Whisky has long been a big Asian favourite. With the growing interest in Japanese whiskies, of which there are many, it has strengthened in popularity.
Dark spirits have long been popular but one long overlooked genre is rum, in particular, aged dark rums. With growing rum spots in Singapore (Vasco, Bob’s Bar, Lime House and Sugarhall are a few examples), we have been sampling rums across the world to find the best labels you should try. Here are our top selections.
The Guadeloupe rum dates back to the 19th century. It’s one of four family-owned rum distilleries in the region. It was originally founded as a sugar plantation and its rums are aged for a minimum of four years. It’s one of the most famous rums from Guadeloupe and offers a beautifully bitter, sweet and spicy flavour profile with a hint of brine. Whether you drink it on its own or as a cocktail, you have a complexity of taste that isn’t usually sampled in most rums.
Made in Trinidad, it is one of the few smoky rums that exist in the world. If you’re a fan of peaty whiskies, particularly the ones from Islay that favour bourbon casks, Stolen is your thing. The company also produces an American whiskey that’s smoked and beautifully balanced. Toffee, vanilla, coffee and smoke are just some of the lovely flavours that will encounter your tongue.
You probably know Angostura from their bitters, which are de rigeur across the world. But they also produce some spectacular rums, including the Angostura 1787 and 1824, a 15-year-old and 12-year-old rum. There’re flavours of dried fruits, peach and toffee with some wood spice. If you’ve enjoyed the great Speyside and Highland rums, you’ll love this beautifully balanced rum.
Santiago de Cuba
This is one of the least known and under-appreciated rums in the world. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city of the island and the rum is named for its origins. It was founded in 1862 and is painfully hard to find, even though it’s incredibly affordable. It’s stunningly complex and even Cubans, who are experts at making rum consider it the finest in their realm. Flavours of vanilla and toffee, chocolate and tobacco will roll around in your mouth and angels will sing in your mind.
Santa Teresa 1796
The Venezuelan solera rum is crafted from pot and column distilled rums aged between 4 to 35 years old. It dates back to the year of the founding of the Santa Teresa Hacienda. It’s a great rum for sipping or as a Ti Punch and it’s richer and spicier compared with the rums mentioned above. And the best thing, it’s regularly available at a number of local bars.
The next time you’re around a bar, you want to try as much of these rums as possible. Trust us.