About Jamaican Spirits

About Jamaican Spirits
There are some very good lighter rums from Jamaica today, but it’s the dark heavy, potstill versions that get all the attention, those aged in whiskey or sherry barrels for anywhere from 10 to 21 years. Copper or golden colored with appealing flavors such as banana, roasted coconut and praline, these are smashing examples of rums with complexity and intensity as well as finesse and elegance. These are meant for sipping or for artisan cocktails. Inexpensive rums, such as spiced versions, are fine for use in most summer cocktails.

Top Picks for Jamaica

APPLETON ESTATE 21 Year Old Rum
95 points
$134.99
Dark amber color. Sweet, candied, complex aromas and flavors of vanilla creme Anglaise, caramel pudding, dates, and dried pineapple with a tannic, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, long tropical trail mix, candied orange peel, orange blossom water, and leather finish. An intriguing and satisfying sipping rum.
95 points $134.99
APPLETON ESTATE JOY Anniversary Blend Rum
94 points
$250
Medium dark amber color. Fruity, candied aromas and flavors of dried mango, grilled peach, Italian leather, and caramel gelato with an dryish full body and a peppery, epic, endless rose petals, milk chocolate, chipotle peppers, and mole finish. A flavor journey to write home about.
Rum Fire Jamaican White Overproof Rum
93 points
$28
Clear color. Funky aromas of green plantain, green tomato, flint, freshly ground black pepper, and key lime with a silky, vibrant, fruity light body and a searing, interesting, long arugula, sweet fondant, hazelnut candy, and cream finish. A funky overproof rum to kick up the night.
APPLETON ESTATE Reserve Blend Rum
92 points
$26.99
Copper color. Funky, hot aromas of pollo lollipop, dried mango, wet cedar, and Iberico Jamon with a lightly tannic, bright, dry medium body and a peppery, medium-length burnt sugar, dried mango with salt and chile, raisin cake, and honeycomb cereal finish. A slightly savory rum for punches.
92 points $26.99
J. Wray Gold Rum
92 points
$20
Best Buy
Brilliant gold color. Delicate, boozy, curious fruity floral aromas and flavors of banana cream pie, nougat, delicate brown spices, and dried tropical fruits with a velvety, soft, fruity medium body and a warming, refreshing, medium-length toasty praline and caramel, vanilla cream, wet stone, and cedar finish. An elegant and rich gold rum that sets a benchmark for the category.
92 points $20 Best Buy
APPLETON ESTATE Rare Blend 12 Year Old Rum
90 points
$37.99
Medium copper color. Interesting aromas of raw cane, chocolate covered cherries, smoky roasted chestnut, and chamomile with a lightly tannic, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a peppery, massive, medium-long sliced ripe bananas with caramel sauce and peanut, crystallized geranium, black tea, and menthol finish. A sophisticated, mature rum with plenty of refined character.
90 points $37.99
Mezan Rum Jamaica 2000
90 points
$59.99
Bright light gold color. Delicate, hot, floral aromas and flavors of orange spice cake, nougat, and vanilla-honey gelato with an even, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-length sweet spices, dried fruits, cedar, and minerals finish. A vibrant aged rum with a nice range of cane pot still notes that will be great in tiki cocktails.
90 points $59.99
J. Wray Silver Rum
89 points
$20
Best Buy
Clear color. Bright, toasty aromas and flavors of roasted coconut, mocha latte, and banana nut muffin with a glycerous, crisp, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy nut and mineral oils, hint of spumoni gelato, melon rind, and chalk finish. A very smooth and mild, chameleon-like rum that will be very versatile.
89 points $20 Best Buy
APPLETON ESTATE Signature Blend Rum
87 points
$21.99
Light amber color. Candied, fruity, funky aromas of caramelized banana slices, overripe pineapple, ripe plantains, and singed banana leaf with a round, prickly, fruity medium body and a hot, interesting, medium-length fallen pineapple, sake, caramelized apple pie, and black walnut wood finish. A funky rum for punch.
87 points $21.99
Rum Fire Jamaican White Overproof Rum
87 points
$28
Clear color. Rustic aromas of cane, black mint, and persimmon with a satiny, racy, dry light-to-medium body and a searing, breezy fallen mango, baiju, and leather finish. A scorching overproof rum for flaming cocktails and tiki punches.