Worst Rum of the Year – 2019 Winner

Worst Rum of the Year 2019 – Winner

Before I announce the Winner of the Rum of the Year 2019 I thought we would have a bit of fun. So here we have the other end of the Rum Spectrum.

First up, I’m not sure if the recipient of Worst Rum of the Year should really be called the winner? Maybe loser would work better? It has been suggested on numerous occasions over the past couple of years that I should gave an “award”, not only to the Best Rum of the Year but also the Worst Rum of the Year.

As I like to keep you all happy, I thought I would have a look through the 2019 archives and see what “gems” I uncovered. This time I had a few more contenders in the 1 star rated category (which covers from half a star to one and a half stars).

Going by half and one star ratings only, I was left with six possibilities. I decided to discount Stroh 80 Inlander Rum, as it is arguably just a cooking product. At best it’s a Spiced “Rum” or Spirit Drink. I decided to go with 5 rums that market themselves as being rum.

In all honesty, as my Rum Journey has evolved I no longer buy quite as much rubbish as I used to. If there is something out there like Don Papa or Bumbu, that is causing stir I will try wherever possible to get a small sample. Either through friends or from somewhere like Master of Malt. It may sound daft but I do want to review bad rums.

It’s important to me that I can help you all as consumers, so reviewing cheap and not always quite so cheerful rum is something I do. I also like to try and get my hands on the more deceptive “Premium” rums and run them through the Hydrometer.

Unlike quite a lot of reviewers/bloggers I don’t really do this for other enthusiasts as such. I certainly don’t want to enter the snobbier end of bloggers. Reviewing only Single Cask or Independently bottled rum is not what I’m about. Nor am I interested in getting into the Industry.

Anyway, as a result I do end up reviewing some pretty bad rum. In terms of writing reviews, the bad reviews are often the ones I enjoy the most. I like “taking the piss” and making people laugh. I hope most of these reviews have raised a chuckle or two.

As with the Rum of the Year all these rums have been reviewed in the last twelve months. Some of these rums have been around for a while. One might (thankfully) no longer be produced.

I’m only doing the one piece on Worst Rum of the Year so this is the final running order of the five nominees.

5. Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary

Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversay Rum Review by the fat rum pirateAs the attempts to complete the Barbados GI (Geographical Indicator) continue this rum for me offers one of the best examples, alongside Bumbu The Original as to why the Barbados GI is required. If anything why sweetening Barbados rum should be a no no. This is a cloying sickly sweet coconut flavoured mess. When Plantation gets things right they can produce decent rum. This is one of their best known offerings but it is without doubt one of their worst. Liqueuer like in its execution and with a deceptive age statement to add to the insult. This is not fine Barbados Rum and any reviewer/commentator recommending this should give their head a shake. This has been around a long time but I only got around to it this year so here it is.

4. Dictador Best of 1979 41.8% ABV

There is no getting away with it when it comes to Dictador. Their rums taste funny. Whilst they never seem to tip the Hydrometer by very much, if at all the taste just isn’t rum. This is rum marketed as being 39 years old. However, reports have circulated that only a portion of the rum is anywhere near 39 years old. Despite the amount of ageing this is a thin, coffee flavoured rum with very little going on. It’s smooth to the point of being sugared water. The eye watering price tag of over £300 really doesn’t justify the disappointing un-rum like liquid that is in the bottle. Even at £30 I’d feel badly done to.

3. Bacardi Anejo

Bacardi Anejo Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBacardi gets a very bad rep amongst more serious Rum Enthusiasts. In all honesty they are nowhere near as “bad” a rum producer as they are often made out. When they get it right they can come up with decent rums such as Bacardi Reserva and the Limited Edtion Major Lazer offering. It is usually their more Premium offering which disappoint. There core range – the Carta Negra aside are not THAT bad. The various flavoured offering yeah, I’ll concede those are shite.

So what is so wrong with Bacardi Anejo? Well produced in Mexico and seemingly aimed at the Spanish speaking market this is just an awful tasting rum. Especially the after taste which is just weird. Nasty artificial tobacco like notes. To add insult to injury it is bottled at a measly 38% ABV. I don’t think it’s still in production is the only saving grace for this. Oh hang on it was cheap as well.

2. Comandante Fidel Ron Anejo del Caribe

Comandante Fidel Ron Anejo del Caribe rum review by the fat rum pirateI dare say if you had given this utter toss to Comandante Fidel he’d likely have had you shot! No wonder this is exported into Spain. I’ve included this even though it has fairly limited distribution as if you holiday in Spain sooner or later you’ll come across it. With its’ ridiculously cheap price tag and the Fidel image you may (like me) think it’s worth a shot.

If you have ever wondered what a white rum might taste like mixed with the contents of an ashtray then this is it. This is absolutely putrid stuff – especially considered it has no additives. How you get a rum to taste this vile – like cigarette water is beyond me but this is truly vile stuff. Even at €7 or less a bottle, please don’t do it to yourself.

So let’s move on and see which Rum is the first recipient of Worst Rum of the Year here at thefatrumpirate.com

1. Santos Dumont XO Rum

Santos Dumont XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirateA fairly recent review, in fact I think some of this festering sugary mess is still stuck to some of my teeth. In short there is nothing right about this rum – no definitive age statement given. I suppose in some ways its better than lying and sticking a big number 23 on the front. Okay I’ll give a bit of credit for that. What I won’t give credit for is the amount of additives used (58g/L) and the proud declaration on their website that it is produced using “proprietary formulas”.

This “rum” is supposed to be made from Sugar Cane Honey (yet that old chestnut) produced in Brasil. To be honest the base spirit of this rum could have come from Timbuktu for all you will be able to determine in terms of “Terroir”. This tastes absolutely nothing like any Rum or Cachaca that I have had from Brasil.

You see this is actually an A.H Riise product and it has there “signature” flavouring all over it. Which has turned whatever the base spirit was into a cloying, synthetic, sugar bomb with a truly disgusting sour/sweet after taste.

I truly cannot understand what people enjoy about this rubbish. It’s simply not rum.

So there we have it the first Worst Rum of the Year. No doubt people will have a lot of opinions on this list. If you do actually enjoy and disagree with the opinions here then I would suggest you start reading the following website instead

The Rum Howler Blog






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8 comments on “Worst Rum of the Year – 2019 Winner

  1. Merry xmas Wes,
    I haven’t had any bad rums this year thanks to you. I’ve had a few sugary plantations,
    so good to see them getting a kick up the arse!

    • Hi, where can you find info on additives? E.g
      on the bottle from Santos Dumont XO, Elixír doesnt state the amount of additives used (58g/L). I searched around on their web but found no such info. Appreciate your help. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for making that. Did you ever do a review of Bacardi packaging the 8 Anos & Querto 10 together in a wooden humidor box? I saw it last year for over $100, & my wife picked it up on clearance. I never opened it.
    Ray O’Brien
    “It’s all about the Cocktail”

  3. I thought dark matters would have been on the list

    • On the basis of it being reviewed 4 years ago and getting four stars I don’t know why you would think that

  4. Your review on the plantation XO is the reason I tasted a dram 1st instead of buying the bottle and for that am grateful ?

    • That’s what we like to hear!

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