Best rum releases 2021 - rum of the year

As the rum year is coming to an end, I thought, it would be a good opportunity to recap on the best 2021 releases

I have put below a ranking of my top 10 rums (it is somewhat ad hoc and doesn‘t strictly follow my ratings in the app)

  1. RumClub Gardel 1983 (best nose 2021, although the palate could not quite keep up with the nose)
  2. Caroni 5th Employee Release Breeze (the 6th Employee Release will probably rest forever in the shelves of collectors)
  3. RA HD 1989 (best HD overall)
  4. RA Guyana Enmore REV 1994
  5. St Lucia Chairman Master’s Reserve 2005 The Nectar 15 anniversary
  6. Old Brothers HD 2001 <>H (best high ester HD 2021)
  7. RA EMB 1995 (surprise of the 10GRF RA release set)
  8. Velier River Antoine (up with the best Clairins)
  9. Excellence Rhum TDL 2003 (big surprise)
  10. Velier FS Sassafras

Happy to see your favourite releases (Top 3, 5, 10 whatever). I think it would be fun to choose our rum of the year. In order to do so, we could create a shortlist (e.g. 20 rums) and do a poll to vote on our rum of the year :trophy::1st_place_medal::wink:

  1. RA HD 1989 (best HD so far)
  2. RA Barbados WIRD Rockley 1986 (first Rockley I had and such a good one)
  3. Rumclub HD 1992
  4. The Rum Cask Guyana Uitvlugt 1997
  5. The Duchess Jamaica 13 (HD) 2007 (best price-quality ratio for HD High Ester)
  6. SBS Guyana Enmore REV 1994
  7. RA Clarendon EMB 1995
  8. RA Fiji 2001 (best Fiji so far)
  9. The Rum Cask Long Pond VRW 2000
  10. RA T.D.L 2002

My top 5 highlight rums for 2021 are:

  • RA Rockley WIRD 1986
  • Treasure Cask Gardel 1983
  • Caroni 5th Emoloyee Breeze
  • Wu Dram Clan Finest Jamaica
  • RA Clarendon 1995

I was also positively surprised by the S.B.S. Guyana bottelings this year. And of course RA got a bunch of very fine rums as well.

Within the rum-x calendar the Appleton Hearts Collection, the Caroni 96 and the Flens JMC are my highlights.

I recently got a sample of the Port Mourant Milano Festival 2008 from @Rodolphe which I liked very much. So I decided to get a bottle (which can be still ordered at affordable price).

Not only to talk about the positve rums, I’d like to mention that I was a bit disappointed by the Nobilis bottelings. All of them are rated below 90.

  1. RA EMB 1995 (the best rum I had until today)
  2. IdR Fiji 2001
  3. Tamosi Karaya PM 1998
  4. SBS PM 1990 (need to taste it again, but the 2 cl I had have been a blast)
  5. SBS SWR 2001 ( regular edition and the others are nearly the same)
  6. TCRL Trinidad 2001 (still hoping go get a bottle)
  7. RA Trinidad 2002
  8. The Duchess Trinidad/Ten Cane 2009 (fell in love with this juice on my last 8 cl😭)
  9. Flensburg Rum Company HD 2007 (the other bottlings I had are equally good, but they are all very similar)
  10. SBS REV 2006 (tried it yesterday night. Like it a lot more than the very woody 1994s, but I have not a very settled opinion yet)

2001 was a good year and those rums have a perfect age now

There are still some bottles I didn’t tried, yet.

My worst purchase this year was the Rhum JM 2010. I don’t like it at all. It’s super flat and the XO is much better.


Bislang ergibt sich bei mir nachfolgende Rangfolge (einige Flaschen und Samples sind noch geschlossen und können daher nicht mit in die Bewertung einfließen):

  1. RA REV 94
  2. RA HD 89
  3. Rumclub HD 92
  4. Perola REV 94
  5. IdR Fiji 2001
  6. Mhoba Velier 2017 (eine tolle Überraschung m. E. )
  7. RA EMB 95

I have not yet tried the RA Rockley 1986, but I reckon it would have scored quite high :wink:

I did not put the Flens 2007 HD (10GRF release) into my Top 10 as it was very close to the one released the year before. But generally speaking, it is one of my all time high ester HD favorites.

