The best rum is sweet, smooth and strong Kong Haakon from A. H. Riise

I am of the opinion that you should enjoy the taste of alcohol. You shouldn’t drink and then shudder with “This really has a kick to it!” Drinking alcohol should be a joy, not a struggle with your tastebuds. This goes along with what Martin Žufánek explained in one of his interviews.

That’s why I drink good, aromatic, fragrant rums, usually from the Caribbean. And just to make things clear, rum is what you make from sugar cane, not potatoes. But I haven’t always been a rum person. As for my interest in aromatic rums, props to my friend and former colleague, Linda Hlaváčová. Years ago, when we wanted to get Robert Němec drunk after his Prague lecture, I went to ask Linda “Care to recommend something interesting?“. Linda ordered Legendario. These were the times when Legendario was not as famous as it is now, when I did not know this was not a proper rum but rather a rum liquor. And this is how I started exploring the world of quality rums. PS: What is famous now and everybody likes it is the Legendario Elixir 7YO but Legendario is a brand of many other rums, which are way stronger.

Today’s best rums: the A. H. Riise brand

I do not consider myself a rum expert but I have had experience with quite some and with A. H. Riise, I feel what they do is a perfect match. If we share a similar rum taste, you will probably find it to be your perfect match as well and you will happily admit this is really the best :-). If not, I will be happy to read your tips in the comments and to try what I haven’t tried so far. This leads to the answer to the question: How to get to understand rums at least a bit? I think this is the same for any alcohol – from wine and beer  to whisky. You need to drink your share. No, you don’t have to drink 2 bottles a night but try different types of rum. Visit good bars, where they recommend new rums, based on what you know and like. They need to have a sufficient supply of rums.

In Prague, I have been very happy in La Casa de La Havana vieja na Opatovické. In Brno, I adore Bar, který neexistuje, where Anička, their bartender, first got me and my friend, Honza Kvasnička, acquainted with our first A. H. Riise, the Royal Danish Navy. This way, you get familiar with rum tastes and find out what suits you and what does not. Buy new rums, try them, go to bars and experiment. The results will come in time. 🙂

If you wish to know more about A. H. Riise, a short quote from

A.H. Riise was one of the prominent Danish entrepreneurs. The A.H.Riise rums were created to celebrate his name. A.H. Riise lived and worked in the former Danish West Indies (today’s Virgin Islands) from 1838 to 1878. Albrecht Heinrich Riise was the first apothecary on the St. Thomas Island. In 1838, he got the royal decree to run a pharmacy in the capital, Charlotte Amalie.

A.H. Riise was the son of a Danish businessman and captain, after graduating from a school in Copenhagen, he left for the Virgin Islands. That’s where he got married and raised his children. He often travelled around the islands, bringing herbs from his trips, which he later cultivated himself and used to make medicinals, cosmetics and alcohol.

He also started to manufacture rum, which was originally used as a stomach-ache cure for his patients. He soon became a prominent citizen, chairing several local institutions.

The rums from A.H. Riise won numerous prizes in various competitions and exhibitions.

The Kong Haakon Christmas Tasting

I got this beauty for Christmas tasting. It is a limited edition celebrating friendship between two men, king Haakon VII of Norway and Valdemar Riise. This rum is Extra Old, i.e. a blend of extra aged distillates. You will smell vanilla, caramel, cocoa with oranges and sugar cane.

If there’s anything to say about this rum, it is a uniquely elegant blend – speaking of the bottle, the packaging, colour, and taste. There are very few rums that can be sweet, fragrant and strong like Kong Haakon. This is a rum to enjoy or a wonderful gift, showing how much you care about the person you give it to. That is, if they don’t hate rums. It would not work then, I guess 🙂

Wherever you shop, what matters is that you choose well and enjoy what you buy. Here’s to good rums!

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Vánoce dorazily. Konečně máme bar!

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Pavel Ungr

I am rum fan from Czech republic, founder rum magazine RumRock. I taste rums, test bars & degustations and rum rum events write about it. I also write in czech. Check also my Instagram

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