DRECON

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IMPORTANT !! Hydrometers do NOT measure sugar.

Read this to understand the data in the table:

 

The Hydrometer method measures a change in density and I assume that the density change is caused by the addition of sugar.

The Hydrometer method does not measure actual sugar, so it is possible that something other then sugar has been added to the rum after distillation that causes the change in density.

If the producer labels their products as rum, they are only allowed to add sugar and caramel color (EU law).

The calculation also has to rely on the fact that the %abv listed on the label is correct. If the producers has made a proofing error so the true %abv of the rum is different then listed on the label, the calculation's below will not be accurate.

According to EU law, the %abv listed on the label has to within +/- 0.3% accurracy.

 

Rums that's being listed with 0-5 g/L below should be considered to have no sugar added. Long aging periods (or new innovative aging by Lost Spirits Distillery) has an impact on the density. I have seen measurements that shows 3-4g/L in rums that have no sugar added. Because of that, I have made the decision to consider all rums in the 0-5 g/L range as unsweetend with sugar.

 

Latest table update: Dec 4th 2018

Sorted by Name:

 

RUM %ABV label Hydrometer Measurement/Reading Sugar g/L
1423 3rd Edt. Panama 17y 43,0 40,3 10
A.H.Riise Centennial Celebration 45,0 23,5 76
A.H.Riise Non-Plus Ultra Very Rare Rum 42,0 16,2 82
A.H.Riise Royal Danish Navy Rom 40,0 <19 >66
A.H.Riise Royal Danish Navy Rom 55,0 33 96
A.H.Riise XO Port Cask Finish 45,0 32,4 48
Angostura 1919 40,0 36,5 13
Angostura 1824 40,0 35,2 18
Angostura Cask no.1 1st edt. 40,0 30,7 32
Angostura Cask no.1 Oloroso Sherry cask 40,0 39,4 0-5
Appleton Estate 12 43,0 42,7 0-5
Appleton Estate 21 43,0 42,8 0-5
Arcane Extraroma 40,0 35,1 18
Atlantico Private Cask 40,0 33,2 25
Bacardi Gran Reserva 40,0 35,3 17
Bacardi Reserva Limitada 40,0 36,0 15
Bacardi Spice 40,0 34,1 22
Bacardi Superior 37,5 37,5 0-5
Berrys´ Caribbean Rum XO 46,0 44,5 7
Berrys´ Own Selection Finest Jamaican Rum 1990 46,0 46,3 0-5
Berrys´ Own Selection Finest Nicaraguan Rum 1999 46,0 46,3 0-5
Berrys´ Reserve Demerara Rum 1975 (Port Morant) 46,0 44,8 6
Braunstein Sankt Croix 40,0 40,6 0-5
Bristol Classis Rum Caroni 1974 46,0 46,5 0-5
Bristol Classis Rum Caroni 1996 43,0 43,5 0-5
Bristol Classis Rum Fine Barbados Rum 2003 43,0 43,0 0-5
Bristol Classis Rum Jamaican Rum 2002 43,0 43,2 0-5
Bristol Classis Rum Port Morant Demerara 1990 25y 46,0 46,0 0-5
Bristol Classis Rum Port Morant Demerara 1999 46,0 45,2 0-5
Bristol Classis Rum Rockley Still 1986 (Sherry Finish) 46,0 42,6 15
Brugal 1888 40,0 37,1 12
Brugal Anejo 38,0 36,1 7
Brugal Anejo 38,0 37,4 0-5
