Is Rum Sweet?

Is rum sweet? This is one question that people have wondered since it was first distilled. Some people believe it is because the sugar cane used in fermentation is sweet, while others say it’s not because of the distilling process.

So is rum sweet? Rum is most certainly not sweet. It is actually the opposite of sweet. Rum has a very strong, almost solvent/vodka-type odor and a very sharp and biting flavor. This is because it is distilled to such a high proof that almost all of the sugars and congeners are removed.

Most rums fall into one of two categories: light rum and dark rum. Light rums, generally speaking, have very little flavor and pack little punch when it comes down to the nitty-gritty.

No, Rum Is Not Sweet

Rum is not sweet. In fact, it is a very dry liquor. The sweetness found in some rums comes from the addition of sugar to the distillation process.

Other flavors you may find with rum are vanilla and caramel, but not sweet as their names suggest.

Of course, there are different kinds of rums that have varying degrees of sweetness or dryness, based on what the distiller aims to achieve with the recipe.

Some examples of rum flavors:

  • Spicy with pepper and vanilla notes.
  • Sweet, nutty, and spicy with honey undertones.
  • A bouquet of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.

These are just some examples. There are many more rum flavors out there for you to discover!

What Kind Of Rum Is Sweet? 

To answer this question, you must first be aware of the different kinds of rum.

Here’s a list and description of the most common:

  • Light rum – This is clear in color and has a very subtle flavor. It’s great for mixed drinks because it doesn’t have much of a taste that will interfere with other ingredients.
  • Gold/amber rum – Gold or amber rums are medium-bodied rums that have caramel undertones, which give them their rich color. They are often used when making mixed drinks that call for dark rum.
  • Dark rum – Dark or black rums, as they are sometimes called, have a much stronger and richer flavor than light and gold rums. They also add deep color to the drinks you make with them.
  • Spiced rum – Lighter in color, spiced rum has a warm and spicy flavor from the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other spices.
  • Flavored rum – Flavored rums come in many varieties that all have unique flavors not found in other kinds of rum. Some popular flavors are coconut, orange, mango, and pina colada.

The kind of rum that is sweet is spiced rum. Spiced rums are usually made with sugar cane juice or molasses, which is what gives it its sweetness.

What Is The Taste Of Rum? 

Rum is a type of alcohol that has a very distinct taste. Unlike whiskey, it doesn’t have a grainy undertone to it and isn’t meant to be savored in the same way.

The best way to describe rum’s flavor is spicy and sharp – with citrus flavors that are enhanced by vanilla or caramel, depending on which kind of rum you are drinking.

Rum has a very distinct smell to it, which comes from the distillation process, so if you are tasting rum for the first time, be aware that its aroma will not be what you expect.

Is Rum Sweeter Than Whiskey? 

No. Whiskey is not sweet at all – it has a very strong taste and, like rum, can also come in different varieties based on the region it’s produced in.

But what gives whiskey its sweetness? The addition of corn or other grain during the fermentation process is what creates that sweeter flavor. 

Rum does not get its sweetness from the addition of anything, other than sugar cane juice or molasses depending on which kind you are drinking.

Rum is a bit harsher in taste and smell because it doesn’t go through a distillation process that happens multiple times as whiskey does. But this also means that rum has a higher alcohol content by volume (ABV) than whiskey.

Why Does Rum Have No Sugar? 

To be clear, there are different kinds of rum that have varying levels of sweetness and dryness based on the recipe. But we will focus on un-sweetened or, as it’s called, “silver” rum.

Silver rums do not contain sugar because they go through a second distillation process. Sugar is added to some rums as a flavor enhancer.

Some examples of how rum is sweetened:

  • Aging in wood barrels – This process slowly caramelizes the sugar and gives the rum its distinct flavors.
  • Adding molasses or cane juice – These ingredients give rums their rich color and subtle sweetness.

The most important thing to remember about rum is that it’s not meant to taste like sugar, even if some rums are sweetened.

Does Rum Have Any Sugar In It?  

Yes. There are different kinds and quantities of sugar added to rum, but the percentage isn’t usually very high because rum is meant to be dry.

Light rums usually have added sweetener in them, though not much, and dark rums can also contain a small amount of sugar because it helps create that rich color. The percentage is usually under 20 percent.

Spiced rums, which are popular around the holidays, are some of the sweetest kinds of rum because they have added sugar syrup or molasses. The amount of sugar can be as high as 50 percent. 


In conclusion, Rum is not sweet. Some varieties of rum are, but not all. The majority is dry (not sweet).

If you like sweeter drinks, then go for something like flavored vodka or spiced rum!

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