Pick 3 Rum styles

Hi all.
New to the community and to rum. I’m branching out from bourbon and tequila. If I were to get three different bottles of rum to represent different styles, what would you suggest I start with? my friends and I are looking to explore this together. Please limit to three types only.


Hello and welcome! Depends a bit where you are located, because availability of bottles varies greatly based on your location. :slight_smile:

Because of the Bourbon I assume you are from the US?


First of all, there are 3 Styles of Rum in General. Lucky you :wink:. Spanish Style, english Style and French Style. Most people habe their first experiance with the spanish Style.


Yes, my apologies… I am from the United States.

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Well three seems to be the magic number. Perfect! Thank you for the great start.

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I’d pick at least one unaged bottle, tough. High ester Jamaican (W&N/Rum-Bar OP/Rum Fire) or agricole (Bielle 59/Pere Labat 59/Neisson 52.5).

We’d need to know OPs budget and local availability/pricing for properly useful recommendations.

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Thank you for those recommendations. An aged rum sounds like it would be a prudent choice for the mix. My budget will be under US$50 per bottle.

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I would start with one Bajan/Barbados rum, Doorly’s 12 is very good value for money. Then one Demerara like EL Dorado 12 or 15. And then one more funky bottle from Jamaica like Appleton 12 or Hampden 8.

These should be the most approachable for a start. After that, you can branch out to the unaged agricole rhum, Neisson Blanc is Very good and then also an aged agricole rhum like Rhum JM XO. And maybe also an unaged Jamaican like Rum-Bar or Rum Fire, if you like the funk.

And if you like unaged rhum agricole you can also try some Clairin, but these are rather crazy and nothing I would recommend for starting your rum journey.


The (mostly european) userbase here won’t have too much insight into local us pricing/availability.

These should be available in that price range:

  • Appleton 12 (slighty funky jamaican)
  • Doorly’s 12 (or the 14, if you’re lucky, good entry into bajan rum)
  • Smith & Cross (more funky jamaican)

Unaged rums are hard to beat in terms of bang for buck, these should be pretty cheap, if they’re available:

  • Wray & Nephew Overproof (the ideal entry into funky unaged rum)
  • Rum-Bar Overproof
  • Hampden Rum Fire (might be overwhelming but it’s probably the most complex/interesting of the commonly available unaged jamaicans)

When it comes to french style rums (rhum agricole), availability seems to vary widely in the US.

For an aged one, I’d look for a VO/VSOP that’s at least bottled above 40% (e.g. Depaz, Rhum J.M).

For unaged agricole, I’d consider these 3 the benchmark (at least among the affordable ones):

  • Bielle 59%
  • Pere Labat 59%
  • Neisson 52.5%

Other kinds of unaged cane juice based rums might have very good prices/availability in the US, e.g. Clairin from Haiti or things from Mexico & Ecuador. Those can be quite devisive, though.


Kaktus, Thank you for those great recommendations!


Happy to help.
You might also want to try https://www.reddit.com/r/rum for recommendations. The userbase there is mostly american, they’ll be more familiar with US pricing & availability and many will come from a bourbon background.

Other considerations:

  • How familiar are you with high proof spirits (e.g. barrel proof bourbons)?
    High proof/cask strength aged sipping rums are mostly found in higher price ranges (some exceptions, e.g. Smith & Cross) but there are plenty of cheap sippable unaged r(h)ums with high(ish) proof (50-63%).

  • Do you like Tequila (/mezcal) neat or just in cocktails?
    There is some overlap between mezcal and cane juice rum. If you’re into Mezcal artesanal, you might find plenty to love in the wild & weird cane juice rums (e.g. Clairins from Haiti, Puro De Surales from Mexico). Both can get very wild & weird.

Also, the youtube-channel Different Spirits is a great ressource for the nerdy side of rum (and other spirits like Mezcal or Armagnac).


You have been so helpful! do enjoy barrel proof bourbons. I have tried a few mezcals but I am still warming up to them. I’m not quite there yet. I am interested in trying the rum Agricoles. I am currently sipping on Buffalo Trace bourbon listening to the 4th of July fireworks exploding in the night sky. Happy Birthday, America! 248 years young!


Well, looking at current developments, you might need a lot of high proof booze to deal with the near future of your political system.
Overproof rum will make a decent basis for molotow cocktails but I’d still go with Everclear 190.

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You aren’t kidding, my friend! Where are you from?


We have some experience with formally legal fascist takeovers (and failed coup attempts that weren’t properly responded to, resulting in a successful 2nd try).
Also with radicalisation on the left of the political system that prevents the formation of a united front against the fascists and cowardly (right-leaning) centrists who choose to go along to saveguard their own arses.


God bless America Sir and long may it live! Whether the rest of us like it or not your nation is the only real deterence against the expansionist desires of mother Russia, china and the like. The rest of the free world is watching on and hoping the USA gets through its current political turmoil as quickly as possible. Geez what a choice! Half dead Joe and his useless VP or Orange man…
Back to the rum topic😄 three good beginner rums for me that arnt going blow your head off, yet give you an introduction to aged english style rums… Doorlys XO from laid back Babados, Appleton 12 yo from funky Jamaica and El Dorado 15 yo from dark and heavy Guyana.


It’s a challenging time for sure, but I’m hopeful we’ll come through stronger. As for the rums, great picks! Thank you!