With a funky sweet flavor and the ability to play well with all kinds of mixers, rum is one of the world's most popular base spirits for cocktails. Spiced rum offers a sweetly fragrant and complex option that may seem more alluringly palatable to cautious tipplers who want to grow their liquor knowledge using an accessible yet familiar spirit. What tickles your taste palate is always a matter of opinion, but these spiced rums have received critical acclaim, won awards, and/or garnered overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews.
The Best Spiced Rums From Around the World
All rum is distilled from sugar cane, and spiced rum is no different. Spiced rum can be made from any type of rum, most often with gold or dark rum. It is infused with various botanicals to add the signature aromatic and flavorful spicy notes. You'll find spiced rums infused with, well, spices such as ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, or various tree barks from tropical trees (nothing from your neighborhood oak or elm).
The rums can range from very dry to moderately sweet, although spiced rums generally tend to be sweeter than their unspiced counterparts. Because so many different rum types can be infused with any number of botanicals, this means you'll find significant variations in flavor and aromatic profiles of spiced rums from around the world or even the same region. That's good news for people seeking something just a little bit different and a lot special; regardless of what your palate prefers, with so many options, you're sure to find a spiced rum that rings your bell. If you'd like to try a slightly sweet and complex cane spirit infused with botanicals, then you can't go wrong with these nine best spiced rums from around the world and just around the corner.
1. Largo Bay Spiced Rum
Largo Bay spiced rum has just about everything you'd want in a spiced rum. You can head to the Total Wine website and add it to your collection; it's especially inviting since it's a great value at about $10 for a 750 mL bottle. It has gentle spice flavors from nutmeg and cinnamon. Wine Enthusiast rated the rum 92 points and listed it as a "Best Buy" because of its value and quality.
The Caribbean rum is probably best in mixed drinks instead of for sipping, but some people also enjoy tipping it back neat or on the rocks. Try a splash in your favorite cola or ginger beer for an easy and tasty spiced rum highball.
2. The Baron Samedi Spiced Rum
One of Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Spirits of 2017, The Baron Samedi spiced rum received a respectable 92-point rating from the publication. It's an American brand that infuses spices into a blend of Caribbean rums. Expect notes of cocoa and cloves in this delightfully spicy rum, which will cost about $22 for a 750 mL bottle, delivered straight to your house from Drizly. It's an excellent sipping rum: the cocoa notes make chilly days extra cozy. Or, add a shot to a cup of hot or iced coffee for a spicy, boozy pick-me-up.
3. Chairman's Reserve Original Spice
Chairman's Reserve Original Spice is the winner of the World Spirits Award gold medal in 2016, and VinePair listed it as one of "Five Bottles That Will Make You Rethink Spiced Rum." What's so special about it? It's infused with a special Caribbean bark called Bois Bandé, a botanical rumored to be an aphrodisiac in the Caribbean.
It's a complex and spicy red-colored rum with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and bitter orange, but with a sweetness that makes it palate pleasing. Sip it solo or try it in a hot buttered rum for a sublime experience. Bring it home with Drizly, and expect to pay around $30 for a 750 mL bottle.
4. Boukman Botanical Rhum
Liquor.com lists Boukman Botanical Rhum as its best overall spiced rum. The Haitian rum is a dry (as opposed to sweet) rum, which is what separates this rum from many others. It also makes it an excellent spirit for mixing, as you won't have the added cloying rum flavors to contend with as you navigate the sweetness balance of your cocktails.
With notes of bitter orange peel, allspice, clove, vanilla, and bitter almond, it's a rum that is as good for sipping as it is for mixing. It's the perfect rum to use in a rum old-fashioned with a dash of orange cocktail bitters, an orange wedge, a sugar cube, and a splash of water. You'll pay about $48 for a 750 mL bottle with a Drizly delivery.
5. RedLeg Original Spiced Rum
One of Flaviar's well-rated rums is RedLeg Original spiced rum. Tasters on the site rated it 7.7 out of 10 stars, praising its value and quality. While the rum is distilled in the Caribbean, it's bottled in the UK, and it's sweetly spicy with notes of vanilla, apples, ginger, and cinnamon.
This is a great rum to add to hot apple cider for a spicy-sweet kick. You'll pay around $25 for a 750 mL bottle.
