Best Value Rums on the UK Market – Jamaica

Best Value Rums on the UK Market - Jamaica article by the fat rum pirateBest Value Rums on the UK Market – Jamaica. I’ve been considering an article on “Best Value Rums” for some time. Following my Rum of the Year article, I’ve received a lot of requests for a post focusing on cheaper or value for money rums.

I think people are beginning to feel a little priced out of certain types of rum. I’m hoping this will help people seek out some genuinely good rum without breaking the bank. I’m also hoping some of the selections will help people who might feel they are missing out. You don’t need to be paying £100 for a Hampden DOK Single Cask rum to experience Jamaican rum

Originally the plan was to try and compile a list of all rums which are good value for money from across the Rum World.

Upon beginning to compile a list of rums I found that quite a lot of Jamaican rum is very good value for money! So whilst I may in future combine a few different styles/regions into posts, I think there is more than enough coming out of Jamaica to warrant a full article.

Now for anyone outside of the UK this list might not prove to be useful. I think in the main it should work quite well for most people in the UK and mainland Europe. Outside of that, in particular the US you likely won’t find all that many of these bottlings available in your location.

Likewise if I’m asked why I didn’t include “X,Y and Z” it is likely going to be down to a few reasons.

a) It’s not available here in the UK

b) I haven’t actually reviewed the rum in question. This shouldn’t be much of an issue.s I usually buy anything that is sub £30 and readily available. I am a cheapskate at heart.

The focus of the selections will be around Rum. Without additives where possible. However, I will include a couple of Spiced/Flavoured rums if I feel they are worthy of a mention. At the lower end of the market I think we can be a bit more liberal in our choices. Not everything has to be an enlightening sipping experience.

So here goes.

I’ve decided to do things geographically. This should  work well as a good way of picking up some rum bargains. Also I’m hoping it will help those new to rum navigate around the different styles of rum.

I’m a big fan of identifying the individual styles of rum coming from the various rum producing countries, islands and regions. Rather than trying to Pigeon Hole rums into broader often meaningless categories. Dark, Light, Gold and Navy Style might have a place in certain circumstances but I’m hoping to expand beyond that.

Some of the links to the reviews will be from a number of years ago so some of the details may be slightly out of date. I was also just cutting my teeth in the blogging world so they might not be to the standard of todays reviews. Apologies if some of the writing is even worse than that of today!

Appleton Estate 8 Reserve Rum Review by the fat rum pirateJamaica

When it comes to experiencing some Jamaican rum on a limited budget, you really are spoilt for choice here in the UK.

You can walk into supermarkets in the UK and pick up iconic island favourites such as Wray and Nephew Overproof and Appleton Estate with ease and well within a £25-40 budget.

Appleton’s range of Signature, 8 Year Old and their 12 Year are frequently discounted by a few pounds as well. Signature is regularly available for £20 with Appleton 8 coming in at £26 and the 12 Year can be found for slightly under £35 when on sale.

The usual retail for these rums nowadays has increased slightly since the re-design but bear in mind the prices of these rums had remained the same for a considerable length of time. I was paying £20 for Appleton V/X over 10 years ago.

Below are typical prices of the rums at the moment

Signature £24

8 Year £32

12 Year £40

If you wish to go even lower in terms of price then Appleton Estate/Wray and Nephew do have another couple of rums that are even cheaper than the Signature Blend.

They were formerly called Appleton/Special and were available in Gold and White Expressions. They have since been re-branded as Kingston 62. I’ve had the re-branded versions of both and they’ve change very little. They are both decent but I would probably opt for the slightly more expensive Signature Blend over both.An Interview with Kevin Beament and Donna Waite - Craft Rum Club by the fat rum pirate

All these rums offer a good example of Jamaican rum if perhaps not the funkiest expressions available aside from the iconic Wray and Nephew Overproof.

If you are just starting out in the rum world and are hearing about Jamaican funk. Wray and Nephew should be your first port of call. Definitely one to tick off the bucket list.

If you are wanting to try the rum and save even more money. It is also very often available in smaller convenience stores in 20cl and 35cl bottles. So if you are out and about and see it in its smaller size it’s a great shout. A lot goes a long way believe me………..

If you are after a bit more funk and are hoping to get something similar to the aged Hampden bottlings then you might wish to consider some Jamaican blends.

JAH45 isn’t always the easiest brand of rum to pick up but if you hunt around you should be able to find some stock online. Their Overproof can be tricky to find but the other expressions are usually fairly google-able. Their rums were also available in UK restaurant chain Las Iguanas pre-Lockdown but I can’t vouch for that anymore.

JAH45 are a mix of Pot and Column distilled rums from various distilleries in Jamaica. Their stand outs for me are the White Overproof (I haven’t reviewed it as yet) and the Silver. The Silver should set you back little over £20 and offers a funky, yet not quite so potent introduction to Jamaican White Rum.

Of course if you want to experience the iconic Hampden “funk” then Hampden Gold offers a good introduction to that style again at under £25. Its not quite as easily available as the Appleton range. You should be able to find it for sale online with a UK stockist.

Rum Bar Gold Rum Review by the fat rum pirateI would have also recommended Hampden Rum Fire. Unfortunately that has seen a considerable price increase since changing over to Velier as the Importer. So its well over £40 now. You can pick up all Jamaican White Overproofs for less than this. So its not a great bargain, though its a good rum.

Returning back to a more refined style of Jamaican Rum then we must pay a visit to Worthy Park.

In terms of “budget” rums Worthy Park at entry level are a little more expensive. You can pick up their Rum Bar Silver here in the UK for a little over £20 but I would save up a few more pounds and opt for Rum Bar Gold. A 4 year old aged rum which works beautifully in mixed drinks but is also surprisingly good as a sipper. It’ll set you back around £28-30 but its well worth it. It can be a little tricky to find and isn’t always in stock. Keep an eye out and get a bottle when it is.

My final bottle on this list is probably one of the most “marmite” (and most mis-spelt) bottlings in the Rum World. It is coloured to with in an inch of its life and arguably does have some “additives”. Molasses is allegedly added back to the rum post distillation. It is also a pretty young column still only rum.

Presentation wise it hasn’t changed in decades. It is about as fashionable as wearing socks with sandals or a pair of Adidas Two Stripes from the local flea market. For one reason or another I’m always drawn to the opaque “kitsch” cliched bottle……

You see there is something I find strangely addictive a bout a Rum and Coke made with Myers’s Rum Original Dark. It should set you back a little over £20. Even if you don’t like it – it’s another “iconic rum” to tick off the list. Myers's Rum Original Dark Rum Review by fatrumpirate fat rum pirate

If you do like it I think you’ll always keep a bottle in stock. If you don’t well the bottle is pretty cool……

Well I hope this little run-down proves useful. I was intending or thinking I would include a couple of Flavoured Rums and some Rum Creams.

However, I reckon there is probably going to be enough room to form their own lists. So I will keep them separate. Keep an eye out for those lists coming soon.

I will also be compiling a list of bottles in the £40-70 bracket that also represent good value. Appleton 12 has snuck into this list simply because it is one of the few genuine “sipping” rums you can pick up in a supermarket.


For some reason I forgot to add the most recent addition to the UK Supermarkets in terms of Jamaican Rum. The Duppy Share Duppy White Jamaican Rum. Often when doing tasting notes I state that I get certain tastes and flavours. Well there is a lot of Grapefruit going on with this rum and it makes it very distinctive. At around £20 this is another really good option for mixing and it isn’t that bad neat either.

Well worth checking out

The Duppy Share Duppy White Jamaican Rum review by the fat rum pirate









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