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One must wonder what it takes to be known as one of the Best Rum Brands in India – is it their long history, quality, reasonable price, or something else? Well, it seems all Rum Brands have different qualities that entitle them to be known as the Best Rum in India.
In India, the first distillery was set up in 1805 in Kanpur to supply rum to the army. Nowadays, rum is a daily drink for many in India, particularly dark rum is the most sold out, though light rum is also gaining popularity in recent times.
There are a few reasons for rum’s popularity. First, it is a very versatile spirit and can be used in a wide variety of cocktails. Second, it is relatively inexpensive compared to other spirits. Finally, it has a distinct flavor that many people enjoy.
There are some benefits of rum including its ability to improve digestion, relieve pain, and boost energy levels. Additionally, rum has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help to protect against some chronic diseases.
Enough with the history, let’s proceed to the Best Rum Brands in India. BizApprise considered various factors when choosing rum brands including the type of rum (e.g. white, dark, spiced), the origin of the rum, the age of the rum, and the price.
18 Best Rum Brands in India (2023)
We have created this list by selecting some of the Best Indian Rum Brands in the market.
These brands have been screened out from the vast majority due there quality, popularity, price, history, taste, and other aspects.
By the end of this list, you will be ready to impress your pals with your rum brand choices.
1. Old Monk
What brand to start this list with other than the old monk? It’s India’s oldest and most famous rum brand. Their foremost old monk rum is a vatted Indian dark rum, launched on 19th December 1954.
What distinguishes this rum from others is that it became famous via its customer instead of advertising. The old monk rum was the largest-selling dark rum in India till 2013. After that, McDowell’s Celebration took this place.
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The brand has been awarded a gold medal at monde selections since 1982 and ranked 5th among Indian spirits brands in Impact International’s 2008 list of “Top 100 Brands At Retail Value”.
Though the brand sells many variants like the old monk supreme & gold reserve, XXX rum grade remains the most popular.
2. Bacardi Rums
Bacardi is a brand with historical value, founded in Cuba in 1862, and is one of the largest privately held, family-owned spirit companies in the world.
Their rum is barrel aged under the Caribbean sun for a minimum of four years, which gives the rum a luxurious taste.
In the next 160 years, their Rum portfolio surpassed 1,000 awards for quality, taste, and innovation, making it the most-awarded rum in the world and the most-awarded spirit of all time.
With so many achievements, this band has it all to be known as one of the best rum brands in India. Their Bacardi Reserva 8 and Bacardi Gran Reserva 10 is their most awarded rum of theirs.
McDowell’s was launched in 1960 but entered the rum segment in the 1990s. It’s a brand known for its clever marketing strategies and advertisements. The brand mainly promotes itself through Cricket and Bollywood Movies which are most widespread in India. The brand has been in constant rivalry with the old monk.
Their McDowell’s No.1 Celebration was the one that overtook the old monk run in 2013 and in 2015, it also overtook Bacardi as the world’s largest-selling rum brand.
The rum won many awards, some of which were Bronze at the Monde Selection 2006 and Silver from the Beverage Tasting Institute, United States, in 2008. One can keep talking about them, but you should try some and judge for yourselves.
Hercules XXX rum, produced by the House of Khodays founded in 1906, is the most appreciated drink. The Khoday Hercules is a favorite among the defense forces in India for many and continues to do so. The defense forces have also voted it the best rum for many years.
The rum is a full-bodied dark rum. Distilled in traditional pot stills and matured to create rums of great finesse.
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The rum also won multiple gold medals awarded by monde selection years 1978, 1983, and 1989. This brand surely qualifies to be one of the Best Rum Brands in India. Hercules may not be your largest-selling rum, but it’s the most trusted brand.
5. Old Port Rum
Old Port Rum is a premium rum produced by Amrut Distillery and is family-owned and operated, located n Bangalore, India, operating since 1948. This Indian rum though not appreciated like the old monk, McDowell, is still famous dark rum in India.
The rum was awarded a gold medal in the International Review of Spirit Award and secured 91 points in Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2014. There is no doubt it’s one of the Best Rum in India.
The rum is produced from 100% molasses sourced from Indian-grown sugar cane and aged in a combination of ex-whisky barrels and new oak. Known for its sweet aromas and long spice-accented finish, it’s a quality drink.
