How about a couple of smaller names to keep an eye on?
“Two Drifters Rum is a unique distillery in Devon. Using ethically sourced ingredients, green processes and eco-friendly packaging, it’s won numerous awards for its premium quality rums.” – Jack
“Grays in northern Mauritius is producing some fantastic and diverse rums from an island that’s well known for its sugarcane production. Arcane and Beach House are great examples of this.” – Dave
And what are your own favourite brands?
“I love learning about the people behind the brands as well as the rum itself which is why I love Burning Barn – lovely people and delicious rums.” – Ed
“My preferred rums come from St Lucia Distillers: Chairman's Reserve is my go-to; Bounty is a great choice for rum punches; and Admiral Rodney gives me an option for that special occasion.” – Dave
“Zacapa 23 initially got me into rum, before its evolution. I also love Doorly’s 12 as a great value rum, and anything by Samaroli or Velier always hits the spot.” – Lewis
“I love Doorly’s XO, Diplomatico, Plantation Pineapple and the older Appleton rums.” – Jack
If you want to spend a bit more on a bottle, how do you approach that?
“Go up the ageing range of some well-known brands you like. Appleton, Doorly’s, Mount Gay, Don Papa and Diplomatico have entry-level products – and if you like the brand and the liquid, you can work your way up the range, trusting the quality will increase. Note that expensive rums from some smaller brands are probably expensive because of poor economy of scale and expensive packaging, not because there are great liquids within.” – Jack
“Try before you buy. Master of Malt has just such a service, offering the chance to purchase a ‘tot’ of something special without committing to a full bottle. It's a great opportunity to give insight to a bottle you may not know too much about. Rum festivals also help with this by having many producers available with usually a good selection of higher-value bottles.” – Dave
And if you’re heading out in London, where would you go for rum?
“Burlock Rum Room and Trailer Happiness are both staples on the London rum scene and will be able to give you some very knowledgeable advice on what to try. If you want something a little different to your traditional tiki bar, head to Gymkhana to see how rum pairs perfectly with Indian flavours, or visit newcomer Lucy Wong to sample rum cocktails with Asian bites.” – Schemel
“Black Parrot and Merchant House in the City have some of the best rum collections you will find and the bar teams know their stuff. I would also recommend Trailer Happiness, a long-standing favourite of many in the industry. The owner Sly has done an incredible job not just keeping it relevant but placing it front and centre on the rum scene.” – Lewis
“Fish Wings & Tings down in Brixton is ace.” – Jack
What about elsewhere around the world?
“I'm partial to enjoying a rum at Cane Rum Society in Stockholm, plus Dirty Dick in Paris and the Cane Bar at Sugar Beach in St Lucia.” – Dave
“Go to the distilleries. People need to get on the road a bit more and go see first-hand how the liquid is made. There are about 35 distilleries in the UK making rum from scratch, so you no longer need to spend thousands of pounds getting to the Caribbean.” – Lewis
“My favourite rum drink ever was at the floating rum shack in Antigua’s Dickenson Bay – epic fun, you just need to hail a little dinghy to get there and back.” – Jack