Brugal Anejo Reserva 38,0 36,1 7
Brugal Especial 40,0 39,0 0-5
Brugal Especial (old) 40,0 38,7 0-5
Brugal Extra Viejo 38,0 36,0 7
Brugal Extra Viejo Reserva 38,0 36,7 0-5
Brugal Ron Extra Viejo 38,0 36,1 7
Brugal Siglo de Oro 40,0 38,1 8
Brugal XV 38,0 35,2 11
Cadenhead's BBR Blackrock 11y 59,1 58,8 0-5
Captain Morgan Private Stock 40,0 26,4 45
Caribbean Reserve, Enmore distillery Demerara 1998 46,0 45,8 0-5
Carta Vieja Golden Cask Solera 18 40,0 38,1 7
Carta Vieja Golden Cask Solera 18 40,0 38,1 7
Cihuatan Solera 8 Gran Reserva 40,0 35,6 17
Clement Single Cask Très vieux rhum 100% Canne Bleue 43,6 42,1 6
Clement Single Cask Très vieux rhum Vanille intense 42,8 42,2 0-5
Clement VSOP 40,0 39,5 0-5
Clement VSOP 125th anniv. 40,0 39,9 0-5
Companie Des Indes Barbados Foursquare 16y 60,0 60,0 0-5
Companie Des Indes Jamaica Hampden 14y 58,0 58,0 0-5
Companie Des Indes Jamaica Worthy Park 7y 43,0 43,0 0-5
Conde de Cuba 15 anos 38,0 35,4 9
Conde de Cuba 5 anos 38,0 36,9 0-5
Coruba 18y 40,0 39,9 0-5
Cubaney Centenario 41,0 35,1 22
Damoiseau VO 42,0 41,9 0-5
Danica Rum 40,0 40,5 0-5
Demerara Rum 1971 Gordon & Macphail 50,0 46,0 19
Depaz Grande Reserve XO 45,0 44,6 0-5
Dictador 12 40,0 40,7 0-5
Dictador 20 40,0 40,9 0-5
Dictador XO Perpetual 40,0 39,3 0-5
Dictador XO Insolent 40,0 39,1 0-5
Diplomatico Ambassador 47,0 41,7 23
Diplomatico Blanco Reserve 40,0 38,1 8
Diplomatico Reserva 40,0 37,8 9
Diplomatico Reserva 40,0 36,8 12
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva 40,0 27,7 41
Diplomatico Single Vintage 1997 43,0 38,1 19
Diplomatico Single Vintage 2000 43,0 38,1 20
Diplomatico Single Vintage 2001 43,0 37,5 22
Doorly's 6y 40,0 39,8 0-5
Doorly's 12y 40,0 39,9 0-5
Dos Maderas Luxus 40,0 29,9 35
Dos Maderas PX 5+5 40,0 29,7 36
E.S.A.FIELD 43,0 41,7 0-5
Edward Gunpowder Spiced Rum 46,0 46,0 0-5
El Dorado 5 40,0 37,0 12
El Dorado 8 40,0 35,8 15
El Dorado 12 40,0 29,7 36
El Dorado 15 43,0 33,4 37
El Dorado 21 43,0 38,8 16
El Dorado 25 1980 43,0 28,6 51
El Dorado 25 1986 43,0 32,8 39
El Dorado 25 1988 43,0 30,0 47
El Dorado Rare Collection Enmore 1993 56,5 55,7 0-5
El Dorado Rare Collection Enmore 1996 57,2 55,7 8
El Dorado Rare Collection Port Mourant 1997 57,9 57,0 0-5
El Dorado Rare Collection Port Mourant 1999 61,4 61,0 0-5
El Dorado Rare Collection Versailles 2002 63,0 61,0 11
El Dorado Single Barrel EHP 40,0 40,0 0-5
El Dorado Single Barrel ICBU 40,0 39,0 0-5
El Dorado Single Barrel PM 40,0 40,0 0-5
El Dorado Spiced 37,5 31,1 22
English Harbour Rum 1981 40,0 37,0 12
English Spirit Distillery - Old Salt Rum 42,0 40,5 6
Fortuna 8 40,0 34,9 19
Foursquare ECS series 2005 59,0 58,9 0-5
Foursquare ECS series Port Cask Finish 40,0 39,6 0-5
Foursquare ECS series PREMISE 46,0 46,1 0-5
Foursquare ECS series Zinfandel 43,0 42,9 0-5
Gold of Mauritius 40,0 31,6 30
Havana Club 3 40,0 39,5 0-5