As for the undeperformer rums, I have to admit that the new Plantation Single Cask Series did not impress me much. It is more about marketing with all those Duvel beer cask finishes etc. but on the nose/palate they were rather weak.


I thought I just create a screenshot because otherwise I might be a little less objective ;). The famous 1986 WIRD was only beaten by the 1983 Gardel which was the first rum I rated as „this is what I would call my single most favorite rum“. The TRC C<>H is no 2021 release but all the others should be from this year.

Regarding underperforming releases I have to agree with @mto75 since I was a bit disappointed by the recent Plantation SC lineup as well (a lot of rum with a lot of sugar if I wanted to sum it up :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)


Thank you guys for sharing you favorite lists! Very interesting to read. I could blame those of you how put the RA EMB on their lists to be the reason for my last purchase this year. I just got myself a bottle of that rum because of YOU! (it is still available at Rum Depot and you might use the code “Rum-Depot-150” to get some discount). I tasted and enjoied that rum a lot at the German Rumfest and was sneaking around that bottle since then :slight_smile:

This is my (unordered) list for 2021:

  • St Lucia Chairman Master’s Reserve 2005 The Nectar 15 anniversary
  • RA Trinidad 2002
  • RomDeLuxe Trinidad Ten Cane 2009 (poor mans Caroni, like I use to say :slight_smile: )
  • Nobilis HD 1992 (Rum Club HD 1992 is still unopened)
  • Rum Sponge HD 1990+1992

Concerning the “lemon price” I admit to be disapointed by the Plantation releases too.


Nice read so far. My best 3 releases this year were:
Velier FS Sassafras
Rom de Luxe Wild Series Rhino Hampden DOK 2 y/o in Caroni Cask 86,2%
Rumclub Nr. 18 Hampden 1992

My best priced Rum or biggest surprise this year was the RA Fiji 2001. Extraordinary Rum of unusual Region. Very nice find.

Bad surprises for me this year was the 2nd Edition of the Valinch&Malet Spirits of Art Series. Those were all underperforming. And i had very high expectations for them after the spectacular first Series.

I didnt drink “many” new Caronis this year, as there are mostly 98/99 vintages coming out these days, but I must give credits to Bellamy’s, who gave us a really nice '98 Caroni. I didnt believe they could perform that well in this sphere of Rums.

All in all a very good year regarding releases. But also prices habe exploded and I cant see anybody wanting to turn back the spiral of pricing. Lets see what 2022 brings us.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you!


I agree on both, the RA Fiji provided tremendous value for the money, given that it sold for around 70 EUR, and I liked the Bellamy Caroni, too, with the 64% ABV being very well integrated. One more decent value for money rum is certainly the Rum Club Australia (which we had in the calendar and one bottle split).

I was wondering whether we should not only vote for our ‚absolute‘ rum of the year but also the one with the best value for money, which could be any rum below 90 (or 80) EUR?


Hi everyone!
Thanks to the members of this forum I was able to taste many rums this year! Many thanks to all of you!
My palmares of 2021 releases (but I haven’t necessarily tasted a lot of them).

  • Plantation LongPond 22y bardstown bourbon(amazing for its price I find!)
  • Chantal Comte Tour de l’Or La Mauny 2010 (the Chantal Comte La Mauny are very good, all of them, the 2001 is amazing!)
  • RA Clarendon 1995 (Thanks Lukas!)
  • RA Guyana REV 1994
  • Rum club private selection HD 1992
  • Tamosi Karaya Port Mourant Levy Lane 1998 (the best PM I ever tasted)

(I really liked the St Lucia distillers The Nectar 15th anniversary in mouth but the nose is too marked by solvent I find)

The old releases I tasted in 2021 and that could be in the palmares are :

  • St Lucia distillers RA and RTN 2011 9y.o.
  • Caroni HTR Corman Collins The Auld Alliance 1998 (better than the Blog à Roger I found), thanks Michael!
  • Depaz Brut de Fût 2004
  • St James 2003 brut de fût (excellent price/quality)
  • El Dorado CBH DLR
  • Chantal comte la Tour de l’Or La Mauny 2001

The end of 2021 is marked by my re-discovery of French agricultural rums. Before, I often found them too spicy but I took great pleasure in discovering the “brut de fût” from Martinique distilleries that I did not know well : St James, Depaz, La Mauny and I find those rhums excellent! I will continue my discovery in 2022.


