Rum tours: enjoy rum tasting holidays in paradise

Savor the world’s oldest spirit on our exotic rum tasting holidays. Explore island life, discover new food, and unravel the secrets of world-class rum making with the most distinguished Master Blenders in the industry.

Rum is the “noble spirit”, the oldest commercially produced spirit, and the spirit of choice for pirates and Navy captains. It’s also one of the most popular drinks, enjoyed across the continents in many different forms.  

Most people will have tasted rum before, whether in a cocktail or with a classic mixer like Coca Cola. Almost every developed nation, and many developing nations too, have at least one rum label to their repertoire. But finding top quality rum is a whole different story. Our tours will journey you to the most beautiful locations with fascinating history and culture, mouthwatering culinary delights and awe-inspiring scenery, in search of the most refined and elegant rum varietals that exist today.

Join us in paradise to experience rum like you’ve never imagined before. Our rum tours are perfect for connoisseurs and the most discerning palates, while also inviting beginners and transporting them to the tantalizing, tropical world of rum blending.

All about rum

Rum is made in locations where sugarcane is cultivated or imported, but most rum production is in the Caribbean and Latin America. Rum has a handful of characteristics that give it its classification as the noble spirit. But within the wider rum category, there are variations ranging from light to dark, and from amber to spiced. It’s a complex art, and while rum is available to buy globally, the complexities of its production still remain a mystery to many.

Until recently, spiced rum has been looked upon as the poor man’s versions of its pure, barrel-aged cousins, often branded as a party drink rather than something for the aficionado. However, spice has made a comeback in recent years, and there are now a number of premium bottles that appeal to the most discerning of rum drinkers.

Beginner or expert, there are many types of rum to excite or challenge your palate with. Our rum tours will give you the knowledge you need to distinguish between varietals, appreciate different flavor profiles, and discover your favorite Caribbean rum style.

The history of Caribbean rum

The spirit was first discovered in Barbados in 1650, when plantation slaves used molasses (the by-product of sugar refining) to make alcohol through fermentation. Distillation of the alcohol then concentrated it and removed impurities, creating the first true rums.

But the precursor to Caribbean rum dates all the way back to antiquity, with fermented juice from sugarcane being produced in China and India. The Malay people also documented the making of “very good wine of sugar” in the 14th Century.

From Barbados, the popularity of rum spread to other islands, including Jamaica, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Martinique and the Cayman Islands. In the early days of rum making in the Caribbean, rum quality wasn’t great and was even described as “hellish” by patrons. But it later developed into something more refined, became popular with Colonial America, and was even Colonial New England's largest and most prosperous industry in the 18th Century.

The best places for rum tasting

The Caribbean is the best place for rum tasting experiences, and Puerto Rico is our destination of choice. Its prolific rum production, spectacular cities and utopian beaches make it the perfect island for a luxury rum tasting holiday in the Atlantic.

Today, more than 80% of rum consumed in the United States alone is distilled and blended in Puerto Rico. The island’s most popular brand, Bacardi, is sold in 175 countries.

The rums of Puerto Rico can be represented by five primary brands. The first aforementioned brand is Barcardi, and the others are Don Q, Palo Viejo, Ron del Barrilito, and Ron Llave.

Other countries that make great rum include the Barbados (the home of rum), Jamaica, Haiti, Martinique, Cuba, Guyana, The Philippines, and India.

Rum tasting holidays with Wine Paths

At Wine Paths, we take our clients to the most exclusive rum regions and distilleries in Puerto Rico, an island that is celebrated as the world’s rum capital. While rum is manufactured worldwide, there are few places that hone their craft to such high blending standards.

On our exciting rum tours will help you discover the differences between light and dark rums, with educational highlights from rum’s history in the Caribbean. We take an insightful approach to distillery tours, allowing connoisseurs and beginners to understand every detail of the rum making craft.

Combining coastal exploration, culture and sightseeing with authentic local food discoveries, we will create a holiday to remember for rum fans.

Interesting facts about rum

Rum is often referred to as “the noble spirit” and the phrase has been around for centuries, but it is unclear who coined the term. It was also the first branded spirit to be manufactured and distilled, and made long before any other spirit.

The drink has been popular with pirates and seafarers for many centuries. Rum rations were even given to sailors in the Royal Navy to be mixed with lime juice because it fought off scurvy.

Over the years, rum has been added to various drinks and cocktails, but the first ever cocktail to be made with rum was the famous Rum Sour, which was created in Barbados and served in a conch shell at the time.

Join us on an unforgettable rum tour

We’re rum enthusiasts at Wine Paths, and our tours reflect the passion and knowledge our team has. If you’re looking for a bespoke trip or an existing itinerary with others, we can help you find the perfect fit. From the most discerning rum drinkers to those who simple enjoy the product, our tours can be tailored to fit.

Browse our rum tours below for some unique experiences and get in touch for tailor made ideas.

FAQs

What are the different types of rum to try?

The main varietals include light rum or silver/white rum (ideal for cocktails and mixers), gold or amber rum (known for its golden brown hue and rich taste), spiced rum (normally a gold variety with added spices), and dark rum (aged longer in heavily charred barrels with a more complex flavor profile and strong molasses or caramel overtone).

What is Navy-strength rum?

Rum that is navy-strength clocks in at no less than 114 proof. The spirit was heavily supplied to the British Royal Navy on board their ships, and in order to make it safe from neutralizing the gunpowder on board in case of a leak, the rum had to be 57% ABV (114 proof). The high alcohol content meant that the gunpowder would remain flammable even when wet.

Can rum be enjoyed straight up?

Like Scotch whisky or bourbon, rum is similarly good neat or enjoyed on the rocks. On a Wine Paths rum tour, you will get to try a variety of rums that are excellent for slow sipping, not just mixed with Coke or in cocktails.

Why book with Wine Paths?