Havana Club 15 40,0 38,1 8
Havana Club Especial 40,0 34,0 22
Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros 45,0 43,5 7
Havana Club Tributo 2018 40,0 37,5 9
Havana Club Union 40,0 38,0 8
Havana Club Maximo 40,0 35,8 16
Holey Dollar Rum Silver Coin 40,0 40,0 0-5
HSE 1998 Single Cask btl. 2009 47,8 46,9 0-5
HSE 1998 Single Cask btl. 2013 47,8 46,9 0-5
HSE 2002 Single Malt Finish 44,0 43,7 0-5
HSE 2005 Sherry Finish (PX) btl.2013 46,0 45,6 0-5
HSE 2005 Single Malt Finish btl.2013 44,0 43,7 0-5
HSE Black Sheriff 40,0 39,5 0-5
HSE Extra Vieux XO 43,0 42,2 0-5
HSE Rhum Blanc 50,0 49,5 0-5
John Milroy, Finest Jamaican Rum 26y Rare old rum 50,0 49,9 0-5
Juuls Flying No.11 Jamaica 30y 61,6 61,2 0-5
Juuls Ping No.9 Jamaica 1977 36y 61,0 60,7 0-5
Kaniche XO 40,0 33,5 24
Kraken Spiced Rum 40,0 33,0 26
La Confrerie du Rhum - Cuvée 1 Barbados 43,0 43,1 0-5
La Confrerie du Rhum - Cuvée 2 Guadeloupe 42,0 42,2 0-5
La Hechicere 40,0 39,7 0-5
La Mauny Extra Rubis 42,0 40,6 0-5
La Mauny Extra Saphir 40,0 38,8 0-5
La Mauny Rhum vieux 1995 42,0 41,1 0-5
La Mauny X.O. 40,0 39,7 0-5
Lost Spirits Distillery Navy Style 55,0 54,0 0-5
Mombacho Ron 15 year 43,0 40,5 10
Mount Gay 1703 43,0 42,9 0-5
Noordbo Handelen - Fiji 2003 63,6 63,1 0-5
Ocean's 7 Mellow 40,0 33,8 23
Ocean's Rum Atlantic Edition 43,0 39,9 12
Old Jamaica 1982 48,0 48,0 0-5
Opthimus 15 OportO 43,0 35,8 29
Opthimus 25 38,0 27,6 35
Opthimus 25 Malt Whisky (Tomatin) 43,0 34,1 34
Origenes 18 40,0 35,7 16
Paulsen Collection 40,0 40,5 0-5
PHRAYA 40,0 40,0 0-5
Plantation Barbados 15 year Single Cask Sherry Finish 42,0 37,7 17
Plantation Belize 7 Single Cask 43,0 37,9 20
Plantation Cuba 1998 Single Cask 42,0 37,4 18
Plantation Extreme No.1 Barbados 2005 11y 56,3 55,0 7
Plantation Extreme No.1 St.Lucia 2005 11y 53,8 52,0 9
Plantation Extreme No.2 Fiji 16y 61,1 61,2 0-5
Plantation Extreme No.2 Guyana 18y 59,7 59,2 0-5
Plantation Grenada 1996 Single Cask 42,0 35,7 24
Plantation Grenada 1998 Old Reserve 42,0 36,9 20
Plantation Grenada 2003 Old Reserve 42,0 37,9 16
Plantation Guadeloupe 1998 Single Cask Sauternes 42,0 37,4 18
Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo 42,0 37,6 17
Plantation Guatemala XO Single Cask Denmark 40,0 34,9 19
Plantation Guyana 1988 Single Cask 42,0 38,0 16
Plantation Guyana 2005 Old Reserve 45,0 40,5 19
Plantation Jamaica/Guyana 1991 Single Cask 43,0 36,8 24
Plantation Jamaica 1992 Single Cask 42,0 39,0 12
Plantation Jamaica 1999 Single Cask Port 45,0 41,0 17
Plantation Jamaica 2000 Old Reserve 42,0 37,9 16
Plantation Martinique 2002 Single Cask 42,0 39,2 11
Plantation Panama 2002 Old Reserve 42,0 37,4 18
Plantation Trinidad 1989 Single Cask Abel finish 45,0 35,2 39
Plantation Trinidad 1997 Single Cask 43,0 40,8 9
Plantation Trinidad 1998 Single Cask Porto 42,0 37,8 17
Plantation Trinidad 1999 Single Cask Banyuls 42,0 36,9 19
