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The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Rums

On My Deck 2I was not sure I would be able to complete my listing of the top 25 Rums of 2015 this year. This fall has been so hectic. My retail store where I sell sports and movie memorabilia has been extremely busy and the ramp up to Christmas was crazier than ever. As well, on my website, I embarked on the ambitious plan to countdown the best 100 spirits I have ever tasted. The Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown fortunately afforded me the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. As part of the process of compiling my list of the best 100 spirits ever, I was able to taste everything I needed to compile my list of the best rums of 2015.

Unlike my top 100 spirits list which is a listing of the best spirits I have ever tasted regardless of whether they were still in production, this list of the Top 25 Rums of 2015 contains only those spirits which are currently available. Every spirit on this list is available somewhere in the world in a local retail shop.

Every year when I publish this list I receive emails wondering why certain rums were left off. It always boils down to the same two answers.

  1. That particular Rum just wasn’t up to the standard of the rest of the spirits on the list. or
  2. That particular spirit was not made available for me to taste and assess that year.

On the first score, I make no apologies for my rankings. Just because some other publication or some marketing campaign says that such and such a rum is the Elixir of the Gods, that doesn’t make it so. I trust my palate and when I have my friends help me construct my lists, I trust theirs too. I do not trust marketing hype.

On the second score I readily admit that quite a few premium rums are simply not available to me. Although many producers jump through the hoops of the Canadian tax and excise system to make their spirits available for me to review, it is simply impossible for me to obtain a sample of every premium rum in the world. I am always striving to do better, and to that end I have created a new page on my website here (Sample Policy) which I hope will encourage many more companies to make the effort to direct samples my way. In that way my year-end lists can be made even better.

This year saw my list undergo a few changes, as some perennial favourites are being supplanted by new rums. As well the field of rums which I tasted this years was better than ever. As always this list grew throughout the Christmas season as I added to it each day, until on Christmas Eve, 2015, I revealed the best rum available in the World (that I have tasted).

I should also point out that when I reached the top 5 spots in my countdown, I decided to add a wrinkle. Rather than using only my tasting preferences, I asked two friend to join me tasting the final five rums. The top 5 rankings were arrived using an amalgam of our 3 scores. I was quite satisfied with the results.

And so with no further ado, allow me to present my list of The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2015:


25)  Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera 
24)  Dictador 20 Year Solera Rum
23)  Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solera) Rum
22)  Dictador 12 Year Solera
21)  Angostura 1824 (12 Years Old) Rum
20)  Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years)
19)  Pumpkin Face 23
18)  Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum
17)  El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum
16)  Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15
15)  Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial 
14)  Pusser’s 15 Year Old Navy Rum (Nelson’s Blood)
13)  Rum Nation Caroni 1998 (Bottled in 2014 @ 55%) 
12)  Juan Santos 21 Yr Antigua Reserva Rum
11)  El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum 
10)  Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old
09)  Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year
08)  Reimonenq Vieux 9 Year Old Rhum (Distilled 1999)
07)  Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
06)  Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum 
05)  Dictador XO Insolent Rum
04)  Panamonte Reserva XXV – 25 Year Old Rum 
03)  Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum
02)  Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum
01)  El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

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