About Jamaican Spirits

About Jamaican Spirits
There are some very good lighter rums from Jamaica today, but the versions that get all the attention are 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

Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
96 points
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of plantain pepper bread, roasted nuts, wet grass and straw, and saltines with a supple, medium-full body and a hot, long polenta with caramelized tropical fruits, cane stalk, and charcoal and minerals finish. A rich and flavorful overproof Rum that opens up beautifully with dilution.
96 points $25 Best Buy
96 points
Copper color. Aromas of chocolate-covered caramels, sweet cigarillo, and copper pot with a satiny, crisp, dryish light body and a peppery, brisk caramelized banana, rye crisps, caramel cake, raisin bread pudding, and clove finish. A robust, spicy and caramelly Rum with great intensity; drink in Technicolor.
Awards: 2021 Best Rum
94 points
Dark amber color. Aromas and flavors of petrol, carob, Seville orange, halvah, and fruit cake with a supple, vibrant, dryish light body and a smooth, elegant, long finish displaying notes of tangerine zest, dark chocolate, grilled artichoke, marcona almonds, black pepper, cinnamon, and aniseed biscotti. A full-flavor, spicy Rum that rewards the patient sipper; also delicious for Rum-centric cocktails.
Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum
93 points
Best Buy
Gold color. Aromas and flavors of warm pencil eraser and shavings, burnt sugar and mace, and hint of rubber cement with a supple, dryish full body and a warming, interesting, long finish with notes of salted butter roasted nuts, grass and herbs, green plantain, and pepper. A bold, penetrating golden Rum that will add a classy kick to cocktails.
93 points $24 Best Buy
93 points
Dark amber color. Interesting aromas of grilled romaine, candied pecan, sweet and salty vinaigrette, mace, and cloves with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-long brown sugar cream pie, spiced graham cracker, glazed nuts, and roasted coconut flakes finish. A unique, character-rich Rum that delivers caramelly, nutty flavors alongside unexpected funky vegetal notes; great balance, highly pleasurable, and plenty of charm.
APPLETON ESTATE 8 Year Old Reserve Rum
91 points
Dark amber color. Minerally aromas and flavors of hot copper, nutmeg cream, spiced rice pudding, toast, and raisins with a silky, crisp, dry light body and a sleek, involved, medium-long finish evoking accents of molasses cake, leather, limestone, walnuts, licorice, and dried pineapple and mango. A bone dry, spicy, mineral-rich Rum that will pique the interest of curious Rum purists; sip and cocktail away with this distinctive, recondite British-style Rum.
91 points $28.99
J. Wray Gold Rum
90 points
Best Buy
Gold color. Aromas of butterscotch and copper pot with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, appealing, relaxed bananas foster, caramelized pineapple, sea salt, and lime peel finish. A zesty gold rum with hints of pot-still character; round and robust.
90 points $16.99 Best Buy
Appleton Estate Signature Gold Rum
89 points
Gold color. Aromas and flavors of bananas foster in a copper pot, dried papaya, grass, and spices with a silky, bright, dryish medium body and an even, carefree finish that exhibits accents of coconut water, roasted nut skin, pencil shavings, and minerals. A soft, lighter-styled pot still Rum that will play nicely in cocktails.
Coruba Dark Rum
88 points
Best Buy
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dark roasted nuts, blackstrap molasses, spiced coffee, and polished wood with a satiny, bone-dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, compelling, long finish with suggestions of banana chips, nut skin, straw and slate, and cigar wrapper. A bone-dry, mineral-laden dark Rum for serious cocktails.
88 points $19 Best Buy
Hamilton Ministry Of Rum Collection Pimento Dram Liqueur
85 points
Sedimentary golden green color. Aromas and flavors of ground cloves, cinnamon extract, whole wheat bread dough, and iodine with a slightly chewy, crisp, sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-long finish with notes of allspice, echinacea, turmeric, banana bread, and ginger tea. An intriguing Liqueur packed with island spices and funky Rum character.