Plantation Trinidad 1999 Single Cask Sherry 43,0 38,7 17
Plantation Trinidad 1999 Single Cask Sherry 43,0 39,6 13
Plantation Trinidad 2002 Single Cask Marsala 42,0 37,5 18
Plantation XO 20th Anniv. 40,0 33,5 24
Presidente 23 40,0 26,0 47
Puntacana Club XOX 50 anniversary 40,0 33,7 23
Pusser's - Red label 42,0 38,5 6
Pusser's - Blue Label 54,5 50,3 20
Pusser's - Blue label 75,0 74,1 6
Pusser's 15 year 40,0 33,5 24
Pusser's Decanter John Paul Jones 47,8 39,0 38
Pusser's Decanter Yachting 42,0 37,2 19
Pyrat Pistol 40,0 31,9 29
Pyrat XO Reserve 40,0 33,6 24
Pyrat XO Reserve Planters Gold 40,0 26,4 45
R.L. Seale's 10y 43,0 42,5 0-5
R.L. Seale's 10y 46,0 45,8 0-5
Renegade Rum Company Barbados (Blackrock) 46,0 45,4 0-5
Renegade Rum Company Guyana (PM) 46,0 45,2 0-5
Renegade Rum Company Jamaica (Monymusk) 46,0 45,3 0-5
Renegade Rum Company Trinidad 1991 17y 46,0 45,9 0-5
Rhum J.M 1997 Rhum Vieux 48,8 49,0 0-5
Rhum J.M 1998 43,7 43,5 0-5
Rhum J.M 2003 44,8 43,6 0-5
Rhum J.M Armagnac cask - btl.2015 41,5 41,5 0-5
Rhum J.M Cuvée 1845 42,0 41,4 0-5
Richland Rum 43,0 42,9 0-5
Ron Abuelo Anejo 40,0 32,4 27
Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 40,0 34,3 20
Ron Abuelo Anejo 12 40,0 32,1 29
Ron Abuelo Centuria 40,0 34,5 20
Ron Barceló Imperial Premium 43,0 39,0 16
Ron Barco 15 40,0 34,5 20
Ron Botran Solera 1893 (old) 40,0 38,5 0-5
Ron Botran Solera 1893 Sistema 18 Solera 40,0 39,0 0-5
Ron Cartavio XO 40,0 32,0 29
Ron Centenario 30 40,0 27,0 44
Ron Cubaney Centenario 41,0 34,0 26
Ron Cubay Anejo 38,0 36,4 6
Ron Esclavo XO 1423 42,0 28,8 48
Ron Flor de Cana 12y 40,0 40,5 0-5
Ron Maestro Botero Reserva Especial 35,0 35,3 0-5
Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva Solera 15 40,0 38,8 0-5
Ron Millonario 10 Anivesario Reserva 40,0 31,0 32
Ron Millonario Solera 15 40,0 30,0 35
Ron Millonario XO 40,0 27,6 42
Ron Pampero Aniversary 40,0 35,7 16
Ron Pampero Blanco 37,5 37,5 0-5
Ron Quorhum 30 40,0 30,3 34
Ron Roble Vejo Ultra Anejo 40,0 37,5 10
Ron Santiago de Cuba 12 40,0 38,5 0-5
Ron Santiago de Cuba 20 40,0 38,6 0-5
Ron Santiago de Cuba 25 40,0 38,7 0-5
Ron Santiago de Cuba Anejo 38,0 37,3 0-5
Ron Santiago de Cuba Extra Anejo 485 anniv. 40,0 38,2 7
Ron Viejo de Caldas Gran Reserva Especial 40,0 40,0 0-5
Ron Zacapa 23 anos White Label 40,0 26,9 44
Ron Zacapa Black Label 40,0 27,0 44
Ron Zacapa Centenario Sistema Solera 23 40,0 28,9 38
Ron Zacapa Centenario Etiqueta Negra 43,0 35,8 28
Ron Zacapa Centenario Reserva Limitada 2013 45,0 41,1 17
Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 40,0 33,0 26
Ron Zacapa Centenario XO Premio Platino 40,0 28,0 41
Rum Agricola de Maderia Signature Series (David Staffa cask 193) 53,7 53,6 0-5
Rum Agricola de Maderia Signature Series (David Staffa cask 240) 54,6 54,2 0-5
Rum Club DA (Dark & Aged) 42,2 38,5 14