This is my list so far (I do think I still have some tastings to do):

  • RA 1986 WIRD
  • SBS 1994 REV
  • RA 1994 REV
  • Plantation 2002 Jamaica HJF (best Plantation for me this year)
  • RA 2001 Fiji
  • The Whisky Jury (selected by Road Rummers), 2009 Jamaica HD DOK
  • Sample X Travelers Belize
  • Appleton Hearts 1994 (EDIT: not 2021 sorry)
  • SBS Skeldon 2001
  • Rasta Morris 2010 Worthy Park

Most of the single cask expression from Plantation were indeed disappointing. The best ones apart from the HJC were the Jamaica Bardstown and the Fiji with japanse whisky maturation (but both not good enough to make “the list”). The St Lucia for 15 years The Nectar is pretty good too.
I would also like to add that I haven’t tasted anything from Nobilis that’s worth the hype and price surrounding it (but I’ve only tried a couple of their releases). I am curious about their Hampden C<>H and WIRD Rockley.


Best value is a clear winner for me: Rum Club Australia 14YO with the RA Fiji 2001 as runner up :innocent:


Best value: Rasta Morris Worthy Park, The Duchess Australia, RA Fiji


My list for 2021 so far, haven’t tasted all my samples yet;

  1. French Antilles 2019 Virgin Oak
    • this one was a real revelation of taste for me, a delight in the nose and on the palate. Am I to selfish to say that I was lucky to have this bottled for my shop?
  2. Savanna Herr 57°
    • What an amazing white thingy! It keeps amazing me each time I smell and sipp
  3. Long Pond 15y for Daily Dram
    • The first LP that blew my mind
  4. Guyana 27yo The Duchess
    • Simply love it
  5. Jamaica 2016 PX Finish (Hampden)
    • An accesible Hampden rum for those who are not yet in the funky estery like categorie this could be a nice introduction into the distillery
  6. DOK from Rom de Luxe
    • What can you say 1600 ester count, delicious
  7. Savanna Créol Cask Strength
    • Simply love it
  8. JM Jardin Fruité
    • Works amazing in Daiquiri if you use a bit of Passionfruit syrup from Giffard
  9. WP from Rasta Morris
    • A bomb after aering a half an hour
  10. Foursquare by Rasta Morris
    • The best Foursquare I’ve ever had from an IB

Best Value - French Antilles 2019 & Savanna Herr


Have you added your shop bottlings to the RumX database yet?


The best value in 2021 is for me the „Habitation Velier Mhoba 2017“


I’ve just added 2 of them, seems all I can do so far :-). Try again later today or tomorrow.


So many good Rums… i could not try many of the rums in your Top Lists. Here are my top 10:

  1. Excellence Rum Trinidad 2003 (best TDL i know. So great)
  2. Rumclub HD 1992 (best Hampden i had so far)
  3. RA Fiji 2001 (best Fiji so far)
  4. RA Trinidad 2002 (great P/L)
  5. Rumclub Australia (best Australia i had so far)
  6. Clement Selection Exclusive (just love Clement)
  7. Excellence Rum Caroni 1998 (just love 98 Caroni)
  8. The Duchess HD 2007 (great high Ester Hampden. Much better than the Flensburg 2007)
  9. El Ron del Artesano Malbec Cask (best Panama this year)
  10. RA WIRD 2000 Rockley (could have bought one. Didn’t. Still hurts)

Have some Samples which i have not tasted yet. Like the Flensburg Guyana KFM or SBS 2006 REV. So the List could change.

Hope next year will be as good as 2020 and not so much more expensive as we all Fear.

Thank u all for the samples and Input. Great Community.




I am with you Alex, the Excellence Rhum TDL 2003 was remarkable, one of the big surprises of 2021 for me.

As for the value for money rums, I liked the Rum Club ‚Nanny’.The Jamaica-Ghana blend worked surprisingly well.