6. Captain Morgan
Captain Morgan introduced in 1944, is a Brand known to many for its variety of secret rum recipes. They offer four products – Orignal Spiced Gold, Dark Rum, White Rum, and Orignal Spiced Gold & Cola Premix.
It was the second most popular liquor brand in the US in 2014. And, in 2018, the brand became Britain’s favorite rum.
The brand offers an original taste not found in any other rum. To create the smooth taste that they are known the world over for, some of the finest Caribbean rums are carefully blended. You can either relish it with a simple mixer or their favorite rum cocktails. Their originality makes them one of the Best rum brands in India.
7. El Dorado Rum
El Dorado Rum is a brand known for its unique collection of aged rums ranging from 3-25 years old. The rum is matured for decades in original wooden heritage stills to imbue El Dorado rum with unequaled depth. When aged, the rum is masterfully blended for its customer to savor and taste.
Now let us talk about their best rum El Dorado 15-Year Old is the only rum to have won the title ” Best rum in the world” eight times since 1998. The rum also won the IWSC Gold Medal a remarkable 12 times during the years 1998 to 2013. It’s one of the best rum brands in India.
8. Zacapa No. 23
Ron Zacapa is a unique brand. Their rum is made using the first press of virgin sugar cane instead of molasses. They also use the unique ‘Sistema Solera’ aging process, which tends to provide the rum with a deep aroma and rich flavor of Zacapa. The rum is then finally blended by their Master Blender of more than 35 years Lorena Vásquez.
Ron Zacapa Centenario is their most awarded rum. The rum won first place in the premium rums category 4 years in a row at the International Rum Festival. It was also the first rum to be included in the International Rum Festival’s Hall of Fame. If you want something unique, this is the best rum for you.
9. Angostura Rum
Founded in 1824, Angostura is a brand renowned for its bitters and rums. The brand has been producing rum for over 75 years and is admired by many for its journey.
In 1903 Angostura was granted a Royal Warrant of appointment by the King of England. There are only over 800 Royal warrant holders in the world.
Enough about their prestige, let’s talk about their rums. The rums come in four types:- Premium, Standard, Flavoured, and Limited Edition Rums. Their rums are also one of the world’s most awarded rum ranges. Awarded many titles and even loved by British Royal Family, the brand has it all to be in our list of Best Rum Brands in India.
10. Mount Gay Rum
Mount Gay Rum may be the oldest rum brand in the world was founded in 1703. Their rum represents their heritage. To, the terroir harnessed since 1703. To their cane fields, they are planting at the estate today. It’s a story that you can taste in every bottle. Every sip you take shows their struggle and survival in this 300-year journey.
The brand offers many rums, but Mount Gay XO is their best rum. The rum was awarded a Gold Medal and is listed as Best in Category at International Sugarcane Spirits Awards, the major sugarcane spirits competition in the world. Want some traditional and quality rum Mount Gay is one of the best rum brands in India.
11. Goslings Rum
Goslings were founded in Bermuda in 1806. At first, it was only available in barrels and the folks bought it in bottles for a fill-up. Eventually, the rum was sold in champagne bottles, and the corks were sealed with black sealing wax. Many years later, the rum popularity gave birth to the little, barrel-juggling “Black Seal”.
The brand’s pride and joy, Gosling’s black seal rum was awarded the Platinum Medal at the World Spirits Championships. The judges expressed the rum as “Deep, assertive and highly flavored. Very fragrant with herbal sharpness. At the finish, there is a softness and elegance. A most complex, unusual spirit”. It is one of the best rum brands in India.
12. Havana Club
Havana Club was founded in Cuba in 1934. Since then, the brand has gone through a tough phase. The brand was allegedly taken over from the Arechabala family by the Castro Government in 1960.
In 1994 Barcardi began producing rum under the Havana Club name, using a recipe given to them by Arechabala family members. Alas, now both are competing for the ownership of the brand name.
The brand is doing business in over 120 countries and is the world’s fifth-largest rum brand. In 2008 the brand also started selling its bottles in India and became famous due to its unique Cuban taste. Rated as one of the best rum in Cuba Havana Club Selección de Maestros is worth trying.
