Barton Light Rum

2 ratings (2 Epinions reviews)
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Barton Light Rum: Cheapness, Plain and Simple

Feb 3, 2006 (Updated Aug 8, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Low price; Ok in sweeter fruit drinks; Shatterproof bottle

Cons:Not good at all in dry drinks or anything else that emphasizes the rum

The Bottom Line: This isn't the best rum on the market by a mile, but its low price does give it a certain appeal.

Looking for a bottle of booze for your next party that doesn’t cost a fortune? As most mixologists know, a good brand of rum can be rather costly and can cause quite a strain on the party host’s wallet. But there are some less expensive brands of rum available- brands that lack the level of quality that many expect but that are ok to use in certain mixed drinks. One such brand is Barton Light Rum, a budget- priced rum.

Basic Characteristics of This Liquor:

Clear in color, this rum is thin and runny, with an aroma that features the scents of alcohol, vanilla, and a dash of citrus with a somewhat sweet character.

This rum has a flavor that is harsh at first, with the tastes of sweet vanilla and a hint of fruit. There are some oak notes as well, and once the taste has subsided a little bit, the aftertaste of this rum is like a piece of fruit soaked in alcohol. Some candy- like notes such as dry butterscotch can be tasted at this point and they linger for a while after drinking.

This rum is 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume) and it sold in assorted sizes from 200 ml all the way up to 1.75 liters. It is distilled in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Drinks Made with This Liquor:

Barton Light Rum is best used in mixed drinks where the taste of the rum is masked by the other flavors contained within the drink. Some examples are:

Planter’s Punch

2 oz. Barton Light Rum
2 oz. Orange Juice
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
.5 oz. Lime Juice
Few drops of Grenadine

Shake rum and fruit juices with ice. Strain into a Collins glass and add grenadine syrup. Garnish with orange slice and a cherry.


2 oz. Barton Light Rum
.5 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
.5 oz. Lime Juice

Combine ingredients in a hurricane glass and garnish with a cherry and piece of pineapple. Dark rum can also be used in place of half of the light rum.

Blue Hawaiian

1 oz. Barton Light Rum
1 oz. Blue Curacao
2 oz. Pineapple Juice

Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a Collins glass.

Final Thoughts:

Barton’s light rum is an inexpensive liquor that is often purchased by people on a budget and by people who need larger amounts of rum for use in making rum punch and other party drinks. This product (and the remaining liquors in the Barton family) is owned by Constellation Brands, Inc. and it can be found in many liquor stores around the U.S.

This rum is suitable for only a few types of drinks and this is the main reason why I include only three mixed drinks in my list above. Because this rum isn’t all that tasty served by itself, it makes sense to avoid serving it in drinks where the flavor of the rum is especially dominant. It isn’t very good at all in, say, a rum driver, pina colada, or many other simple drinks. The reason, of course, is because this rum is simply not that great tasting. It doesn’t come even close to some of the higher quality rum available on the market and this is why I recommend using it as a mixer in fruity drinks. With enough fruit and sugary tastes mixed with Barton, you can’t really taste the rum as strongly as usual, making it more tolerable. There are some experts out there who would be able to tell that cheap rum was used in any drink, even one like a pina colada, and they would cringe at the thought of making a good drink using Barton Light Rum. But most palates are not that sophisticated, making this a good choice of rum for making party drinks.

The main appeal of this rum- and possibly the only reason why people are drawn to it- is its low price. A 1.75 liter bottle can be purchased for the ridiculously low price of about $12 and it can usually be found on the lower shelves in the liquor store- where store owners typically place the cheaper rum hoping customer won’t notice it and will buy something more expensive. This $12 price is like paying about $5.20 for a standard, 750 ml bottle. Put another way, a price this low works out to approximately 31 cents per 1.5 ounce shot. Thus, when you judge a product like this by price, it is very hard to beat.

On the downside, though, this rum lacks the richness and character of some of the world’s finest and you can quickly tell this isn’t a great product when you take a sip of it straight up. It’s a little harsh at first, but actually finishes rather clean and simple. It doesn’t add much at all to some of the simpler drinks, like a rum & Coke, for instance. You can barely tell there is rum in the mixture when Barton’s is used and the overall taste is too sweet and lacking in contrast. It isn’t terrible, but it is most definitely very boring.

Barton sells this rum in a shatterproof plastic bottle and this adds some safety to the experience. I have been at parties where bottles of expensive booze were lost when the bottle was accidentally dropped and broken. This bottle cannot break, so it gives the bartender a little more peace of mind. On the other hand, I suppose if it did break you really wouldn’t lose a whole lot with the price being this low. Still, no one wants to waste any type of liquor- even the cheap stuff- so it is nice that Barton bottles it this way.

Overall, this rum earns only a few points in a few areas. Its taste is rather weak compared to other rum and it doesn’t add much at all to many drinks. But the price is very low and I don’t think it’s too bad when served in some of the fruitier mixed drinks. I can’t give it a full recommendation with this type of taste, but I can agree that rum like this does have its use. It makes a good choice for those who need a large quantity of rum to produce a large volume of drinks at a minimal cost. But for everyone else, Barton Light Rum is something to pass on.

Be Sure to Click on the Links Below to Read More Reviews of Other Liquors:

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Barton Vodka
Crown Royal

Recommend this product? No

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