Spiced rum is one of the most popular styles of rum on the market. This spirit provides a distinct smoothness and boldness, making it a favorite among beginner drinkers and seasoned veterans.
Few spirits have a subcategory as widely respected as spiced rum. Whiskey has subcategories of Tennessee whiskey and Scotch whiskey, but besides that, vodka tends to be vodka, gin tends to be a gin, and so on.
While rum has been commercially available for hundreds of years, spiced rum has only been on the market for a few decades. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the spiced version of rum came to be, but one of the first brands to do it was Captain Morgan. This brand released its first spiced rum in America in 1984.
Today, there are many brands dedicated entirely to producing spiced rum. The most common spices used in this style of rum are clove, cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, citrus fruit, nutmeg, and ginger. As the rum market expands, many brands are straying away from the classic spices and creating their own flavorings.
In some cases, the use of additives is looked at as a means of masking imperfections in the product. For spiced rums, the purity of the product can easily be maintained with the addition of other flavors. The additives that you should avoid are cheap sweeteners and sugars.
If you’re a fan of darker spirits, spiced rum is the perfect drink for you. Keep reading below with Saucey to find out which spiced rums are the best.
The start of the spiced rum trend
Despite the recent influx of spiced rums in the industry, the tradition of adding fruit and spice to rum has existed for centuries, particularly in the Caribbean. The islanders there have always used additives to add flavor to their rums.
The first spiced rum producers used fruit, fish, insects, and even raw meat to spice their products. Essentially, they used whatever they could get their hands on.
Today, rum shops in the Caribbean carry an abundance of spiced varieties. Unlike the United States, spiced rum producers on the island utilize the bark and root of Bois Bande trees, which is supposed to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
A brief history of rum
Rum has always held its place in history among the other spirits. Though it was created in the Caribbean, the American colonists first mass-produced the drink in the 18th century.
It didn’t take off for several years. The spread of this spirit was slow and steady, enduring several obstacles in its path to fame.
For one, its production was severely affected by the Sugar Act of 1754, which ultimately contributed to the spark of the American Revolution. Sugar cane, the main ingredient in rum, was a major factor in the American colonies’ success. When Great Britain imposed this tax on the crop, the colonies’ economy was greatly affected.
Then, during Prohibition, rum was outlawed completely. It was during these times that the popularity of the spirit blew up in the black market. It became one of the most sought-after spirits in the country. Smugglers of the drink were known as rum runners.
Rum is a cultural symbol in many nations. For a lot of people, the significance of rum goes beyond just an alcoholic beverage. For instance, in Jamaica, rum is used to ward away evil spirits called “Duppies.” It is viewed by many in the country as sacred. Rum can also be used to christen newly born babies and bless the dead. This spirit is also used in Jamaica medicinally to cure colds.
Even in Australia, the people adore their rum, so much so that it was used as a currency in the country.
But in 1808, that would change when the government removed rum from its list of acceptable currencies. As a result, the Rum Rebellion ensued, as the people of Australia literally overthrew their government.
The best-spiced rum options to try
Recently, Cruzan has launched their new spiced rum, Cruzan Nine. This is a great sipping rum, spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. It is medium-bodied and provides a peppermint aftertaste. This drink mixes well with sodas but also can be served on the rocks.
For those who like punchier spirits, the Kraken Black Spiced Rum is a solid choice. At 94 proof, this rum is a bit stronger than your average rum. This drink contains notes of coffee, caramel, and toffee. It is made in the Caribbean.
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with the classics. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is one of the first spiced rums to enter the mainstream market. And there is a reason that this product has remained on shelves.
The recipe consists of vanilla and caramel, combined with less than a gram of sugar to create a smooth, medium-bodied finish. This is the number one selling spiced rum in North America.
Blackbeard Spiced Rum is a great choice for those who enjoy their tropical notes. This is a blended rum aged for four years, making it the oldest spiced rum in the Ministry of Rum database. Blackbeard is a sister company of the St. Kitts Rum Company. This rum is the latest product in a collection of flavored rums from the brand.
Other spiced rums that we recommend include:
- Black Mask Spiced Rum
- Hook’s Caribbean Spiced Rum
- Black Magic Black Spiced Rum
- Seven Tiki Spiced Rum
- Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum
- Zaya Spiced Rum
- Coney Island Carlo Spiced Rum
Different kinds of rum
In reality, any rum that isn’t white rum can be labeled as dark rum—there really aren’t a ton of specifications, and it may just be dyed a darker color. Rums with a darker color are usually aged for at least a few years.
Light or white rums typically are milder in flavor and have a lighter body than other rums. Most white rums are sold at 80 proof. They are a common ingredient in cocktails.
Spiced or flavored rums are exactly what they sound like. When a regular rum has additional spices or flavoring, it becomes a spiced or flavored rum. Commonly flavored rums include pineapple rum and coconut rum.
Aged rums are any rums that have been aged in an oak barrel for an extended period of time. Rums can be aged for decades at a time. It is believed that this process adds extra layers of flavor to the spirit and added texture.
Now, just because rum is labeled as “white,” it doesn’t mean that it’s unaged. And vice versa, if rum is labeled as “dark,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s aged.
This misconception exists because of the way that rum is produced. It is clear in color when any spirit is distilled, similar to how a white rum would appear. The color that darker rums have comes from the time they spend in barrels.
However, some producers run their aged rums through charcoal filters to remove their color. Therefore, it is impossible to tell if rum is aged or not simply by looking at it.
With all of these amazing options, it’s no wonder why spiced rums have become such a hit in the market.
There are a ton of affordable bottles out there as well. Nowadays, it’s rare to find a quality spirit for a reasonable price. No matter what your budget is, you’re sure to find a bottle that works for you.
Spiced rums have dominated the rum category for quite some time now. Still, though, some people prefer their pure rums over their spiced or flavored ones.
The alcohol market can be pretty unpredictable at times. But one thing is for sure: we’re headed for a future full of rum.
In search of some quality spiced rum? There’s no better place to shop for rum than Saucey. We carry over 65 different kinds of spiced rums from dozens of different brands. We also have nearly 500 variations of rum overall, including premium rums that have been aged for over twenty years.