At Guydster, when we work, we work hard.  And when we party we party just as hard.  So when the weekend rolls around, what better way to reward yourself than spending time with friends and drinking some excellent, long-legged rum.  We recommend skipping white rums and going straight for the good stuff – the dark or spiced rums.  In addition to the classic rum and coke, we suggest trying rum with ginger ale – you might be surprised at what you’ve been missing.  Ginger ale allows more of the rum tones to reach your palate.  And don’t be a wuss and measure the amount of rum you pour in the glass, we recommend the free-pour technique.  Some of these rums are so good, you don’t even need mix.  Here are five tasty rums under $50 that we suggest for your liquor cabinet.

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Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7 Year Old Rum

You have not have heard of Flor de Caña before but trust us, it’s well worth finding a local store that carries this brand.  This full-bodied Nicaraguan rum is mahogany hued and extra-smooth.  This Grand Reserve 7 year old rum won a Gold Medal at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  It is one of the best tasting rums we’ve ever tasted in its price range.  It can be served on-the-rocks or mixed with cola, soda or water.  It is also a great base for a Mojito cocktail.  Palate: a round entry leads to medium-bodied palate of dark caramel and toasted nuts. Finishes with a dry toasted coconut fade.  www.flordecana.com

Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Rum

Surely you’ve enjoyed Appleton rum before perhaps not the Extra 12 year old.  This Jamaican rum is aged for a minimum of 12 years in oak barrels and is one of the finest, smoothest tasting rums in this price range.  Appleton defines this rum as a combination of delicate molasses, vibrant orange peel, rich vanilla, subtle coffee and cocoa, toasted oak and a hint of almond.  This rum is excellent on the rocks or in a mix drink with coke or ginger ale.  Spending the extra few bucks on this bottle over the standard Appleton is a no brainer.  Palate: Buttery, creamy brown sugar. Finishes with a bittersweet and luscious taste.  www.appletonestate.com

Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23

The Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23 is the most expensive rum on this list but it is also one of the best tasting rums we’ve ever tried – in any price range, period.  This Guatemalan gem contains of a blend of rums from 6 to 23 years old.  Its keynotes consist of honeyed butterscotch, spiced oak and raisined fruit – showcasing the complexity of the sistema solera ageing process.  Ron Zacappa suggests serving this rum on a single large lump of ice in a rocks glass with a heavy base.  At Guydster, we also enjoy it delightfully with just a splash of Ginger Ale.  If this guide inspires you to try just one of these rums, make it this one – you will be very pleased.  Palate: wonderfully complex, generous and full-bodied, with a sweet honeyed viscosity atypical of an aged spirit.  www.zacaparum.com

Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum

This rum is a relatively new addition to the Captain Morgan porfolio, introduced for the first time in North American in 2012.  The Black Spiced Rum combines a rich blackstrap Caribbean rum with the company’s signature spice blend.  Its 47.3% alcohol content is a little higher than most other rums, yet thanks to its complex, rich taste you might be hard-press to tell it’s stronger than other rums.  While it’s unlikely to become your “staple” rum, it’ll sure be nice to have it in your liquor collection when you desire something a little different.  Although we normally don’t recommend taking shots of rum, this rum’s rich flavor makes it surprisingly tasty to shoot.  We prefer it best with Ginger Ale.  Palate: clove and cassia bark, with notes of anise, vanilla, and chocolate.  www.captainmorgan.com

El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum

This El Dorado rum offers a buttery smooth taste and an exceptional value for its price.  It typifies the smooth mellow sweetness of Demerara rums and has won a multitude of international awards over the years.  The El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum is a blend of specially selected aged rums, the youngest being at least 12 years old, aged to perfection in old bourbon oak casks.  Excellent straight on the rocks or mixed with a splash of coke or ginger ale.  Palate: lush tropical fruit and spice nose with hints of honey and dark sugar. Round, mellow, full bodied palate with rich flavours of fruit and spice. The finish is delightful, elegant and dry.  www.theeldoradorum.com

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