Rum Club LD (Light & Dry) 42,2 42,2 0-5
Rum Club PG (Pungent & Geeky) 47,0 44,6 11
Rum Club SR (Spiced & Rich) 42,2 38,0 16
Rum Company 10y 40,0 33,0 26
Rum Company 15y 42,0 38,0 16
Rum Company Aficionado 40,0 32,4 28
Rum Company Old Guadeloupe Calvados 43,0 39,6 14
Rum Company Special Cask 1423 25y 43,0 36,2 27
Rum Nation Barbados 10y 2014 40,0 36,2 14
Rum Nation Barbados 2001 - btl.2011 40,0 37,5 10
Rum Nation Caroni 1998 2014 rel 2nd batch 55,0 52,6 12
Rum Nation Demerara 1975 31y 43,0 38,2 19
Rum Nation Demerara 1985 43,0 38,4 18
Rum Nation Demerara 1990 23y 45,0 40,2 20
Rum Nation Demerara 1990 25y 45,0 43,7 6
Rum Nation Demerara No.14 40,0 35,5 17
Rum Nation Guatemala 40,0 27,1 43
Rum Nation Jamaica 1985 25y 43,0 40,6 9
Rum Nation Jamaica 1990 23y 45,0 41,2 16
Rum Nation Jamaica 1991 25y 55,7 55,2 0-5
Rum Nation Jamaica 8y 2015 Oloroso finish 50,0 49,4 0-5
Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still 2014 rel. 57,0 56,3 0-5
Rum Nation Martinique Anniv Edt. 12y 43,0 42,1 0-5
Rum Nation Martinique Hors d'Age 2013 rel. 43,0 42,7 0-5
Rum Nation Panama 21y 40,0 34,5 20
Rum Nation Peruano 8y 2014 rel. 42,0 37,1 19
Rum Nation Rare Rums Caroni 21y 59,2 58,7 0-5
Rum Nation Rare Rums Engenho Novo 2009-2017 52,0 51,6 0-5
Rum Nation Rare Rums Hampden 66,3 66,4 0-5
Rum Nation Rare Rums Savanna 54,2 54,0 0-5
Rum Nation Reunion 7y 2016 release 45,0 44,6 0-5
Saint James 15y 43,0 42,2 0-5
Saint James Cuvée 1765 42,0 41,3 0-5
Saint James Reserve 43,0 42,3 0-5
Samaroli Jamaica 2000 Rhapsody 45,0 45,0 0-5
Samaroli Nicaragua 1995 45,0 45,2 0-5
Santa Teresa Bicentenario A.J.Vollmer 40,0 37,3 11
Sea Wynde 46,0 45,5 0-5
Secret Treasures Old Guadeloupe 1992 42,0 42,0 0-5
Selvarey Cacao 35,0 26,8 26
Skotlander Rum I 40,0 39,8 0-5
Smith & Cross 57,0 57,0 0-5
St. Lucia Distillers 1931 82anv. 3rd edt. 43,0 38,7 17
St. Lucia Distillers 1931 85anv. 6th edt. 46,0 45,7 0-5
St. Nicholas Abbey 5y 40,0 41,1 0-5
St. Nicholas Abbey 12y 40,0 40,9 0-5
St. Nicholas Abbey 15y 40,0 41,8 0-5
Tanduay Rum 1854 40,0 39,8 0-5
The Real McCoy 3y 40,0 40,4 0-5
The Real McCoy 5y 40,0 40,2 0-5
The Real McCoy 12y 40,0 40,4 0-5
Thomas Tew 42,0 41,2 0-5
Trois Rivières 8 Ans d'Age 42,0 40,8 0-5
Trois Rivières Rhum Vieux 5 ans 40,0 39,5 0-5
Trois Rivières Millesime 1999 42,0 42,0 0-5
Velier Albion 1994 17y 60,4 60,4 0-5
Velier Blairmont 1991 56,0 57,0 0-5
Velier Caroni 1994 62,3 63,1 0-5
Velier Enmore 1995 16y 61,2 60,9 0-5
Velier Enmore and Port Mourant 1998 EHPM 62,2 61,6 0-5
Velier Port Mourant 1975 56,7 56,0 0-5
Velier Port Mourant 1993 65,0 67,0 0-5
Velier Port Mourant 1997 15y 65,7 65,2 0-5
Velier UF30E 1985 60,7 60,3 0-5
Wild Tiger 42,86 42,6 0-5
William Hinton Rum 6y (Carcavelos) 42,0 40,7 0-5
William Hinton Rum 6y (Maldita craft beer) 42,0 41,1 0-5
XM Special 12 40,0 35,5 17
Zaya (Trinidad) 40,0 34,5 20

