Rum Guide 2019

Reach for these top-shelf brands after your next day offshore

glass of rum over ice with a lime wheel
A perfectly aged rum on the rocks (garnish is optional).Jon Whittle

What better way to enjoy a relaxing summer evening than with a fine rum? Marlin has curated a dynamic cross section of the popular spirit, so choose a favorite, mix a classic daiquiri with crushed ice and fresh lime juice, pour on the rocks or sip neat. And always enjoy responsibly, of course.

Papa's Pilar

pilar dark and blonde rum bottles
24 Dark and 7 BlondeJon Whittle

The 24 Dark is expertly blended in bourbon barrels, port wine and Spanish sherry casks. It features a rich, caramelized orange, maple, vanilla and toasted almond taste profile and a long, velvety finish. Papa's Pilar 7 Blonde is similar in color to the light rums Ernest Hemingway enjoyed in Key West and Cuba during the 1930s. It is blended in American oak bourbon barrels and Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, with hints of pineapple, mango and key lime. It’s perfect for blending into a variety of cocktails.

Frigate Reserve

four bottles of frigate reserve rum
Frigate Reserve rumsJon Whittle

After months of trial and error, the founders of Frigate Reserve unanimously agreed they had created the finest examples of a traditional, iconic rum that they had ever tasted. With less sweetness than others, it’s a very versatile rum to sip neat or serve over ice. It ranges in ages from 8 and 15 to 12 and 21 years, respectively.

Bacardi

three bottles of bacardi rum
Bacardi Reserva and AñejoJon Whittle

The Reserva series is a new portfolio of premium rums, which includes the Diez and Ocho. Diez is a 10-year aged rum features a dark, golden hue and boasts bright notes of banana, pear and tropical melon balanced with caramelized vanilla and oak. Bacardi Reserva Ocho is based on the original recipe from the family reserve created in 1862 and is barrel-aged for a minimum of eight years for a rich, velvety body. With more than 156 years of history and authenticity behind each of its products, Bacardi remains a family-owned brand.

Gosling's

two bottles of gosling rum
Gosling’s Family Reserve and Black SealJon Whittle

While it’s crafted from the same Bermuda blend as Black Seal, Gosling’s Family Reserve is aged in dark barrels even longer until it acquires a luscious, nuanced complexity much like a rare Scotch or cognac. Each bottle is hand-labeled and numbered, dipped in wax and placed in a straw-filled wooden box. Gosling’s Black Seal includes products of pot stills, as used in fine cognacs, and continuous stills. One imparts flavor, the other yields a subtle elegance, which combine to produce a rich, intricate flavor of butterscotch, vanilla and caramel.

Flor de Caña

two bottles of flor de cana rum
Flor de Caña 25 and 12Jon Whittle

This rum is produced by a fifth-generation single-family estate in Nicaragua. Enriched by an active volcano, naturally aged without sugar and distilled with 100 percent renewable energy, Flor de Caña 12 has aromas of red fruits, honey and toasted nuts, and flavor notes of wood, vanilla and baked apples, with a smooth and well-balanced finish. Flor de Caña 25 is a true ultra-premium 25-year-old rum: full-bodied, dark amber in color, and best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. It has notes of vanilla, wood and dark cocoa, with a full, long finish that lingers on the palate. Save this one for special occasions.

Plantation

two bottles of plantation rum
Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry and XO 20th AnniversaryJon Whittle

Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry is crafted in the manner of the quintessential Jamaican-style, 100 percent pot still rums of the 19th century, with an expression of intense flavors that reveal aromas and flavors of black banana and flambéed pineapple. Aged in bourbon casks, then in Ferrand cognac barrels, Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbadian rum owes its complexity to the different species of wood used and their various degrees of toasting, as well as to different climates—tropical in Barbados and continental in France—where both dry and humid cellars are used. It has a rich palate of chocolate and ripe banana, with notes of fresh mango.

Brugal

bottle of brugal 1888 doblemente anejado
1888 Doblemente AnejadoJon Whittle

Since 1888, Casa Brugal in the Dominican Republic has been creating distinctly different rum to the highest standards; maintained today by the fourth and fifth generations of the founder’s family. The 1888 Doblemente Anejado uses two different types of wood—ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry—a technique usually reserved for high-end single malts, to age its rum.

Rum recipes can be found here.

Grander

a bottle of grander 8 blonde rum
Grander 8Jon Whittle

Distilled in Ingenio San Carlos, Panama, from molasses made from locally grown sugar cane, Grander 8 is a single-origin rum crafted and aged to enjoy neat, over ice or in a classic cocktail. It is first aged in ex-bourbon American white oak barrels, giving it a rich, oaky taste with notes of nutmeg, dried fruit, bourbon and sugar cane, followed by a long, mellow finish.