Luxury in Every Drop: The Best Extra-Aged Rum Finalists at the 2024 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

by The Tasting Alliance Team  |  05.28.2024

The 2024 San Francisco World Spirits Competition is poised to honor the world’s finest extra-aged rums at the prestigious Top Shelf 2024 Awards Gala. Extra-aged rums, known for their complex and refined profiles, are celebrated for their depth and maturity. This year’s finalists exemplify the pinnacle of craftsmanship and flavor, showcasing the artistry behind extended aging. Here’s an in-depth look at the top contenders:


SALTWATER’s CREW ONLY 8Y offers an aromatic journey with layers of caramel, tropical fruit, and toffee, underpinned by leather and molasses. This German rum stands out for its balanced complexity and approachable price point, making it a compelling choice for both new and seasoned rum enthusiasts.

Zacapa XO

Zacapa XO is a luxurious rum from Guatemala, renowned for its rich, aromatic profile featuring caramel and oak. The tannic notes add a layer of sophistication, making it a perfect sipping rum. Its intricate flavors are a testament to Zacapa’s masterful blending and aging techniques.

Flor de Caña 18

Flor de Caña 18 is aged in the unique environment of the San Cristóbal volcano, imparting distinctive flavors and aromas. The nose offers caramelized sugar, toasted oak, and dried fruit, with vanilla, toffee, and dark chocolate. The palate is a symphony of butterscotch, raisins, and honey, accented by cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel.

Mount Gay Single Estate Series

Mount Gay, one of the oldest rum distilleries in the world, delivers a masterpiece with its Single Estate Series. This rum exudes aromas of ripe banana, coconut, and mango, with hints of vanilla, caramel, and oak. The palate offers a harmonious interplay of sweet, savory, and spicy elements, making it a highly coveted bottle for collectors and connoisseurs.

The ImpEx Collection 2007 15 YO Long Pond Rum Cask 12 ITP 50

This Jamaican rum from the ImpEx Collection is noted for its vibrant and funky aroma profile, featuring ripe pineapple, mango, banana, and overripe bananas with fermenting molasses. The palate is rich with caramelized sugar, dark chocolate, and baking spices, complemented by bold fruit notes. This 15-year-old rum delivers a powerful and memorable tasting experience.

These finalists represent the zenith of extra-aged rum, each bringing a unique and complex flavor profile that reflects their heritage and aging process. Whether you prefer the approachable complexity of SALTWATER’s CREW ONLY 8Y or the luxurious depth of Mount Gay Single Estate Series, there is an exceptional rum to suit every palate in this distinguished lineup.