The Dominican Republic is known for its beaches, warm weather, and delicious rum. This Caribbean island has a rich history of producing some of the world's finest rums.
With so many exceptional options to choose from, selecting the perfect Dominican rum brands can be a daunting task.
How Are Dominican Rums Made?
The process of making this world-renowned spirit starts with the sugarcane that thrives in the Dominican Republic's tropical climate.
Once the sugarcane is harvested, it is crushed to extract the juice, which is then boiled down to create a thick, dark syrup known as molasses.
The molasses is then mixed with water and yeast to initiate the fermentation process.
As the yeast feeds on the sugar in the molasses, it produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process can take up to several days, depending on the desired flavor and alcohol content.
Once fermentation is complete, the resulting liquid, called "wine," is distilled to separate the alcohol from the water and other impurities.
Dominican rums typically undergo multiple rounds of distillation to achieve the desired purity and concentration.
After distillation, the rum is aged in oak barrels, which impart their own unique flavors and aromas to the spirit. The length of aging can range from a few months to several years, with longer aging times resulting in richer, more complex flavors.
The final step in the process is blending, where different batches of rum are combined to achieve a consistent flavor profile. Some rums may also be infused with additional flavors or aged further before bottling.
The process of making Dominican rum is a time-honored tradition that requires skill and expertise.
With its perfect climate, fertile soil, and dedication to quality, the Dominican Republic produces some of the finest rums in the world, each with its own distinct personality and flavor.
Best Dominican Rums
In this article, we will explore the top 10 Dominican rum brands that every rum lover should try.
Starting off our list of the 10 best Dominican rum brands is Lemba.
This rum is produced using the finest ingredients and aged in oak barrels for a smooth and flavorful taste.
Lemba is known for its distinct flavors of vanilla and caramel, which come from the time it spends aging. This rum is perfect for sipping, either alone or with a mixer.
Brugal is a brand that has been around for over a century and has a rich history behind it.
The brand was founded by Andrés Brugal Montaner, who came to the Dominican Republic from Spain in the late 1800s. He started making rum in 1888 and the rest, as they say, is history.
What sets Brugal apart from other rums is its dryness. This is because Brugal is made using a unique distillation process that removes much of the sweetness from the sugarcane.
This results in a rum that is smooth and rich in flavor, but not overwhelmingly sweet. Brugal is also aged for up to eight years, which gives it a complexity and depth of flavor that is hard to find in other rums.
Vizcaya is known for its complex flavor profile. This rum is a blend of rums aged for up to 12 years, resulting in a smooth, full-bodied taste.
One of the things that sets Vizcaya apart from other rums is the attention to detail in the aging process.
The rum is aged in oak barrels that were previously used to age bourbon, giving it a unique flavor profile.
The barrels are carefully monitored to ensure that the rum is aging properly and developing the right flavors.
When you take a sip of Vizcaya, you'll notice a range of flavors that blend together perfectly.
The first thing you'll taste is a hint of vanilla, followed by notes of caramel and toffee. As you continue to sip, you'll notice a slight spiciness and a hint of oak.
The finish is smooth and long-lasting, leaving a pleasant aftertaste
Bermudez is a rum brand that has a rich history dating back to 1852.
It was founded by the Bermudez family, who were passionate about creating high-quality rum that would be enjoyed by people all over the world.
The unique methods used by Bermudez to produce its rum have contributed to its distinctive flavor.
The brand uses copper stills, which are known for producing a smooth and rich taste. The rum is also aged in oak barrels, which adds depth and complexity to the flavor.
Bermudez rum is not only delicious, but it also has a fascinating story behind it.
The brand has survived wars, economic crises, and changing consumer preferences, and has remained a beloved staple in the Dominican Republic and beyond.
6. Ron Barcelo
Ron Barcelo has been around for over 80 years. One of the things that sets Ron Barcelo apart from other rums is its unique flavor profile.
The rum is aged for up to 10 years, which gives it a smooth taste with hints of vanilla and oak. This aging process also gives the rum its beautiful amber color.
While Ron Barcelo is perfect for sipping neat, it is also a great rum for mixing in cocktails. Its smooth taste and unique flavor profile make it a versatile ingredient in many different types of drinks.
Whether you're making a classic daiquiri or a modern tiki drink, Ron Barcelo is sure to add a delicious dimension to your cocktail.
