Appleton Estate Extra (Jamaica) 750ml/$33.70. Available at selected LCBO outlets (product #105742). Appleton has been making rum since 1749, and it's getting really good at it. This 12-year-old is very full, with a long finish and a buttery mouth feel. Snifter-worthy. Rating: NNNN
Screech (Jamaica, bottled in Canada) 750ml/$22.80 Available at selected LCBO outlets (product #4622). Hey, a little CanCon in your rum. East Coasters used to trade salt cod for rum, which they then aged on the Rock. Don't let the name throw you - it's got some real depth: fruity, burnt sugar, dark. Rating: NNN
Goslings Black Seal (Bermuda) 750ml/$23.75. Available at most LCBO outlets (product #367672). Very fruity, very bouncy - a good choice for fruit-based concoctions like daiquiris or zombies (and don't be using any powdered mix). Will also work very well on its own or with just a little ice. Rating: NNNN
Captain Morgan Dark (blend of Caribbean and Canadian) 750ml/$22.30. Available at most LCBO outlets (product #2196). Forget white rum. Use this caramel-tinged dark as the basis for a powerful Cuba libra. Not the rum-and-coke you puked up at the prom, but the yummy cocktail made with lime and rum topped with cola. Rating: NNN
Cockspur Fine Rum (Barbados) 750ml/$21.80. Available at a limited number of LCBO outlets (product #30437). A performer at the price. Lots of complexity, big flavour, long finish. Drink straight up or use for a real Caribbean rum punch: one part sour (lime), two parts sweet (sugar water) three parts strong (golden rum), four parts weak (ice). Rating: NNNN
Honourable mentions: Dos Maderas, $44.20; Flor de Cana 12-year-old, $39.95.