Top 15 Sipping Rums To Enjoy In 2024

We typically think of rum mixed in a fruity, tropical drink. Who doesn't love a good mojito or daiquiri while sitting by the beach (or on the couch)? But rum isn't just meant to be combined with pineapple or mint. Some rums are also meant to be slowly sipped on their own — not sucked through a straw. The best sipping rums offer a smooth and sweet flavor of their own without the help of any added mixers. You'll want to enjoy these kinds of rums straight up or on the rocks like you would any other high-quality liquor.

But which rums are really made to be sipped? There are a lot of different types of rum out there, from the popular brands (Bacardi, looking at you) to the lesser-known labels; from the light ones to the darker amber shades. To help get you started, we've rounded up the 15 best sipping rums and ranked them. You'll be feeling like a rum connoisseur in no time.

16. Seven Fathoms Rum

Seven Fathoms Rum distillery started in 2008 and has since mastered some serious hand-crafted spirits. Staying keen on using mainly local ingredients and doing all methods by hand, this distillery doesn't play around when it comes to making some of the best sipping rum out there.

Organic cane and copper pot stills are two important attributes when creating the Seven Fathoms Rum. With roots in the Cayman Islands, this full-bodied rum is rich with flavor thanks to a special technique similar to deep-sea diving, or, as the brand calls it, "ocean aging." The rum is aged in white oak bourbon casks that are then lowered into the ocean waters at 42 feet. This technique is said to help keep the rum in a consistent climate with temperatures not found on dry land. Now, that's a rum that goes to any lengths to get it right.

15. Clairin Le Rocher

We don't have a lot of light rums on our list, but the ones we do have on here will not disappoint. Allow us to introduce the Clairin Le Rocher. This is a light rum that will surely please the palate when you're looking for something that's not too full-bodied but still has plenty of flavor. The rum is made from syrup that is boiled to keep all the aromas intact. Clairin The Spirit of Haiti says the syrup is then fermented, and any leftover material found in the pot still is placed in what is called the "fermenting wash" to give it an even stronger fragrance.

This delightful rum that comes from Haiti will have you smelling everything from white wine to bananas to white chocolate. You'll be salivating before you even take that first sip. As for the taste, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you savor delicious baked apples and licorice, with that hint of banana lingering long after.

14. Planteray Fancy Pineapple Rum

Plantation Rum has recently undergone a rebranding to become Planetray, but currently, its pineapple rum is still on the market. Stiggins pineapple gets its name from Charles Dickens's "Pickwick Papers." In the story, the character Reverend Stiggins loved sipping on pineapple rum, and this rum is fruity and sweet in all the best ways. The method behind its creation is pretty unique as it uses the bark from pineapples that is combined with rum and then distilled together. But the actual pineapple is not forgotten here either, as it is also combined with a dark rum. When the two rums are then mixed, you get one delicious Fancy Pineapple Rum.

So, what does such a pineapple-infused rum taste like? Between its fruit base and tropical climate (it comes from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad), this is a drink for the tropics (or will at least make you feel like you're there if you aren't). Its smoky and fruity notes and flavors are so heavenly that you can enjoy them no matter where you are. 

13. Zaya Gran Reserva 16-Year

Crafted in the Trinidad and Tobago region, Zaya Gran Reserva Aged Rum is the perfect kind of liquor to do with as you please. What do we mean? While you can mix in your favorite cocktail of course (especially when you're craving a lazy Sunday), we say to have it on its own over ice. Honestly, it's just too good not to. 

When you take a whiff of this 16-year-old aged rum, you'll smell hints of fresh fruit baked in the warm oven. But the intoxicating aroma isn't the only thing that has us loving this rum—even if that's a big part. The flavors also keep things extra cozy. Trust us; you'll be tasting decadent caramel, lots of added spice, and everything nice with its smoky, smooth finish. This dark rum is definitely worth taking your time with. 

12. Flor de Caña 25-Year

The history behind the Flor de Caña distillery is kind of an explosive one. It all began in 1890 when a man from Italy thought to open a distillery alongside a volcano in Nicaragua named the San Cristóbal: the most active volcano in the area. It sounds unexpected, we know, but it was argued that this area would be excellent for distilling rum because of that very volcano — and who are we to judge? Between the hot climate, the ash in the soil, and the enriched mineral water found underground, this area seemed like a total win for distilling rum, even if it also seemed incredibly risky.

