poached pear, guava, coconut, apple, cucumber, licorice, mixed botanicals, violets, lilac, rose, blossom, floral, brine, salinity, woodsy, oak, cedar, silky mouth feel, mojito, tasty.

Finish: White chocolate, marzipan, apple, lilac, sweet rose blossom, flowery, coffee, grassy, minty, pine, mineral, complex, soft, approachable, great, elegant.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Black Pearl Silver Rum




Brightwater Rum
(Three of Strong Spirits, ME) 80 prf
Distilled from organic sugarcane.

Nose: Banana, guava paste, faint coconut, orange, lemon, lime, citrus, quince, green banana, rose blossom, floral, honey, butter, creamy, peanut butter, roasted nuts, cereal grains, straw, dill, cooked mushroom, umami.

Palate: Praline, cream, buttery, vanilla, burnt sugar, mango, guava, banana, hints of fig, lemon peel, citrus, honeysuckle, rose, grassy, minty, clove, pepper, slightly brine-y, oak, creamy, silky mouthfeel, light & easy.

Finish: Mango, papaya, banana, peach, pear, clementine, lemon peel, citrus, clotted cream, rose, minty, touch of pepper, spicy, smoky, clean, soft, smooth, approachable.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal

 



Brightwater Rum




Dread River Distilling Company Rum
(Dread River Distilling Company, AL) 80 prf

Nose: Vanilla, creamy, banana cream, banana, pears in syrup, guava, coconut, cooked oatmeal, almond, cane, biscuit, wheat, nutty, fresh mown hay, straw, grassy, cactus, oak, rich.

Palate: Vanilla, sweet clotted cream, buttery, creamy, chocolate, sugarcane, café au lait, coconut, papaya, banana, pineapple, pear, green apple, lemon, citrus, soft wheat, biscuit, nut, herbs, herbal, mint, peppermint, spicy, burnt wood, cedar, well balanced, velvet, creamy mouthfeel, elegant.

Finish: Vanilla, touch of caramel, baked apple, apple, lime, ginger, mint, wintergreen, grassy, biscuit, bread, toast, maritime, woody, nice, soft.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Dread River Distilling Company Rum




SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Howlin’ Hounds Silver Rum
(Missouri Ridge Distillery, MO) 80 prf

Nose: Vanilla, molasses, pineapple, banana, peach, fig, lemon, lemon rind, biscuit, fresh baked bread, grain, cream, butter, almond, hazelnut, dried herbs, dill, grassy, pussy willow, oaky, woody, cedar, agricole.

Palate: Pineapple, guava, green apple, lime, raisins, ginger, orange blossom, subtle cocoa powder, oats, nutty, dried herbs, tea leaves, eucalyptus, dill, grass, anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, white pepper, mineral, leather, tobacco, smoky, cedar, well balanced, smooth, edgy, vibrant.

Finish: Marzipan, almond, pineapple, lemon zest, anise, green pepper, spicy, musty leather, smoky, camp fire, dry, smooth.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Howlin’ Hounds Silver Rum




Sugar House Distillery Silver Rum
(Sugar House Distillery, UT) 82 prf
Distilled from Grade A sugarcane molasses.


Nose: Guava, melon, lemon, apricot, banana, banana peel, dried coconut, candied pears, nougat, candy bar, sweet cane juice, powder sugar, rose, lilac, mint, menthol, dill, palm, hay, herbal, thyme, cinnamon, nutty, agricole.

Palate: Praline, treacle, crème brûlée, sugarcane, deep cane, cereal grain, cereal, apricot, citrus, ginger, eucalyptus, grass, dried herbs, dill, green pepper, pepper, sweet tarragon, licorice, coffee, nutty, clove, musty, burnt wood, oak, smooth.

Finish: Vanilla, clotted cream, cocoa, dark sugar, dried fruit, banana, banana peel, citrus, lime, floral, faint anise, vegetal, grain, hazelnut, musty, earthy, woody, smooth.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Sugar House Distillery Silver Rum




Cane Run Estate Imported Rum
(Trinidad) 80 prf
Distilled from sugar cane.