 

 

IMPORTANT: The measurements listed BELOW are based on sample bottles send to me. Since I don't own the rum tested ( I don't have the bottle ), I have no way of knowing if the sample has been altered before it was send to me. I have however made the decision to publish the results anyway. You must however be aware that these Sugar g/L calculations (below), might not be correct.

RUM (SAMPLE) %ABV label Hydrometer Measurement/Reading Sugar g/L
Cadenhead's AWM Enmore 18y 1988 63,3 62,1 6
Depaz 84 45,0 44,6 0-5
Dillon 75 45,0 44,4 0-5
Domaine De Courcelles Guadeloupe 1972-2003-2005 54,0 53,2 0-5
Isautier 15 ans 40,0 39,3 0-5
La Favorite Coeur de Rhum 40,0 39,3 0-5
La Favorite Cuvée du Chateau 2000 43,0 41,8 0-5
La Favorite Cuvée d’exception Privilège 40,0 26,5 45
La Favorite Cuvée Spéciale des Cavistes 42,5 29,2 49
Our Rum & Spirits - Barbados WIRD 14y 43,0 42,8 0-5
Our Rum & Spirits - Guyana Enmore/Versailles 61,2 59,9 6
Rhum J.M 1997 44,2 43,4 0-5
Rhum J.M 2000 47,2 46,7 0-5
Rhum J.M Multimillesimes 42,5 41,9 0-5
Rhum Nokito (1920-1930) 43,0 42,6 0-5
Ron Aldea Cana Pura 42,0 40,9 0-5
Ron Aldea Dark 8y 40,0 27,9 41
Ron Aldea Familia 15y 40,0 34,7 20
Ron Aldea Superior 10y 40,0 33,9 22
Ron Aldea Tradicion 1991 42,0 35,0 27
Savanna Lotan 7 ans 2002 46,0 45,7 0-5
Trois Rivières 1953 45,0 44,3 0-5
Velier Enmore 1987 56,6 58,8 0-5
Velier LBI 1985 40,0 35,8 16
Velier MG 9 ans 49,0 47,9 0-5


I've received a few questions about the method I use to determine the sugar content in Rum (what we assume to be sugar), so I thought that I would write a detailed description on the method and also give some background info.

