The Worlds Best Rum Won’t Break Your Wallet


When the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, one of the premier award events on the drinks calendar, announced their winner for Best Overall Rum, the winner was drinker’s pocketbooks. In an exploding rum market that has seen prices continually ascend to new highs as consumers search out unique, artisanal products has put some fine rums out of reach for many. So, the fact that Pampero Aniversario Rum, the winner, can be found on most liquor store shelves for less than $40 is good news.

Over the last decade, a bevy of premium and super-premium rums have entered the market, leading to a transformational shift in drinkers’ perceptions of rum. Long consigned to the world of blended drinks and bad hangovers, a world of sipping rums has risen to the forefront. Like the bourbon, gin, and tequila markets, craft distillers have helped enthusiasts reimagine what is in their glasses.

This reimagining of rum has helped drive the global rum market to new heights. According to Market Data Forecast, it is projected to be worth 16 billion dollars in 2023 and grow to 21.5 billion by 2028.

While this is only good news for consumers, it has led to bottles of rum quickly hitting prices well above $200 per bottle on the shelf, something unthinkable not long ago. A quick internet search will lead you to bottles topping four digits and approaching five digits.

Fueling this upward trend in prices is the annual awards circuit. Major brands and smaller craft distillers send their best bottles to events across the globe. Winning a Best in Show in New York and at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the London Spirits Competition, the International Wine & Spirits Competition, and a select few others can quickly establish a brand in consumer’s eyes. Look no further than what Cierto Tequila has accomplished in a short time.

The fact that a rum from an 85-year-old distillery in Caracas, Venezuela, took the top step of the podium is not a massive surprise to rumheads. Pampero has long been a bottle that has delighted rum drinkers in the Caribbean region for decades. Founded in 1938 by Alejandro Hernández and Luis Toro, the distillery has been at the forefront of the Venezuelan rum scene.

It set the standard for rum maturation in the country at two years and led the way in creating the Denomination of Origin “Ron de Venezuela,” the first DOC for molasses rum in the world. The brand was sold to global spirits powerhouse Diageo in the early 1990s and is still a part of their catalog of products.

The Pampero Aniversario Rum has been released annually for the last six decades to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the inception of the brand’s rum house. Made from a blend of four and five-year-old rums aged in sherry casks and bourbon barrels, it is a complex rum perfect for sipping.

Its dark mahogany colors quickly release an array of flavors with each sip. Vanilla, wood, leather, sherry, vanilla, and dried fruits leap to the front with a smooth finish. Packaged in an unassuming stubby bottle tucked into a leather bag, it looks out of place when you first see it next to pricey and glossy bottles. But looks are deceiving. It takes just one taste to understand why it is the most-awarded rum in Venezuelan history.

Knowing that there is world-class rum that’s priced so it’s within reach of the general public is a good thing. It will only help expand the rum market’s reach and let many people point to a bottle on their home shelves and know that it is the best in the world, yet it didn’t break their wallet.


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