What factors influence the colour of Rum?

Clear like water ,amber, sparkling gold, cherry, light straw or burnished copper –
Rum seems to be produced in an array of different colours.
But what exactly influences the colour of your favourite Rum?
The fascinating journey of Rum’s transformation from clear new made spirit to the rich, golden, or amber hues in your glass is influenced by a blend of tradition, science and nature:


The Rum-making process begins with the selection of sugar cane derivatives, such as sugar cane juice or molasses. Each type brings its own character to the mix, affecting the resulting colour.

The duration and conditions of fermentation matter. Longer fermentation sometimes leads to a paler spirit, while shorter ones may result in a richer colour.

The type of still used – pot stills or column stills – can impact colour. Pot stills retain more impurities and colour compounds, producing a more colourful spirit.

4.Barrel type:
Rum is aged in oak barrels, and the type of oak, whether American, European and the previous use of the barrel (e.g. bourbon, sherry, wine) contribute to both flavour and colour.

5.Aging duration:
Time is Rum’s greatest ally. As the spirit matures in the barrel, it extracts tannins and compounds from the wood, becoming darker with age.

6.Climate and Environment:
The Rum’s aging location matters. Distilleries in hotter climates like Guangxi, south China experience more interaction with the barrel, often resulting in darker hues.

7.Bottling Strength:
Cask strength Rums, bottled without dilution, tend to be darker hues.

Some Rums employ molasses of caramel colouring (E150a) to standardize colour, although this practice is controversial among purists.

Cold filtration can remove colour and cloudiness, producing a lighter appearance. Our San Bart’s premium Rum is not cold filtered so there can during some circumstances be formed an harmless cloudy mist at the bottom of the bottle, totally an all natural quality sign. Does the colour have influence over which Rum you choose?

Understanding the influences on Rum colour is not only informative but enhances your appreciation of it. The next time you savour a glass of San Bart’s premium Rum, take a moment to admire its golden hue.

It’s a testament to the artistry of Rum making and the myriad of factors that make each bottle unique.