This fifth-generation family business has not disappointed over the years, especially when it comes to its Flor de Caña 25. It is full-bodied and has hints of vanilla and wood on the nose. The nutty almond flavor lasts on the tongue, too, making for an impressive sip.

11. The Real McCoy 3-Year

The Real McCoy brand dates back to the Prohibition era when founder Bill McCoy (now we know where the name comes from) was once a rum runner — and a good one at that.The Real McCoy rum is crafted at the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados's tropical climate and has a similar vibe to an añejo sipping tequila (but much older than any of those on the market).  

Many of the best sipping rums are dark and rich, but not The Real McCoy 3-year. This rum may be light in color but not at all in flavor as it combines two rums together: One from a Coffey Still and the other from a copper pot. It is then aged for three years in oak bourbon barrels, which help create flavors that are deep in floral and spice. The rum is filtered with charcoal, which is why it doesn't have any color but is well-balanced and still has some incredible flavor.

10. Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum

The Goslings brand dates back to the early 1800s and has made a name for itself since then. Take its original Black Seal Rum, for example. This tasty rum got its cute nickname not from the aquatic mammal but from the original black sealing wax found on the cork of the bottle. 

And while the first rum is worth trying for sure, we're currently obsessed with Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum and think you will be, too. Plus, it also has that cool black wax sealing on the cork. Not only has this rum won a couple of recent awards, but it just tastes so darn good (which is probably why it's award-winning). Aged in oak, it's extra smooth and flavorful. Raise that glass to your nose and inhale the scents of leather and chocolate while you enjoy that first sip of smoky vanilla. It has a long, spicy finish that will surprise your palate.

9. Diplomático Ambassador

This Venezuelan rum is a family-owned brand and comes from a distillery that was established back in 1959. What sets this brand apart from others is that it has three distillation processes that it uses to help give its rum a unique aromatic and flavor profile. The logo on all the rums is of Don Juancho, the face behind the company who was interested in exploring sources that offered flavorful notes and tastes but, more importantly, that would help protect the environment. Today, the team behind the distillery is still very adamant about using its sustainable production methods. 

So we can't feel bad about enjoying the Diplomático Ambassador. And thank goodness, because this one is a stunner. It's been aged in white oak casks for 12 years and then aged again for two more years in sheer casks. At the first sniff, you'll be smelling a mix of dried fruits and old cigar boxes while enjoying a mix of cinnamon and oak on the palate.

8. Chairman's Reserve Original

Coming from the tropical Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, Chairman's Reserve original rum was first crafted in 1999 by the distillery's Chairman, Laurie Barnard. At that time, Barnard was very forward-thinking with production. Instead of only using column stills for rum, he thought to try small pot stills and electric barrels. Mixing things up worked well for Barnard and the team at the distillery, especially when considering the Chairman's Reserve Original Rum. 

The Original combines aged rums from two different types of stills (Coffey and copper pot) after being aged separately in bourbon barrels. Once these two rums are combined as one, they are aged once more, this time in oak vats for about five years. The result is worth the lengthy aging process, too. Here, you'll pick up notes of caramelized fruits and oaky vanilla while tasting a wide range of flavors, including golden raisin, clove, and tobacco.

7. Rhum Clement VSOP

On the Caribbean island of Martinique, you will find an impressive rum and a solid distillery producing it. Clement Rhumdistillery was founded by the local politician Homère Clément to help create a distinct type of rum called Rhum Agricole, which was made by using freshly pressed sugarcane juice.

Without that distillery production, we would not have the Rhum Clement VSOP. This rum is a standout as it smells almost as good as any baked good (think extra large chocolate chip cookies) thanks to its notes of brown sugar and chocolate. And let's not forget its peppery but sweet taste. According to some tasting notes, you'll also get some scents of the ocean in there as well due to the cellar (where the rum ages) not being far from the sea. With an aromatic rum like this, who needs to ever light a scented candle? Just open a bottle instead. 