6. Ableforth Rumbullion Navy Strength
Another customer favorite at Flaviar is the Ableforth Rumbullion Navy Strength spiced rum, with a respectable rating of 8.3 out of 10 stars. At 57% alcohol by volume (ABV), this Caribbean spiced rum has notes of cola, salted caramel, toffee, and cinnamon. Sip it, try it in your favorite cola for an easy highball, or mix some into a glass of cream soda for a sweet, spicy treat. Expect to pay around $50 for a 750 mL bottle.
7. Jonah's Curse Black Spiced Rum
The Beverage Tasting Institute rated Jonah's Curse black spiced rum 92 out of 100 points, and customers at Total Wine like it as well, rating it 4.6 out of 5 stars. Likewise, it won a gold medal at the San Francisco Wine & Spirits competition. It's a spiced black rum from the Caribbean with subtle sweetness and notes of cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla, as well as a hint of toast from oak aging. The rum is bottled in the US, and it will cost around $22 for a 750 mL bottle.
Try it with some ginger beer in a dark and stormy for a brilliant twist on the original cocktail. It's an excellent stand-in for Gosling's Black Seal rum. This is also a tasty sipper, so if you like your spirits straight and strong, this is one for you!
8. Siesta Key Spiced Rum
Another of Wine Enthusiast's top-rated spiced rums, these spicy flavors come from Florida. Siesta Key Spiced Rum received a 91-point rating from Wine Enthusiast, and customers at Total Wine & More rated it 4.9 out of 5 stars. If you like the molasses notes in brown sugar, then you'll probably love this spiced rum. It's lightly sweet, slightly peppery, and has top notes of allspice and cinnamon. You'll pay about $38 for a 750 mL bottle of this brown sugar magic from Total Wine. Enjoy it with some pineapple juice for a simple highball.
9. The Duppy Share Spiced
One of Decanter's top spiced rums is The Duppy Share Spiced, a Caribbean rum from Barbados and Jamaica. This fruity rum has top notes of pineapple, and it's flavored with kola nut and other Island spices for a moderately sweet, fruity, smooth-yet-hot rum. With its pineapple notes, it's a great rum for a tropical cocktail brimming with fruit flavors, such as a pineapple juice highball, a mai tai, or planter's punch. Expect to pay around $30 for a 750 mL bottle.
Honorable Mentions: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and Calypso Spiced Rum
Sailor Jerry spiced rum - go ahead and grab a bottle from Total Wine for roughly $23. It's a smooth and well-rounded spiced rum with prominent notes of both cinnamon and vanilla that's the perfect spiced rum introduction for newbies and a delicious tipple for seasoned spiced rum drinkers.
If you're a spiced rum buff on a budget, then the affordably-priced Calypso for just $9 a bottle from Drizly is tough to beat - both in price and flavor. It may not be as boozy as other spiced rums, but its nutty notes with spiced fruit flavors make it just as palatable in a cocktail. Bottoms up!
The Spiced Rum Story
Rum is a spirit that's distilled from fermented sugar cane juice or molasses. Because of the climate sugar cane requires to grow, most rums come from tropical regions where cane is abundant. Spiced rum is a spirit that has grown in popularity since the mid-1980s when Captain Morgan began selling mass-market spiced rum. The two-ingredient cocktail scene began to change nearly overnight with orders of spiced rum and cola.
Since then, a number of rum distillers and bottlers have started infusing all different types of rum with a variety of botanicals and spices. Much like gin, which is also a botanically-infused spirit, spiced rum flavor and aromatics will vary from distiller to distiller depending on their own closely guarded formula. The result is a vast array of flavor and aromatic profiles for rums in this category, which means if you don't like one brand, you'll probably find another you do enjoy. Fortunately, it won't feel like much of a chore to taste various spiced rums to discover which you like the best.
The World's Best Spiced Rums
Spiced rum lends itself well to cocktails, sipping, or stirring into a single mixer such as cola or ginger beer. Rum distillers and bottlers are stepping outside the box, trying new botanicals to infuse into their own proprietary blends. What that means for you is this: there's a world of opportunity for rum lovers who like their drinks on the spicy side, and there's a ton of great flavor and aromatic profiles for professional mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts to develop new, exciting spiced rum drinks.