Back in college I read Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary. The story involves a journalist, named Paul Kemp, who in the 1950s moves from New York to work for a major newspaper, The Daily News, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The main protagonist of this novel is [Drumroll please] Rum. At the time when I was reading this, I was visiting family in Venezuela and the book increased my curiosity for all things rum. Cacique was our brand of choice (and availability), and as my cousin Mario likes to say it’s “Puro Licor” (pure liquor).
A recent article in Forbes.com asks the question “is high end Rum the new whiskey?”. That’s a large statement, but seeing how economies are pushing to find the new Rye, Rum could very well become a staple in every American bar. Rum bottles can be beautiful in design and would be a great addition to your home bar. Bottles on this list run between $30-$60, but some are difficult to locate but worth the search. We at Duel welcome rum into the party in our stomach.
So with that, Duel will like to feature some great Rum bottles to help you get started, and on these hot summer days, make you imagine you’re somewhere on a beach in Puerto Rico.
Cacique 500 Gran Reserva (Venezuela)
Cacique is a solid Venezuelan rum that works in so many levels, but their Gran Reserva is smooth and rich. Perfect on the rocks. This rum is a little hard to locate, but worth the search.
Est. Cost: $34.99-44.99
Diplomatico Reserva (Venezuela)
Another Venezuelan Rum. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum is distilled from molassis in copper pot stills and then aged in small oak casks for on average 12 years before being bottled. Produced in Venezuela, which has a rich rum history dating to 1896, the Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva distillery is located on the northern slopes of the Andes mountains.
Cost: $39.99 [Buy]
Plantation XO 20th Anniversary (Caribbean)
Plantation XO 20th Anniversary rum is a combination of pot-stilled and column-stilled Barbadian rums that are initially aged in the Caribbean in ex-bourbon casks for 12-20 years. They are then transported to France for a second 12-18 months aging in small French oak casks.
The first bottle of Plantation XO 20th Anniversary was created for the head of Cognac Ferrand Estate Alexandre Gabriel to honor his 20th year running the company. This special gift has resulted in the bottling we see today.
Cost: $46.99 [Buy]
Ron Centenario 20-year (Costa Rica)
Ron Centenario 20-Year rum is produced from Costa Rican sugar cane which is turned into molasses before aging in American white oak barrels up to 20 years using the solera aging system.
The company producing Ron Centenario 20-Year rum used to be named Seagram de Costa Rica, but in 2002 changed its name to Centenario Internacional. The rum wasn’t sold outside of Costa Rica until 2007.
Cost: $49.99 [Buy]
~Neptali Figueroa (Duel Drinkware)