Drink Responsibly (ie 0-2 drinks/day). Prices are formatted 750ML/1.75L (otherwise known as a Fifth vs a Handle).
Check out a great list of cocktail recipes, most recommended are official IBA (International Bartenders Association) recipes.
Best Budget Rum (Mixing, Probably Not Sipping)
El Dorado 5 Year $13 (gold rum, not white)
Flor de Cana 4 Year Extra Dry $15 (best value white rum ie for a mojito or daiquiri or long island iced tea, must be Extra Dry label to be the white rum). Hard to find.
Secondary: Pusser’s Blue Label Royal Navy Rum $20 (slightly expensive for a mixer, tentative sipper, classic rum for a pusser’s painkiller)
Best Sipper Rum
R L Seale’s 10 Year $25
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva $30
Pusser’s 15 Year $50 (strong flavor, hard to find)
Ron Zacapa Centenario Solera (or Anos) 23 Year $40 (competes with rums $100+)
El Dorado 25 Year $110 (almost as good as the $300 world class ones, the 21 year might be better)
Secondary: Ron Centenario Conmemorativo $20, Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva Solera 15yr $20 (Cuban Rum), El Dorado 12yr $25, El Dorado 15yr $42, Pampero Anniversary $32
Other Type Rums
Best Dark Rum
Gosling’s Black Seal $14/25 (for Dark N Stormy or topping tropical drinks)
Myer’s Planter’s Punch
Best Spiced or Flavored Rum
(best value spiced) Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Navy $20/1.75
Brinley Gold Coconut/Vanilla/Coffee $15
Best Cuban Rum (cannot be bought in USA)
Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros 7 Year (the new Havana Club Barrel Proof, might not be worth the trouble to get over the Best Value Sippers above)
DO NOT GET: Nasty (Bacardi, Admiral Nelson, Don Q, Coruba, Potter’s – dark is bad but white is good, Young’s Old Sam), Just Okay (Captain Morgan), Brugal, Mount Gay Extra Old $35 (bland flavor), Pyray XO Reserve 15 year (bad, too orange-ey flavor, does not taste like rum), Zaya 12 Year (too much added vanilla and spices now), Badly spiced rums (Kraken, Calico Jack)