Difference Between White Rum and Dark Rum (With Table)

Rum is an alcoholic drink which is made through the process of fermentation and distillation from by-products of sugarcane like molasses or sugarcane juice. The product obtained after this process is transparent which is then aged in large barrels to achieve rum as the end product.

The difference between White Rum and Dark Rum is that white rum is aged in big stainless steel barrels whereas dark rum is aged in large charred oak barrels. Also, white rum requires a shorter amount of time to age than the time taken by dark rum.

It is very complicated to categorise rum as there are not any specific standards for it’s constitution. The division of rum into white and dark is done in Australia. The most common use of dark rum is cooking or it can also be drunk straight without mixing it with anything while white rum is generally used in cocktails.

White rums with a fair clean taste are traditionally only produced by the countries where Spanish is spoken. There are a number of countries which produce the best white rums like Venezuela, Cuba, Guatemala, Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Comparison Table Between White Rum and Dark Rum

Parameters of ComparisonWhite RumDark Rum
Time period of ageingWhite rum takes shorter period of time to age.Dark rum takes longer period of time to age.
Type of barrel used Stainless steel barrels are used in the process of ageing of white rum.Charred oak barrels are used in the process of ageing of dark rum.
TasteWhite rum has a light and little flavour in addition to its sweetness.Dark rum has a strong flavour and a great amount of underlying molasses.
Process involvedTo obtain the white tint, the rum is often filtered right after they age.To darken the rum, caramel is added to it.
Uses White rum is generally used in cocktails and other mixed drinks.Dark rum is generally used in cooking and it is also famous for drinking straight.

What is White Rum?

White rum, also referred to as light or silver rum is traditionally made in the countries where Spanish is spoken. They are aged in stainless steel barrels for years. Along with the sweetness of white rum, it also has a light flavour to it. This serves it as an excellent base to different cocktails. 

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Due to its mild flavour, it is avoided to be drunk straight and is popularly drunk in mixed drinks. To protect the white tint of white rum, it is often filtered right after it ages to get rid of any other colours that could possibly affect its white colour. 

The countries that produce the best white rums are Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala, Columbia and Puerto Rico. Though majority of the white rum is produced in Puerto Rico.

White Rum

What is Dark Rum?

Dark rum, also known as red or black rum is an alcoholic beverage that is commonly produced by the countries where English is spoken. They are aged in Charred oak barrels. Dark rum is dark in colour, as the name implies, and also has a strong flavour to them. 

They are aged for longer periods of time in heavy and brunt barrels. Dark rum has pinches of spices mixed with strong molasses in its flavour. It also has a lot of overtones of caramel to it. To obtain such a dark tint, caramel is added to the rum. 

The countries that produce dark rum are Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Bermuda. Due to their strong flavour, they are mostly preferred to be drunk straight. Otherwise, they can also be used in cooking. Most of the dark rum in the world is produced by Haiti, Martinique, Jamaica, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Dark Rum

Main Differences Between White Rum and Dark Rum

  1. The amount of time taken by white rum to age is shorter than the time taken by dark rum.
  2. To obtain the white colour of white rum, it is filtered right after it ages whereas to obtain the dark colour of dark rum, it is mixed with caramel.
  3. The barrels used to age white rum is the stainless steel barrels whereas charred oak barrels are used to age dark rum.
  4. The flavour and taste of white rum is light in addition to it’s sweetness while the flavour and taste of dark rum is quite strong and has a lot of overtones to it.
  5. White rum is used to mixed drinks and cocktails while dark rum is either drunk straight or used in cooking.
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Conclusion

White rums and dark rums are alcoholic beverages. They are prepared by the process of fermentation and distillation. The ingredients used in this process are the by-products of sugarcane such as molasses and sugarcane juice. The liquid obtained after fermentation process is stored in big barrels where it is left to age. At the end of years of ageing, rum is obtained.

There are not many differences between different types of rums as there are no specific standards for their comparison. The main difference between white rum and dark rum is the type of barrel that are used in their process of ageing. For white rum, stainless steel barrels are used while for dark rum, charred oak barrels are used. Also, dark rum is aged for a longer period of time than the white rum. 

The flavours of both of them also differ from each other in great ranges. On one hand, the white rum has a light flavour aside from its sweetness while on the other hand, dark rum has a strong flavour with a lot of overtones.  Due to the light flavour of white rum, it is generally used in cocktails and mixed drinks while dark rum is drunk straight or it can also be used in cooking.