Have you ever wondered what gives all the different types of Rum their colors?
Rum is one of the few liquors that comes in a range of flavors to suit nearly any palate. From light and fruity to hot and spicy to deeply dark and mellow, there really is a rum for everyone.
If you are unsure which rum is for you, a good start is often to be found simply by looking at the color. Below I’ve explained how the different colors of rums can help you pick one to suit your taste.
The Types Of Rums
There are perhaps four main types of rums sold today.
There are white rums, golden rums, dark/black rums and spiced rums. There are also three main ways in which a rum is made, which gives a clue as to its coloring.
Traditional colonial rum was made with molasses. Caribbean rums were made with cane syrup or fresh sugar cane juice. Each colored rum is different in age, taste and even texture. The type of sugar used to make rum is not as important as how it is made and stored.
A spiced rum is perhaps the exception to this rule. Spiced rum is any type of rum that has had spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove, various fruit and even other kinds of spirits. These delightful flavors can be added to any type of rum but are most often added to young clear rums.
White rum is generally the youngest type of rum. It is generally aged a mere year or two, often in steel barrels before being filtered and bottled. Most white rums have a mild flavor, and are best used in cocktails and mixed drinks that do not call for a powerful rum taste.
In the Caribbean, there is a taste for unfiltered ‘hot’ rum that is just a step or two above moonshine for flavor. This type of white rum is very young and has a burning effect in the mouth.
If rum is allowed to aged undisturbed for a few years in a good oak barrel, it will begin to develop a light golden color from the wood. It will also develop more of a rum flavor. These rums are often flavored with natural flavorings from the barrels they aged in.
A good palate will pick upon tastes of coconut, citrus or caramel. Golden rums are enjoyed in more robust cocktails. They are also flavorful enough on their own to drink straight or on the rocks.
A dark rum is often aged for more than two or three years in oak barrels. They pick up a coppery or mahogany color and often taste of caramel. They provide a wonderfully rich flavor profile in many cocktails.
Dark rums are also favorites of many people for cooking rum. The rich flavors of these rums are easily transferred to rum cakes, spiced puddings and candies.
While technically a dark rum, black rums have a unique flavor profile due to their unique aging process. These rums possess the most flavor and the boldest tropical flavor of all rums. For this reason they are favorites in many dishes and mixed drinks.
These rums are treated differently than many lighter rums. The black run is aged specially in charred whiskey barrels or at the least, in oak barrels that are heavily heated before use. This treatment releases much of the wood’s flavor into the developing rum. Some of the dark rums will also have burnt caramel added too, to enhance the flavor.
A World of Taste
The many fine rums available to the curious will provide years of discover and enjoyment. No matter which taste profile you prefer, you are sure to find the rum that is right for you.
What’s your favourite type of rum? Let us know in the comments below!