The Hydrometer.
When measuring the Alcohol content in a Liquid (in this case Rum), there are a few ways to do it. The most simple way is to use a Hydrometer which has a scale showing the alcohol by volume in % (also called %ABV). This type of Hydrometer is also refferred to as an Alcoholmeter. A Hydrometer works according to Archimedes law, which states:

Any object, wholly or partially immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.

So when the Hydrometer is put into the rum, it start to sink towards the bottom due to the weight of the Hydrometer. The "Glass bubble" on the Hydrometer, displaces the rum as it sinks, and the weight of the rum it displaces, is the amount of upward force that occurs on the Hydrometer (Pushing the Hydrometer upwards). When the Hydrometer sinks to the level where the upward force (due to displaced rum), and the downward force (due to the weight of the Hydrometer), are identical, the Hydrometer will level out and stay at that level. When this level is reached and the Hydrometer is not moving, the %ABV level is read on the scale at the top of the beaker (the surface of the Rum). If you take two rums with different %ABV (eg. 40% and 60%), the 40% rum has a higher density (more heavy, due to less Alcohol) compared to the 60% rum which has a lower density. So in the 60% rum, the Hydrometer will sink further into the rum, compared to the 40% rum, before it levels out and stop sinking.
Why this long description of how a Hydrometer works? Well its all about getting an understanding about density. In a Water/Alcohol solution, the density depends on the amount of Water (Higher density then alcohol) compared to Alcohol (Lower density then Water). What happens to a Rum when sugar (or something else) is added. In case of sugar, the density of the Rum increases, causing the weight of the rum to increase. So if you take a 40%ABV rum, and add sugar to it, the %ABV is still 40%ABV but due to the higher density, when measurements are done with a Hydrometer, you get an incorrect reading. The upward force applied to the Hydrometer is higher because the density of the rum increase when sugar is added. As a result, the Hydrometer does not sink to the correct level before it stops, and the reading on the Hydrometer shows an incorrect %ABV.

How does this correlate into sugar added then?
If we have a table that list the density of a liquid when sugar is added, and another table that lists the density of alcohol at different %ABV, we can use that information to create a conversion table. A description of the conversion table and the math behind it, will follow further down in this article.

All I need to get an estimated sugar added i g/L is the following:

1. Read the %ABV listed on the Rum bottle label (According to EU law, this listed value must be within 0,3% accurracy of the real %ABV of the Rum).
2. Measure the %ABV of the Rum using a Hydrometer (Understanding that if something is added to the Rum, the measurement will give a wrong value as described above). This must be done at 20°C since the Hydrometer is calibrated to that temperature. In case the temperature differs, I have a correction table to adjust the measurement.
3. Lookup in the table I created, using the values obtained in step 1 and 2 above.

The following assumptions is important to understand:

1. I assume that those rums, that results in a different %ABV (What's written on the label compared with the Hydrometer measurement), has something added. Something has caused the density of the rum to change. If we look at EU document 110 from 2008 which holds the definition of Rum, it is allowed to "Sweeten", Add caramel for colouring, but Flavouring is not allowed. So given those facts, I can only assume, that it's the "Sweeten" that impact the density. Aging in oak barrels, also add "something" to the rum (wood extracts), but according to information I have received from Richard Seale at Foursquare Distillery (Barbados), this will only have very little impact (resulting in a maximum of 3g/L miscalculation). (Update: Measurements has shown up to 5g/L for a specific rum from Lost Spirits Distillery).
 
