Lets Get Ready To Rum-ble

The History Of Rum

The first ever rum distillery took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered that molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. The distillation of these alcoholic by-products concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities and the first true rums were created.

Tradition suggests rum first originated on the island of Barbados. However, in the decade of the 1620s, rum production was recorded in Brazil.

Rum’s association with piracy began with British privateers trading on the valuable commodity. As some of the privateers became pirates and buccaneers, their fondness for rum remained. The association of rum with the Royal Navy began in 1655, when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. With the availability of domestically produced rum, the British changed the daily ration of liquor given to seamen from French brandy to rum.

The Grades

The grades and variations used to describe Rum depends on the location where the Rum was produced. The following terms are frequently used to describe various grades of rum.

Most dark rums come from areas such as Jamaica, Haiti, and Martinique. Dark rums, are usually made from caramelized sugar or molasses. They are normally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels, giving them much stronger flavours than either light or gold Rums. Hints of spices can be detected with a caramel undertone. In addition, dark rum is the type most commonly used in cooking.

Gold Rum Gold Rums, also know as the “amber” category. These are generally from boutique brands that sell carefully produced and aged rums. They have more character and flavour than their "mixing" counterparts and are mostly consumed straight.

Spice Rum Spiced rums obtain their flavours through the addition of spices and caramel. Most are darker in colour, and based on gold rums. Some are significantly darker, while many cheaper brands are made from inexpensive white rums and darkened with a caramel colour. The spices that you will most likely find added are cinnamon, rosemary, absinthe/aniseed, pepper, cloves, and cardamom.

Spiced Rums, are medium-bodied rums that are normally aged. They gain their dark colour from aging in wooden barrels (usually the charred, white oak barrels that are the by-product of Bourbon whiskey). They have more flavour and are stronger-tasting than light rum, and can be considered midway between light rum and the darker varieties.

White Rum White rums, also referred to as "silver" or "light" rums. They have very little flavour aside from a general sweetness. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any colour.

Premium Rum Premium rums, as with other sipping spirits such as Cognac and Scotch, are in a special market