13. Clement Rum
Rhum Clément was first established in 1887 when Martinique political icon Homère Clément bought Domaine de l’Acajou in Le François, Martinique.
It is known for its distinct taste and flavourful rums. 95% percent of their sugarcane in Martinique is cut using a sugarcane combine harvester. Produced according to AOC guidelines, the rum is original and safe.
Clément rum has been carried out according to the traditions and time-honored methods inherited from Homère. I recommend you try their best rum, Clément Blanc, an approachable and highly mixable rum perfect for cocktails.
14. Jolly Roger Rum
Jolly Roger is a brand owned by Allied Blenders and Distillers, founded in 2010. Don’t take this brand lightly, as it prospers very fast. The brand is famous in India because of its quality rum at an affordable price.
Jolly Roger is a dark rum blended with matured spirits and native Indian spices, providing a traditional Indian taste. The bottle comes in many sizes to choose from as required. Though the company only operates in 20 countries and has numbered awards, it’s one of the best rum in the Indian rum market.
15. Appleton Estate Rum
For over 270 years, Appleton Estate has been blending rums of stellar quality with the highest quality raw materials. Their Peculiar terrain naturally filters rain, producing rich, clear water that gives extraordinary flavor to their sugarcane.
In the distillation process, they use copper pot stills which impart the rum with their signature orange peel top notes. The rum after aging is then masterfully blended by Joy Spence and her team.
I would suggest you try their signature or 12-year-old rare casks. Both did well in Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2019, with signature achieving 92 points and 12-year-old rare cusks achieving 94 points. The Appleton Estate’s unique Jamaican heritage and quality rum make them one of the best rum brands in India.
16. Ron Barcelo
Though the origin of the Barcelo rum dates back to 1929, it was only in 2001 when a group of Spanish entrepreneurs formed a strategic alliance with Barceló & Co. to market the brand all over the world, except in the Dominican Republic.
In 2016 their rum became the first rum in the world to be accredited as Carbon Neutral. The brand took the lead in the promotion of sustainable development. Later in 2018, the brand became the most exported dark rum according to IWSR data.
I would recommend you try Ron Barcelo Imperial, their most awarded rum. The brand shows both success and responsibility that many other brands lack. Thus, making them one of the best rum brands in India.
17. Contessa Rum
Owned by Radico Khaitan Limited, Contessa is a brand with Indian heritage. RKL is one of India’s oldest and largest manufacturers of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).
The brand has been winning accolades at International Quality Awards at Monde Selection, International Spirits Challenge, and International Wine & Spirit Competition over the years.
Contessa is matured in wood to make it warm and mellow. The brand is a popular rum option amongst Indians because of its smooth and light flavor. The brand is also flourishing in the International rum market.
18. Malibu Rum
Malibu was introduced by Tom Jago of International Distillers & Vintners in 1982. Since 2017 owned by Pernod Ricard. Originally a coconut-flavored liqueur made with Caribbean rum, Pernod Ricard calls it a “flavored rum”. Since then, the brand has made many new additions to its portfolio.
Currently, there are many different versions of Malibu rum, flavored with various tropical fruits, mint known as Malibu Fresh, tequila known as Malibu Red, and a double-strength version known as Malibu Black. Malibu walked away with the title of Liqueurs Brand Champion 2021.
If you are a fan of flavored rum, then Malibu is the best rum in India one can get.
What are the types of rum?
White Rum, Dark Rum, and Spiced Rum are the significant types of rum available in the Indian Market.
How is rum made?
Rum is made using only three ingredients: molasses from sugarcane, yeast, and water. Ingredients are fermented, then distilled, aged, filtered, and blended.
Can you cook with rum?
Absolutely! Yes, you can use rum to spice up your culinary creativity too.
Are rums gluten-free?
All distilled rums are gluten-free. However, added flavors, spices, and other additives increase the chances of gluten.
Final Thoughts on Indian Rum Brands
All 18 rum brands have something unique about them. Not a single one is the same. Old monk, for example, is a dark rum produced using traditional Indian techniques. Mount Gay, the oldest rum brand in the world, delivers 300 years of experience in every single sip of its rums.
Ron Barcelo for its delicious, Carbon Neutral certified rums. Malibu is unique for its collection of flavored rums.
Now, it is up to you to find your rum brand amongst these 18 Best Rum Brands In India.