6. El Dorado 15-Year

With a distillery in the Demerara region of Guyana, the way El Dorado makes rum is downright legendary, going back hundreds of years to bring in traditional craft with a few modern twists. It's all about what the company calls "perfecting the aging and blending process." And with the warm climate, the distillery can do just that. The rum ages much faster thanks to the warm, consistent temperature and high humidity. So don't be fooled by a younger rum — it can taste much more mature than it really is.

Our favorite is the El Dorado 15-Yea rum. It is first made in oak barrels and then aged for 15 years. The rum is then blended using Coffey stills, wooden pot stills, and a single wood pot still, providing an overall rich profile. Enjoy notes of coffee and almonds with a fruity mix of oak and lots of spice.

5. Panamá-Pacific Rum 23-Year

The Panamá-Pacific Rum 23-Year comes from Panama's Ingenio San Carlos distillery and is distilled in Coffey copper column stills that help punch up the flavor. It is first aged for three years in American oak bourbon whiskey casks. It's then later moved to toasted Tennessee whiskey casks for more aging that heightens the aromas, which you will definitely enjoy in every glass.

Speaking of a glass, pour some of this rum in there and take a long whiff. You'll be able to smell something as good as melted butter along with almond and coconut, making for an intensely good inhale (if we do say so ourselves). As for the taste, be prepared to enjoy a wide range of delicious flavors in this rum, such as cherry and caramel, with a woodsy after-taste that will linger in the best possible way.

4. Santa Teresa 1796

In Venezuela's beautiful Aragua Valley, you'll find the family-owned distillery called Hacienda Santa Teresa, which first came about in 1796. The Santa Teresa 1796 rum is a celebratory tribute to the distillery's founding. However, it didn't actually make its debut until 1996 when a fourth generation family member helped get it started.

What makes this rum so interesting is it is aged for 35 years in both bourbon and oak barrels. But it's not finished there. After that, this rum is aged longer in what the distillery calls the "artisanal Solera method," a technique that uses the original 1796 cask. This is unique because this cask was never completely drained. Instead, it kept getting a younger rum added to it. The end result after all this aging and blending is a mix of fruit and wood on the nose while prunes, honey, and pepper dance along on the tongue. Pure perfection if you ask us. 

3. Rhum Barbancourt 15-Year Estate Reserve

Rhum Barbancourt has been around since 1862, when the distillery was first originally up and running in Haiti. The man behind the distillery was named Dupré Barbancourt, and he made rum with pure cane sugar juice. He also used French Limousin oak barrels to age it, a similar method that is used when producing cognac.

And there's no complaint from us here. We are all for the Rhum Barbancourt 15-Year Estate Reserve. After all, it is one of the top best sipping rums on our list. This rum is made of sugar cane juice that is fermented in yeast and then placed in three types of oak barrels to age it for 15 years. When you take that very first sip, expect only great things, such as warm caramelized brown sugar that turns into a spicy citrus finish. 

2. Appleton Estate 21-Year

Appleton Estate has been distilling rum since 1749, making it an oldie but a goodie. The location is key here, too. The estate can be found in Nassau Valley, Jamaica, and features a unique landscape of limestone, hills, caves, and water found underground. All of these unique features allow for the rainwater to filter naturally, which provides clear water filtered with limestone. Put all of that together, and you get the deep added flavor to the sugar cane, which makes for an even bolder-tasting rum.

No wonder we have Appleton Estate 21-Year at the top of our list of the best rums for sipping. Made with limestone-filtered water and aged for — you guessed it — 21 years, this rum will have you tasting all that the tropics have to offer, with notes of orange, nutmeg, and cocoa. So pour yourself a glass, sit back, and imagine that tropical breeze taking you away.

1. Methodology

In order to create this list, we first started with a list of some of the rum industry's most storied, popular, and innovative distillers and brands. We prioritized bottle varieties and expressions that were aged, as rums that have been given a longer time in the barrel will more often relay a smooth experience when consumed neat. These rums were chosen for their complex flavor profiles and just so happened to skew to the darker side of the spectrum. 

Rums with distinct and funky notes were often excluded, as these rums can be polarizing to drink without a mixer involved. With the exception of Planetray, we avoided the inclusion of flavored rums. Along with the flavor, we considered price and entry point as a method of inclusion. While many of these rums can rank on the higher end of a price scale, affordability was a factor of inclusion (in relative terms).