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Dark Rum

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All About Dark Rum

Before Mojitos, Piña Coladas or beach parties appeared on the scene, dark rum had already made a splash. It was rarely served with a tiny cocktail umbrella. But if that's your thing, that's cool, too. Find out how and where this dark liquor is made and get ready to enjoy it to the fullest.

A Peek Back Into the History of Dark Rum:

You might know dark rum for its rich flavor and its robust tasting notes. But would you believe this liquor didn't originally come from a wish to produce a delicious, drinkable beverage? Instead, Caribbean sugar farmers started making it in the 17th century after years of throwing away barrels of molasses, the sticky byproduct of sugar.

Finally, some creative entrepreneurs to whom we will forever be indebted tried something ingenious. Mixing molasses with skimmings, or liquid from boiled sugarcane, and fermenting the sweet mixture led to the dark rum that connoisseurs and pirates alike know and love.

How Is Dark Rum Made?

Today, enterprising dark rum makers produce this liquor with the same methods used to make white, light or silver rum. It's what comes after that sets it apart.

After distillation, dark rums age in charred oak barrels. Like many other liquors, a darker color signals a lengthier aging process and the distinctive flavor that you love. Rum makers can add molasses or caramel to speed up the process and give the dark rum some extra flavor.

Where Is Dark Rum Produced?

Some of the world's best rum still comes from the Caribbean, but since the 17th century, the party has spread all over North and South America. In fact, you can find tons of dark rum varieties made in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as in Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Bermuda.

In the Southern Hemisphere, dark rum comes from Brazil and Guyana. Look hard enough, and you'll even find dark rum from Scotland. Try them all — we won't judge.

How Does Dark Rum Taste?

Think molasses. Most dark rums have rich tasting notes with a subtle sweetness. You might notice a hint of caramel or raisin or even some creamy chocolate or crème brulée. If you think that sounds delicious, you're right.