I guess that it comes from the days of blind listening to the makers and purveyors of liquor telling us that the most expensive is always the best. I'm here to tell you that there are some really fine older rums out there on the shelves that I believe are as fine a rum as there is to be found anywhere. Likewise there are some $15 rums out there that I can sip and enjoy equally as well. It has been my discovery that the price tag does not make the rum, but rather what is in the bottle at any price.
An interesting new rum cane to my attention recently from a place that I rarely find a good sipping rum that has turned out to be a really good sipper. Bacardi has just put out a new addition to the spiced rum market. Bacardi Oakheart falls into categories that I rarely ever go to for a sipper, first, it is a spiced rum, and second, Bacardi inexpensive rums are not as a rule good sippers. These rules fell by the wayside about 2 weeks or so ago when I got my first bottle of this really smooth and flavorful rum.
I guess that what I am telling you is to try some of the less expensive rums out there because you will be really surprised how many good ones there are out on the shelves.
Ron Baracelo has a Gran Anejo, El Dorado has a 12 year old, Abuelo 7 year old, Ron Matusalem has a 15 year old, Mount Gay Black, Vizcaya's new Cask12, and Siesta Key has a new spiced rum all fall in the range of about $30 a bottle and will provide you with premium aged rum flavor and enjoyment without breaking the bank. Before you race out to the liquor store and spend $50 to $75 for a bottle of rum, look at the 5 to 15 year old rums out there and you will find a great deal of enjoyment for an inexpensive price.
Another way is to talk to your local rum guide at the nearest bar to you that specializes in rum. Tell them you want to try some rum in the category of just a dollar or two above the well price rums and you will be surprised what is out there providing great flavor. ;o)