Nose: Sugar cane, maple, cream, honey, limeade, lime, orange peel, citrus peel, delicate violets, light herbs, spearmint, cool mint, sea breeze, char, woody.

Palate: Sweet cream, crème brûlée, burnt cream, sugar cane, molasses, vanilla, coconut, lemon & cream, lemony, lemon verbena, lime, fresh citrus, apple, jasmine, grassy, spearmint, white pepper, woody, oaky.

Finish: Lime, citrus, limoncello, orange blossom, brown sugar, hazelnut, grain, herbal, spearmint, spicy, nice, clean, flavorful.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Cane Run Estate Imported Rum




Wise Men Rum Red Tape Series
(Wise Men Distillery, MI) 80 prf
Distilled from cane sugar.

Nose: Butterscotch, nougat, vanilla, marzipan, sugarcane, molasses, banana, passion fruit, peach, lychee, apple, dried apricot, ginger snaps, sweet dried flowers, herbal, mint, peppermint, sandalwood, moss, nutmeg, cilantro, wood, sake.

Palate: Praline, Bit-o-Honey candy, butter, creamy, cacao, pineapple, plum, pear, lychee, fig, ginger, biscuit, nutty, clove, minty, touch of anise, pepper, buttery mouthfeel, nicely balanced, rice wine, sake.

Finish: Pineapple, grapes, fruity, apple skin, hibiscus, ginger, honey, very light cocoa, nuts, nutty, minty, grass, white pepper, creamy.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Wise Men Rum Red Tape Series

 


 

What is white rum?
Rum is a sugar cane distilled spirit that is directly influenced by terroir, tradition and technique. Sugar cane can be grown anywhere in the world that hosts a tropical climate, but the Caribbean was usually considered as the predominant producer of rum.

White rum is also known as "silver" or "light" rum. It is light-bodied, light in color and lightly sweet in flavor. As is all rum, white rum is produced from sugarcane juice and molasses, and normally has a short distillation period. But unlike gold, dark and aged rums which are matured in charred oak casks, white rum is mellowed in plain oak casks or stainless steel tanks for about a year, then filtered. By aging the spirit in this way, the final product remains clear. Rhum Agricole is produced mainly in the French West Indies. The main ingredient in Rhum Agricole is sugarcane, with a tasting profile defined by dry, grassy notes. This differs from rums produced from molasses with sweeter, vanilla flavors.

Rum in the Americas.
During the 18th century, the 159 distilleries in New England produced huge quantities of quality rum from molasses shipped to the colonies from the islands. More rum was made in Colonial America than in the Caribbean, and rum became the colonists' most popular spirit. Twelve million gallons of rum were consumed annually by the early colonists. After the Revolution, as the trading of molasses was restricted by the British, Americans switched to home-grown products such as corn and grain. The American whiskey industry was born, and whiskey replaced rum as the tipple of choice. Most New England distillers closed shop, but rum production continued in the Caribbean, shipping most of the product to Europe.

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, knew the value of supplying the public with a little rum. When running for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1758, Washington gave out 28 gallons of rum and 50 gallons of rum punch, as well as wine, beer and cider – to 391 voters. It cost his campaign £50 (about $8,000 today), but he won his seat.
The strangest rum fact: When Admiral Nelson died in the Battle of Tralfager, his body was preserved during the voyage home in a cask of rum before it was laid to rest.

Following World War II, rum became hip in pre-Castro Cuba where luxury hotel bars in Havana became notorious for their rum-based cocktails. Ernest Hemingway's favorite cocktail was made with white rum at the notorious Cuban bar El Floridita. Then in the late 50s early 60s there was the Tiki Bar craze, such as Trader Vic's with its exotic rum cocktail concoctions.

White rum continues its popularity to this day. Within the last five years, production of rum has seen a resurgence with over 400 distilleries currently producing rum in the U.S. Ironically, most people are unaware that they are drinking white rum – the base spirit in a Mojito, Daiquiri, Rum & Coke, and Piña Colada – since it doesn't change the color of the drink.

 

 

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