The rums of the Dominican Republic are famous around the globe, and it’s easy to understand why. Although we’re a little late for International Rum Day, which was on the 16th of August, here in the Dominican Republic we celebrate rum day every day! You’ve probably already seen, heard or even tasted one of the three B’s: Brugal, Barcelo, and Bermudez. But what makes them so special? Unlike most other rums, Dominican rums are much ‘smoother,’ due to the original and natural process of distillation and aging, a process that also produces their unique flavor. Rum is readily available here, and much cheaper to buy than across the waters since the factories are on the island (you can even tour some of them). It’s the perfect time to replenish your stocks or get the perfect gift for that special someone. We’ve completed our rum connoisseur homework and have compiled a list of the top 5 rums worth making space in your suitcase!
Founded back in 1888 in Puerto Plata by Don Andres Brugal Montaner, Brugal created the first aged rum in the Dominican Republic. After exporting overseas, Brugal quickly became known worldwide and even became the number 1 rum brand in Spain in 2010! The XV is favorite from the Brugal range; it’s a unique blend that combines rums aged 3-8 years in white American oak casks with rums aged 2-3 years in sherry casks. The result is a smooth, fruity taste with a slightly sweet and long lasting aftertaste, with an aroma of honey, dried fruits and traces of caramel. If reading about it isn’t enough, you can take a tour of the Brugal Rum Factory located in Puerto Plata!
Bermudez 1852 Aniversario
Bermudez is the most well-known family name in the Dominican Rum industry. It was Don Diego Bermudez, one of Christopher Columbus’ first companions to Hispaniola, who brought sugar cane to the island to extract alcohol, the primary ingredient in rum. Established in 1852, Ron Bermudez was the creator of Amargo Panacea, a famous appetizer rum that was the first Dominican spirited drink! The Bermudez 1852 Aniversario is a celebration of the history of the company, and even the presentation of the rum is vintage. Aged for 12 years, this rum has a fruity aroma of banana, coconut, and a little raisin. The elixir is smooth and quite dry. The taste is a mix of banana, plums, and cherries with a slight hint of creamy vanilla, and long peppery finish.
Ron Barcelo Gran Platinum Rum
Ron Barcelo began as a dream of young Spanish Julian Barcelo who wanted to concoct the best rum in the world. In 1929, Julian arrived in Santo Domingo and founded Barcelo & Co where he quickly began producing and peddling one of his first rums. Julian tested the local market with different experimental rums until his choice product; Barcelo Blanco and Dorado were launched and were an immediate success. The success didn’t stop there! Once Ron Barcelo Imperial hit the stores, it quickly became the most internationally awarded Dominican rum. The Barcelo Gran Platinum Rum was the first premium white rum in the Dominican Republic, made by filtering Gran Anejo to achieve a transparent crystal clear color while preserving the taste of the aged rum. The aroma is rich with hints of citrus, pink pepper, vanilla and dried fruits, with the taste that combines sweetish citric and eucalyptus body.
Siboney originated in Santo Domingo in 1920 and is one of the older rums produced on the island by the Alfonso Cochon family. Made from local products in small amounts, Siboney Rum is said to be a more authentic Dominican Rum. Matured for at least five years in oak barrels, Siboney Reserva rum has a sweet taste with notes of dark caramel, toffee, and spices with a slight fruitiness and a nutty, sweet toffee finish.
Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21
Vizcaya VXOP is made in the Dominican Republic using traditional methods that date back to nineteenth century Cuba. Using locally grown sugar cane, Vizcaya ferments the sugar cane juice in small batches before aging for eight years in oak barrels. Cask 21 rum has a very smooth finish with tastes of warm, smoky spice, cinnamon, vanilla, clove and ginger followed by a hint of tropical fruit. This rum has won countless awards at some of the world’s most prestigious spirit competitions.
And there you have just a few of our top picks. There are many great Dominican rums, so if you are a connoisseur, feel free to shout out your favorite in the comments.