Best Caribbean Rum Distillery (2020)


If there's one thing the Caribbean is known for as much as its beaches, it's its rum. The spirit was first distilled on the islands during the 17th century when sugar plantation slaves discovered molasses – a byproduct of the refining process – could be fermented into alcohol. Caribbean rum producers have spent the centuries since perfecting the process of distillation, aging and blending, and many of the world's best rums come from the Caribbean.

  • Topper's Rhum

    Topper's Rhum
    Sint Maarten

    Visitors to this 6,000-square-foot facility in Sint Maarten gain insight into the history of rum-making while seeing the blending and bottling process firsthand. Visitors also get to sample new flavors in development, along with the full lineup of artisan rums, in the tasting bar. Those who'd like to take some Topper's home can even bottle their own.
    Photo courtesy of Topper's Rhum Distillery

  • Appleton Estate

    Appleton Estate

    Appleton Estate, Jamaica's largest and oldest distillery, produced its first batch of rum in 1749. Today the estate welcomes visitors to tour the facilities, learn how the rum is produced and sample some of Appleton's 17 varieties of rum. A well-stocked gift shop at the end of the tour gives ample opportunity for adult souvenirs. 
    Photo courtesy of iStock / alpaksoy

  • Ron del Barrilito

    Ron del Barrilito
    Puerto Rico

    Ron del Barrilito rum has been made using the same traditional techniques since 1880, made in small batches with no artificial ingredients or colors and aged in vintage American white oak sherry barrels. Visitors to Puerto Rico can learn more about the process on guided heritage tours of the distillery.
    Photo courtesy of Ron del Barrilito

  • Cruzan Rum Distillery

    Cruzan Rum Distillery
    St. Croix, U.S.V.I.

    Cruzan Rum has been family operated by the Nelthropp family since 1760. Today, St. Croix visitors can get a peak inside the Cruzan distillery's open air warehouses, followed by a tasting of the award-winning rums.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Shaiith

  • Demerara Distillers

    Demerara Distillers

    Guyana’s most famous export, Eldorado Rum, was made at this distillery as early as 1670. While production has since moved elsewhere, the historic facility now houses a museum and hosts tours, offering the chance to see the last operating wooden Coffey in the world.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / itakdalee

  • Callwood Rum Distillery

    Callwood Rum Distillery
    Tortola, British Virgin Islands

    Callwood Rum Distillery is one of the oldest continuously operating pot distilleries in the Caribbean. Visitors to this British Virgin Islands facility can still see some of the old equipment used throughout the distillery’s history of making rum.
    Photo courtesy of Callwood Rum Distillery

  • Cadushy Distillery

    Cadushy Distillery

    Founded in 2009 as Bonaire's first and only distillery, The Cadushy Distillery not only produces rum, but also cactus vodka, the first Caribbean whiskey, tequila and a series of liqueurs inspired by the island's Dutch Caribbean heritage. A shady courtyard serves as the tasting room for sampling the myriad spirits.
    Photo courtesy of The Cadushy Distillery

  • Clarke's Court Rum

    Clarke's Court Rum

    Clarke’s Court has been making rum on Grenada since the 18th century. While the former sugar cane factory now imports much of its molasses from Guyana, the massive facilities are still well worth a visit, particularly during the more active months between January and September.
    Photo courtesy of Clarke's Court Rum

  • John Watling's Distillery

    John Watling's Distillery
    Nassau, Bahamas

    Situated in historic downtown Nassau within the 1789 Buena Vista Estate, John Watling's Distillery offers free production and museum tours where visitors learn all about the facility's small-batch rum. Guests can watch production in action from a viewing mezzanine before sipping rum-infused cocktails inside the Red Turtle Tavern. Since the Bahamas lacks a sugar industry of its own, John Watling's sources their distillates from elsewhere in the Caribbean before blending and barrel aging on site.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / a_namenko

  • Mount Gay Rum

    Mount Gay Rum

    At the Mount Gay Rum Visitors Centre in Barbados, the colorful history of the world's oldest rum comes to life. In operation since 1703, the distillery in St. Lucy Parish includes both historic and modern equipment, as well as a duty-free store for purchasing rum and other souvenirs.
    Photo courtesy of Lydia Schrandt

The top 10 winners in the category Best Caribbean Rum Distillery are as follows:

  1. Topper's Rhum - Sint Maarten
  2. Appleton Estate - Jamaica
  3. Ron del Barrilito - Puerto Rico
  4. Cruzan Rum Distillery - St. Croix, U.S.V.I.
  5. Demerara Distillers - Guyana
  6. Callwood Rum Distillery - Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  7. Cadushy Distillery - Bonaire
  8. Clarke's Court Rum - Grenada
  9. John Watling's Distillery - Nassau, Bahamas
  10. Mount Gay Rum - Barbados

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning rum makers!

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AlertThe Experts

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Melanie Reffes

Melanie Reffes

Melanie Reffes