Types of Rum: A Closer Look at The Styles & Variations

Rum has been making a bit of a comeback in recent years, particularly in the UK. For the first time ever, rum sales reached £1bn. last year and long may it continue! Along with this growth, we are seeing more and more types of rum hit the shelves. No longer do we just have the simple choice of Bacardi or Sailor Jerry. We’re now exposed to various styles of rum on our local supermarket spirits isle; white, dark, spiced, black, rhum agricole.

By all means, such choice can be confusing to those new to drinking rum. So let’s dive in deeper and look closer at the types of rum available:


White Rum

This is the most common rum and the one that you’ll find in cocktail recipes for mojitos, daiquiris, mai tais, and pina coladas. White rum generally isn’t aged, resulting in a light flavour hence which makes it the perfect addition to many cocktail recipes. White rums are generally cheaper to make as there is no additional ageing or flavouring process involved in its production. Some of the most common white rums available include Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum, Appleton White Rum, Captain Morgan White Rum and Rebellion Blanco Rum. 

Looking for something a bit different? Try Manchester Still Faraday’s Proof. – Available online from Master of Malt.

Types of White Rum


Dark Rum

Dark rums as you would expect, are dark in colour. They gain this dark colour by being aged in charred oak barrels over time. During this time they also tend to take on some of the heavier flavours engrained into the oak barrels. The complex flavours associated with many dark rums make them perfect to be sipped over ice or when mixed with ginger beer and a slice of lime. Popular dark rum brands on the market include: Don Papa 10 Year Old Rum, Gold of Mauritius Dark Rum, Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum and Mount Gay Black Barrel.

Looking for something a bit different? Try Bundaberg Rum Export Strength. – Available online from Master of Malt.


Gold Rum

Gold rum takes on most of its colour during the ageing process, during which time it also take on some of the barrels natural flavouring including almond and vanilla. Gold rums are often used in cocktail recipes where a more flavoursome base is required in comparison to white rum. It can also be enjoyed on the rocks. Popular types of gold rum available include: Appleton Estate Special Gold, Hampden Gold Rum, Elements 8 Gold Rum and Rum-Bar Gold.

Looking for something a bit different? Try Matugga Golden Rum. – Available online from Master of Malt.


Spiced Rum

Perhaps one of the most popular types of rum in recent years, and one which is fuelling the growth of the craft rum scene. Spiced rum is typically a dark or golden rum which has been flavoured over a period of time. Flavourings vary wildly although it’s common to see ingredients such as peppercorns, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. The spiced rum category is one of the most exciting in the spirits industry as craft distillers continue to experiment with new flavours. – The options are truly endless if you’re a spiced rum fan. Some of the most common spiced rums available on the market include The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Sailor Jerry, Rumbullion and Barti Ddu Spiced.

Looking for something a bit different? Try Dark Matter Spiced Rum. – Available online from Master of Malt.

Types of Rum: A Closer Look


Rhum Agricole

Rhum Agricole is slightly less common than those already covered. The key difference that sets rhum agricole apart is that it’s made from sugar cane juice, not molasses. As the juice is pressed directly from the sugar cane itself, rhum agricole tends to take on a grassy flavour. This type of rum originated from the French Caribbean and has spread further afield ever since.  Some of the most common brands of Rhum Agricole on the market include: Saint James Royal Ambre, Clément Rhum Vieux Agricole, Rhum J.M White and La Mauny 1749 Ambré Rhum Agricole.

Looking for something a bit different? Try Clairin Sajous 2016. – Available online from Master of Malt.



Similar to Rhumb Agricole, Cachaca is also made directly from the sugar cane juice. Cachaca does have one special requirement that sets it apart from anything else; it can only be made in Brazil. Brazil is renowned for its naturally super sweet sugar cane which creates a rum with a full flavoured profile. Cachaca can be found in cocktails such as Sangria Blanco and Brazil’s legendary Caipirinha. Popular brands of cachaca include Cachaca 51, Leblon Cachaca, BemBom Cachaca and Abelha Silver Cachaca.

Looking for something a bit different? Try Abelha 3 Year Old Organic Cachaca. – Available online from Master of Malt.


Overproof Rum

Looking for something a bit more hardcore than the usual 40% abv? You’ll want to try some overproof rum. Most rums available on the shelves in the UK are usually 40 – 50% ABV. If you’ve ever had a go at making rum, you’ll know that these have been cut down somewhat with water to make a more palatable taste.  Overproof, however, isn’t cut down to such a low-level ABV and can be classed as anything high-proof ranging from 50 – 70% ABV. Most overproof rums are used in cocktails, rum punches or general cooking. It’s fair to say that you’ll need a strong palate to be able to drink these neat, particularly towards the 70% ABV range!

And that’s it! Hopefully, this blog post has helped shed some light on the various types of rum. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to let us know your favourite type and brand of rum in the comments below.


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