Types of Rum: What are the different types of Rum?

by Spirits

Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses or honey. It has been around since the 17th century and is now one of the most popular spirits in the world. There are many different types of rum, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics.

The main categories of rum are light, gold, dark and spiced rums. Light rums are light in color and mild in flavor, making them ideal for mixing in cocktails. Gold rums are aged for longer periods of time and have a richer flavor than light rums. Dark rums are more robust with a deeper flavor profile; they can be used for sipping or mixed into cocktails. Spiced rums have added flavors from spices such as cinnamon, vanilla or allspice, making them popular choices for mixed drinks.

Other types of rum include overproof, flavoured and premium/aged rums. Overproof rum is a higher-proof version of regular rum (usually around 75-120 proof). Flavoured rum has additional flavours added to it such as coconut or pineapple. Premium/aged rums are usually aged for longer periods of time, resulting in smoother and more complex flavour profiles compared to regular rums.Rum is one of the most popular and versatile spirits in the world. It has been a part of many cultures, regions and countries for centuries. Rum is made from fermented sugarcane juice, molasses or syrup and can be distilled from any type of sugarcane-based by-product. There are several different types of rum that vary in taste, color and aroma.

Light/White Rum: Light or white rum is a light-bodied spirit with a mild flavor profile. It is usually clear in color, but some brands may have a slight golden hue. Light rums are usually used in mixed drinks such as mojitos, daiquiris and piña coladas.

Gold/Amber Rum: Gold or amber rums have a medium body with a slightly sweet flavor profile. They typically have an amber or golden hue due to aging in wooden barrels. Gold rums are often used in mixed drinks such as mai tais and Cuba libres.

Dark Rum: Dark rum has a full body and deep flavor profile due to aging for longer periods of time in wooden barrels that impart more caramelized flavors into the spirit. Dark rums are often used as sipping spirits or for making punches.

Spiced Rums: Spiced rums are dark rums that have added spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice for added complexity and flavor. Spiced rums are often used to make cocktails such as the zombie or painkiller.

Flavored Rums: Flavored rums are light or gold rums that have been infused with fruit flavors such as banana, coconut, mango or pineapple. These flavored spirits are often used to make tropical drinks like the piña colada or mai tai.

Light Rums

Light rums are an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails. These rums are usually aged for a shorter period of time than other types of rum, and they tend to be less expensive due to this. Light rums have a milder flavor profile than darker rums, making them ideal for cocktails that require a subtle flavor. They are also used in some recipes as an alternative to vodka or other clear liquors. Light rums can be enjoyed neat as well as in mixed drinks.

Light rums come in a variety of styles and flavors. Some common styles include white, gold, spiced and dark. Most light rums are made from molasses or sugarcane juice, although some styles may contain fruit or other flavoring agents. White or silver rums tend to be the lightest and most mild in flavor, while gold and dark varieties may have more intense flavors due to their longer aging periods. Spiced rum is usually flavored with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove.

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When choosing a light rum for mixed drinks or cocktails, it’s important to consider the type of drink you’re making. For fruity drinks or tiki-style cocktails that feature tropical fruits, white rum is usually the best choice since it has the mildest flavor profile. For more complex drinks like mojitos or Daiquiris that require additional ingredients like lime juice or simple syrup, gold rum will provide more depth of flavor without overwhelming the other ingredients.

Light rums can also be used as an alternative to vodka in some recipes where vodka isn’t traditionally used. For instance, light rum can be used instead of vodka in Bloody Marys for a unique twist on this classic cocktail. Light rums are also great for making punches where you want more complexity than just one type of spirit.

In short, light rums offer an affordable way to add subtle flavor and complexity to your favorite cocktails without overpowering them with intense flavors from darker varieties of rum. Whether you’re looking for something for your next tiki party or just want something different for your next martini, light rum is sure to be a great choice!

What are Dark Rums?

Dark rums are a type of rum that is made from molasses, a by-product of the sugar production process. They can range in color from dark amber to black, and in flavor from sweet and smooth to robust and bold. Dark rums are usually aged for longer periods of time than other types of rum, resulting in more intense flavors. The most common types of dark rum are Jamaican, Demerara, and Blackstrap.

Tasting Notes

Dark rums typically have notes of molasses, vanilla, caramel, coffee, spices, and dried fruits. They can also be oaky or smoky depending on the length of aging. Many dark rums have a signature taste that is unique to their brand or region.

Uses for Dark Rums

Dark rums can be used for a variety of cocktails and recipes. They are often used as the base spirit in classic tiki drinks like Mai Tais and Zombies. They add depth to punches and hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate. Dark rums can also be used for cooking as they can impart a deeply rich flavor to dishes like stews or sauces.

Aged Rums

Aged rums are highly sought after by rum connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. Aged rums are a type of rum that has been aged in oak barrels for a minimum of one year, often much longer. When aged, the rum takes on richer and more complex flavors than unaged or “white” rum. Aged rums can range from medium-bodied to full-bodied, with some styles having notes of caramel, vanilla, and even darker fruits. The length of aging also affects the flavor profile, with longer aging producing a darker color and richer flavor profile.

The process of aging begins with selecting the barrel for the rum to be stored in. The barrel must be made from oak, as this imparts unique flavors and aromas into the spirit as it ages. The type of oak used will also affect the flavor profile; American oak is known for imparting notes of vanilla and caramel while French oak is known for adding more tannin flavors. Once the barrel is selected, the rum is placed in it and left to age until it reaches its desired flavor profile.

