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

95 points
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 finish imparting shades of 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
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 finish with overtones of rose petals, milk chocolate, chipotle peppers, and mole finish. A flavor journey to write home about.
Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum
93 points
Gold color. Aromas of hot copper pot, dried tropical fruit, whole allspice, and burnt toffee with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a medium-long plantain, dried pineapple, and brown butter finish. A minerally, Jamaican-style rum to keep on hand for any number of occasions.
93 points $24.99
Monymusk Plantation White Overproof Rum
93 points
Clear color. Aromas of ripe papaya, plantains in yogurt, cream of wheat with raisins, and grilled palm leaf with a glycerous, fruity medium body and a peppery, compelling, medium-long sweet cane sugar, icing, cherry stone, and ripe pear finish. A surprisingly smooth and flavorful overproof rum that will be perfect for boozy cocktail creations.
93 points $27.25
Rum Fire Jamaican White Overproof Rum
93 points
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.
92 points
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
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 finish evoking nuances of 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
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
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 finish with impressions of 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
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, cheery finish revealing accents of 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