In addition to its classic rum, Ron Barcelo also offers a range of flavored rums. These include coconut, pineapple, and mango, among others.
These flavored rums are perfect for mixing in tropical drinks, or for adding a fun twist to classic cocktails.
7. Kirk & Sweeney
Kirk & Sweeney is known for its smooth and rich flavor profile. This rum is aged for up to 23 years, which results in a complex taste with notes of vanilla and caramel.
The name "Kirk & Sweeney" comes from the wooden schooner that was used to smuggle rum during Prohibition in the 1920s. The ship was eventually seized by the US Coast Guard and the crew was arrested, but the legend of the rum lived on.
When you take a sip of Kirk & Sweeney, you'll notice the smoothness right away. The rum has been aged in oak barrels, which gives it a mellow flavor and a beautiful amber color.
The vanilla and caramel notes are prominent, but you'll also detect hints of spice and oak. This is a rum that is meant to be savored slowly, allowing the flavors to develop on your palate.
8. Relicario Ron
Relicario Ron is a rum brand that stands out due to its unique production methods.
This rum is made using a solera system, which involves blending rums of different ages to produce a complex flavor.
Relicario Ron is smooth and rich, with notes of vanilla and oak, making it perfect for sipping or mixing in cocktails
Matusalem is a rum brand that has been producing rum for over 140 years, making it one of the oldest rum brands in the Dominican Republic.
This brand uses unique methods to produce its rum, such as using a solera system that blends rums aged for up to 23 years.
Matusalem is known for its smooth and full-bodied taste, making it perfect for sipping or mixing in cocktails.
Opthimus is a premium rum brand that is produced using only the finest ingredients.
This rum is aged for up to 25 years, resulting in a smooth and complex flavor profile.
Opthimus is perfect for sipping neat or mixing in cocktails, as it adds depth and complexity to any drink.
This brand also offers flavored rums, such as coffee and honey, which are great for adding a unique twist to your cocktails.
11. Ron Larimar
Finally, rounding out our list of the 10 best Dominican rum brands is Ron Larimar.
This brand is known for its smooth and balanced flavor, which comes from the use of the finest ingredients and a unique aging process.
Produced and crafted in the Dominican Republic, Ron Larimar's rum is then aged in Dundee, Scotland, where the climate is colder and dryer.
The rum shipped between the Caribbean and Europe and the natural ageing process it produced served as the brand's inspiration.
Four of its signature bottles have a five-year ageing process in various casks.
Ron Larimar is perfect for sipping neat or mixing in cocktails, as it adds a unique depth of flavor to any drink.
Comparison of Dominican Rums with other Rums
Here's a table comparing Dominican rum with some other popular rums available in the United States
|Rum||Country of Origin||Distillation||Aging||Flavor Profile||Price Range (750ml)|
|Brugal Extra Viejo||Dominican Republic||Column & Pot||8 years||Smooth and rich, with notes of vanilla and spice||$35-$50|
|Bacardi Superior||Puerto Rico||Column||1-2 years||Light and crisp, with hints of vanilla and almond||$15-$25|
|Mount Gay Eclipse||Barbados||Column & Pot||2-7 years||Bold and complex, with notes of caramel and oak||$20-$30|
|Appleton Estate Reserve||Jamaica||Pot||8 years||Full-bodied and fruity, with notes of citrus and spice||$30-$40|
|Ron Zacapa 23||Guatemala||Column & Pot||6-23 years||Rich and complex, with notes of caramel, chocolate, and spice||$50-$70|
What makes Dominican rum unique?
Dominican rum is known for its smooth and mellow flavor, which is attributed to the country's tropical climate and the aging process in oak barrels.
What is the alcohol content of these rum?
The alcohol content of Dominican rum varies depending on the brand and age, but is typically around 40-50% alcohol by volume (80-100 proof).
Can I visit Dominican rum distilleries?
Yes, many Dominican rum distilleries offer tours and tastings for visitors. Some popular distilleries to visit include Brugal, Barceló, and Bermúdez.
After reading this article, you should be better equipped the next time you're looking for a rich, flavorful Dominican rum.
Due to its lush natural resources and environment, the small island is renowned for producing some of the most delectable rums on the planet.
Any of the Dominican rum brands on this list are the best of the best, so you can serve them at a formal dinner party or a game night with friends with confidence.
Thanks for reading!