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The end result of this process is a smooth and complex spirit that can be enjoyed neat or as part of a cocktail. Aged rums are perfect for sipping after dinner or enjoying on special occasions due to their richer flavor profiles compared to unaged rums. They also pair perfectly with other flavors such as citrus fruits or spices like nutmeg or cinnamon to create delicious cocktails. Whether you’re a fan of sipping aged rums neat or mixing them into cocktails, these spirits offer something for everyone’s taste buds!

Flavored/Spiced Rums

Flavored and spiced rums are a great way to add a bit of variety to your drinks. The addition of spices, herbs, fruits, and other flavorings can really bring out the flavor of a cocktail. These rums are usually slightly sweet and have a range of flavors from tropical to smoky. They can be used in cocktails that call for simple syrup or sweet vermouth, or enjoyed neat as an after dinner drink.

When it comes to flavored or spiced rums there is something for everyone. A few popular brands are Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Malibu Rum, and Bacardi Superior. Each one of these has its own unique flavor profile which can make them great for different types of cocktails. For example Captain Morgan Spiced Rum is great for making a classic mojito or Cuba Libre while Malibu adds a tropical twist to any cocktail it is added too. Bacardi Superior is light and smooth with notes of vanilla that make it perfect for sipping on its own.

If you’re looking to explore the world of flavored/spiced rums, start with the brands mentioned above and then branch out from there. You may find that you enjoy some more than others and will want to stock them in your home bar. No matter what type of rum you prefer, adding a flavored/spiced rum into the mix is sure to make your next cocktail an exciting experience!

What are Overproof/Naval Strength Rums?

Overproof or Naval Strength Rums are higher-proof rums that are usually bottled between 57% and 75% ABV (alcohol by volume). These types of rums are usually associated with the rum that has been traditionally used in British Navy ships since the 18th century. They were given the name “Naval Strength” due to the fact that it could be stored in wooden barrels during long voyages without losing its potency. The higher proof also made it easier to mix with other ingredients, such as water, gunpowder and lime juice, which is why it was so popular among sailors.

Overproof rums are usually made from molasses or cane juice, although some distilleries also use other ingredients, such as fruit and spices. The distillation process for these types of rums is similar to that of other spirits but requires a longer fermentation period, which helps to create more flavorful and aromatic spirits. Some distilleries even barrel-age their overproof rums for extra flavor and complexity.

Overall, overproof/naval strength rums offer a unique flavor experience that is perfect for sipping neat or using in cocktails. They provide more depth and complexity than standard proof rums, making them a great choice for any rum lover looking to explore new flavors and aromas.

White Rums

White rum is a type of rum that has been aged for just a few months and is clear in color. It is often used in cocktails, as it adds flavor without significantly changing the color of the drink. White rum can be made from either molasses or sugar cane juice. The most common types of white rum are light and silver rums. Light rums are typically aged for a few months, while silver rums are usually aged for up to two years in oak barrels. White rums have a milder flavor than darker-colored rums, making them ideal for use in cocktails such as mojitos, daiquiris, and piña coladas. They also can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

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White rum typically has a light flavor profile with notes of vanilla, citrus, and coconut. It can range from dry to sweet depending on how it’s made and what type of sugar is used. Light and silver rums are generally best for mixing in cocktails as they don’t overpower other flavors like darker rums can do. They also tend to be less expensive than dark or gold varieties of rum which makes them great for mixed drinks at home or in bars.

White rum is an incredibly versatile spirit that can be used in many different ways. It’s great for sipping neat or on the rocks, but it really shines when used in classic cocktails like mojitos and daiquiris. It’s also great for creating tiki-style drinks like piña coladas and zombie punches as well as tropical drinks like mai tais and pina coladas. White rum can even be used in cooking to add flavor to sauces, marinades, glazes, desserts, and more!

No matter how you choose to use white rum – sipping neat or on the rocks or using it as an ingredient – it’s sure to add some delicious flavor to your favorite drinks!

Gold/Amber Rums

Gold and amber rums are two of the most popular rum categories. Gold rums are the result of distilling molasses, while amber rums are the result of aging in oak barrels. Both types of rum have a rich, smooth flavor with subtle hints of vanilla and caramel. Gold rum is usually slightly sweeter than amber rum, and is often used for mixing in cocktails. Amber rum has a more complex flavor profile, with robust notes of oak, spices, and dried fruit. It is often used to add depth and complexity to cocktails or to sip neat. Both types of rum are popular in many different cocktails, from classic favorites such as the Mojito to modern creations like the Mai Tai. For those looking for an authentic Caribbean experience, gold or amber rums make an excellent addition to any cocktail recipe.


Rum is an alcoholic beverage that has been around for hundreds of years. It comes in many different varieties and styles, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics. Light rum is a smooth, light-bodied spirit that is perfect for cocktails and mixed drinks. Dark rum is a heavier, richer spirit with a molasses or caramel flavor. Spice rum is a sweeter variant of dark rum that contains spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Overproof rum is a high proof spirit that is often used to add flavor to mixed drinks but can also be enjoyed on its own. Finally, flavored rum is infused with other flavors like coconut, mango, or pineapple.

No matter what type of rum you prefer, there is sure to be something available that will please your palate. Whether you’re looking for a smooth and light cocktail mixer or an intense overproof sipping spirit, the different types of rums can offer something for every taste.

So next time you’re out shopping for spirits, don’t forget to pick up some delicious rum! With so many different styles available, you’re sure to find something perfect for your next gathering or just to enjoy on your own.



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