best rums

Rum Journal: The Best Rums of 2019

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 27, 2019
1 of 11

In 2012, Caribbean Journal’s Rum Journal first launched the Rum Awards — a unique celebration of the best rums of the year. 

And after seven previous incarnations, the annual Rum Awards morphed into a full-fledged rum event in St Barth, the recently-concluded Caribbean Rum Awards, now an annual event on the Caribbean’s most exclusive island that will be held in Gustavia Nov. 10-15, 2020, held in partnership with the Saint Barth Rum Festival.

But the tradition of marking our favorite rums of the year remains, now called the Best Rums of the Year, part of our quest to celebrate and elevate rum, a spirit that continues to change — both in the glass and in the minds of consumers. 

Indeed, it’s remarkable how much the rum world has evolved since we began the Rum Awards back in 2012 — there’s a new, welcome focus on premium and ultra-premium rums, on classification, on quality, and, perhaps most happily, an even greater appreciation for rhum agricole of the French Caribbean. 

Rum still faces an uphill battle — to win the hearts and minds of consumers who still think rum is best off drowned in sea of coke. 

But the size of that market is a declining one, as more and more people begin to appreciate the wonder of the Caribbean’s most famous export. 

This year’s edition of the Best Rums honors rums in a diverse range of categories, from the Best Rum and Best Rhum Agricole of 2019 to the coolest bottle design and the best rum bar in the Caribbean.

Our 2019 judging was conducted, as usual, at Empire Social in Miami, with a team of rum experts tasting an enviable group of world-class rums, whittled down from several hundred sampled by the Rum Journal team over the course of the year across the Caribbean. 

Here are the best rums of 2019. 

Rum of the Year 2019: Goslings Papa Seal Bermuda Rum Every year, it gets more difficult to choose our favorite molasses-based rum of the year. But this year, we came full circle, returning to the brand that first took home the crown in the inaugural Rum Awards back in 2012: Bermuda’s Goslings. The company’s newest ultra-premium expression is exquisite, a luxurious, hand-bottled expression that is the best rum Gosling’s has ever made. A mix of pot and column-still rums brought to the Atlantic region and aged in Bermuda for more than 15 years in ex-bourbon barrels, it’s simply a world-class rum, and a new triumph for one of the hemisphere’s most venerable rum brands. 

Double Gold: Ron Barcelo Imperial 30 Aniversario (Dominican Republic)

Gold: Zafra 30-Year Rum (Panama) 

Silver: Samaroli Caribbean  

Bronze: Chairman’s Reserve 1931 (Saint Lucia)

1 of 11
Popular Posts belize hotel mayan world

At the Falling Leaves Lodge in Belize, a Portal to the Maya World

SAN IGNACIO — There has been some form of settlement on this site for more than 3,000 years, here on a leafy hill above the town of San Ignacio, Belize. In other words, this is no ordinary hill. This is Cahal Pech, […]

In San Ignacio, Belize, The Art of Adventure (And Pupusas)

pupusas belize

The sizzle is calling you. In the early morning, corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and beans and meat sing a particularly strong siren song.  It could be that perfect blend of dough and heat, or the aroma. It might just […]

Delta Is Adding More Nonstop Curacao Flights, Citing “Booming Demand”  

the beach at the avila hotel in curacao

Curacao is hotter than ever, with a wave of new hotels and record-breaking tourism numbers. And just a few months after Delta made its long-awaited return to the island, the carrier is adding even more flights.  The reason? What Delta […]

Related Posts The island is on the market.

Your Own Private Island in The Bahamas for $400K

The Bahamas has, unsurprisingly, remained the top private-island market in the wider Caribbean since the pandemic, as more and more investors look for the security and sanctuary that only private islands that can provide. While private islands typically come with […]

The Biggest St Patrick's Festival in the Caribbean Is on This Island

montserrat caribbean st patricks dancers

There’s only one country outside of Ireland that celebrates St Patrick’s Day: the Caribbean island of Montserrat, which has a deep Irish heritage thanks to a wave of immigration from the Emerald Isle beginning in the 17th century. Today, the […]

American Airlines Just Added a New Destination: Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera

la bougainvillea beach with pink sand

Pink sand beaches, lovely little boutique hotels, centuries of Bahamian history. And did we mention Tippy’s? There’s a reason why Governor’s Harbour in Eleuthera has become one of the hottest destinations in The Bahamas. Now, it’s easier to get there […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You