The Best Rums From The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic rums are one of the country’s calling cards, along with snow-white beaches, palm trees and the azure water of the Caribbean Sea. This locally manufactured beverage is world famous, so every tourist tastes it, even in small quantities. Bars and restaurants offer it in its purest form, or as part of numerous cocktails based on it.

The history of the Dominican rum

Since ancient times, rum was highly revered by pirates and sailors, who were often visiting the waters of the Caribbean Sea. When processing sugarcane, slaves noticed that fermented molasses turns into alcohol. Thus the history of the drink began, which is currently supplied to 30 countries. The list of the best rums of the Dominican Republic includes such brands as Bermudez, Barcelo and Brugal. Named after Don Erasmo Bermudez, Julian Barcelo and Don Andres Brugal, who in the 19th century created a special process of refining and distillation. They are considered the founders of the mass production of the drink.


The rum produced in Dominican Republic can be divided into 6 categories:

  • Silver or white. It has the least pronounced taste, and it is most often used in liquors and cocktails. Locals take it as medicine;
  • Golden. Such alcohol is prepared according to the classic recipe; the taste is brighter and more saturated. To give a special flavour, caramel or spices are added to the drink;
  • Dark rum in both taste and richness is most similar to the one produced in the country in the 19th century. This rum is consumed in its purest form, and can be added to pastries and meat dishes, giving them an exquisite taste and aroma.
  • “Premium”. The drink falls into this category if it is aged in an oak barrel for more than 5 years. The barrels are burnt from the inside, so that they give the drink a special richness and aroma. Such drink is usually consumed in its purest form and it’s got to be chilled.
  • Strong. A natural sugarcane product, with a strength of up to 75 degrees, is rarely used without additives. It is produced only in the Dominican Republic.
  • Flavored. When produced, flavoring and tropical juices are added to the composition, which make the drink weaker than in its classic version.

Popular brands

If you are visiting the country for the first time and don’t know which Dominican rum to buy, you should pay attention to the most popular brands produced by local companies.

Bermudez (Bermudez) – the drink is produced by the oldest and most famous company in the country with the same name, founded in 1852. Since 1927, it has the status of a national enterprise.

In supermarkets and specialized stores, you will find 2 types of the drink of this brand:

• Bermudez Aniversario – 12-year aging, exceptional quality and exquisite taste. Rich aroma with a touch of dry wood, roasted dried fruits and caramel flavours. Leaves a soft and pleasant aftertaste;

• Bermudez Don Armando – a classic 10-year-old rum. The aroma of caramel with citrus
flavours is complemented by a coffee and oak savor.
Brugal is another large Dominican company with a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Over 100 years later, Brugal takes the 3rd place among the world exporters of rum.

It offers several types of the drink on the market:

  • SIGLO DE ORO – created on the basis of blending the best 8-year-old varieties and matured for more than 8 years for re-ripening. It is easy to recognize by its thick consistency, reminiscent of syrup, and the aroma of wood and dried fruits. Once the aroma is being revealed, a savor of dark smoked chocolate appears.
  • Brugal 1888 is distinguished by production technology. The first 8 years of aging take place in American oak barrels, followed by 6 years of repeated aging in European oak barrels. Owing to a specific process, rum acquires flavours of caramel, iris and wood in its taste and leaves a long sweet aftertaste.
  • Brugal XV is perfect for those who like soft rum. It is produced by blending 3-8 year old varieties in American oak barrels and 2-3 summer varieties in sherry barrels. As a result of the use of technology, a soft sweet taste with fruity flavours is obtained, leaving a long sweet aftertaste.

BRUGAL EXTRA VIEJO is a premium drink that has brought the company worldwide popularity. Elegant taste with vanilla, caramel and honey tones. For true connoisseurs and lovers of pepper aftertaste.

Barcelo (Barcelo) is a rum that has received worldwide fame and recognition. Locals consume it much in its pure form. The founder of the company Julian Barcelo created 3 types of drink: Blanco (white), Dorado (golden), Ron BarceloAnejo (aged).

The company’s most famous alcohol product was launched in 1980 – Barcelo Imperial. The Dominican rum Imperial received gold medals at international competitions and in 2000 and 2001 was recognized as the best 10-year-old rum, according to the Chicago Institute of Beverages.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release, Barcelo created the IMPERIAL PREMIUM BLEND. Production technology involves double ageing. First, old barrels of white American oak are used, in which the Imperial was aged. Then French oak barrels are used.

Oliver & Oliver – beverages produced by this company are just beginning to gain popularity and prestige at international exhibitions, but in the Dominican Republic they are already popular among tourists and local residents.

The company produces 4 brands:

  • UNHIQ XO – an exclusive premium segment 25-year-old drink. The price for this rum in the Dominican Republic is quite high, but is justified by its unique taste with flavours of raisins and dates. Alcohol content 42%.
  • CUBANEY CENTENARIO has a creamy texture, vanilla flavour and fruity sensations. It is aged from 25 to 30 years.
  • PUNTA CANA BLACK – a special type of dark rum, in the creation of which various spices and herbs are used to give an exquisite taste and aroma. It is aged from 12 to 15 years. Due to its sweetness, it is often mixed with soft drinks, such as cola.

How much does rum cost in the Dominican Republic

The beverage price depends on the manufacturer, type and aging. However, the same bottle may cost differently depending on the place where it is purchased.
It is recommended to buy Dominican rum in supermarkets, rather than in specialized stores. Prices start at $ 10. The cost of premium alcohol, for example, Barcelo Imperial can reach up to $ 40-50 per bottle. But this do not stop those who really appreciate rum.

If you plan to bring Dominican rum as a gift to your relatives or friends, it is worth clarifying the customs export & import regulations about alcohol beverages so that there are no problems at the airport.