2. The table I use to in my calculation, which lists density change in a liquid when sugar is added, is based on a solution between water and sugar. In rum we have a Water and Alcohol solution. The density of the two solutions (Water/Sugar and Water/Alcohol/Sugar) are different, but my calculations is about change in density, and not the fixed values at different solutions. So I assume that the density change is identical (checking my measurements with measurements done by Swedish state controlled Systembolaget and Finnish Alko, shows almost identical measurements).

3. The values for density change in a liquid when sugar is added, is not 100% linear, but very close to (in the range I use for my calculations). I assume that the density increase is linear in my calculations.

These 3 assumptions are the reason why I lists my results with the word "Estimated" sugar added.

Creating the conversion table.

The first table I use for the conversion table, is the document that describes the density change in a water/sugar solution as sugar level increases. This is described in Circular of the National Bureau of standards C440, Polarimetry, Saccharimetry and the sugars by Frederick J.Bates and Associates (issued May 1, 1942). From the document, I’ve used the first column (% of sucrose by weight (brix)) and the 3rd column (Apparent specific gravity at 20C/20C)
The values is used to calculate the average increase in gravity pr. Brix degree change. 1 degree brix is approx. 10g sugar/L. Since the rum we want to measure most likely has below 100g/L, I have chosen to do the average density change for the brix range 0-10 brix (approx. 0-100g/L sugar added). Within that range, the average density increase/Brix change is 4,00331 (Value used in formula later on).

Density / Sugar

The second table used for the conversion table is the document that describes the density of a water/alcohol solution. This is described in the document called Tables Alcoométriques internationales (International Alcoholmetric Tables). From the document, I’ve used table IVa  on page 51-53 to get a listing of the density of the rum at different % levels.

Density / Alcohol


Input to the formula (with example):

40%ABV rum that with a Hydrometer has a "wrong" value of 35%ABV.

At 40%ABV the density of the Rum is: 948,05 kg/m3
At 35%ABV the density of the Rum is: 955,59 kg/m3
The average density increase pr brix: 4,00331
Calculation is 100mL solution, so multiply with factor 10 to get value in g/L

The result is:
(("Density Hydrometer %ABV" - "Density label %ABV") / "Average density increase pr. brix" ) * 10 = Sugar added in g/L

((955,59 - 948,05) / 4,00331) * 10 = 18,8 g/L

The conversion table I've produced, are listed in the picture below.

Conversion Table 


Validating the method.
The Swedish state controlled "Systembolaget" and the Finnish "Alko" have published values about the amount of sugar in some rums (listed in g/L). Not knowing the method used for these measurements, I can only assume that these measurements has been done in a lab with highend equipment, giving accurate results. With my simple Hydrometer measurements and the conversion table, I've measured some of the same rums, and these are the results:

 Brand  Lab My measurement 
 Angostura 1824 Aged 12 years    17  18
 Angostura 1919  14  13
 Botran Solera 1893 Gran Reserva Anejo  9  9
 Diplomatico Reserva 8 anos     7  9
 Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva 12 anos   41  30
 El Dorado 12 year old     45  36
 El Dorado 15 year old      31  37
 Plantation Jamaica Old Reserve 2000   17  16
 Ron Zacapa Centenario 23    45/20  38

 

Another way to validate the method, is by adding a specific amount of cane sugar to a white rum which have no sugar added to start with. In the example below, a cheap white supermarket rum which has an %ABV of 37,5%, was used. 200mL of the rum was poured into a beaker, and a picture was taken, showing that the Hydrometer sink to the bottom. 8 gram of cane sugar (8g/200mL = 40g/L) was added to the white rum and dissolved by stirring the rum for a few minutes. After the sugar had dissolved into the rum, the Hydrometer was placed back into the rum and a second picture was taken. On the second picture, the Hydrometer does not sink to the bottom, but stays at the surface. In both cases the rum is 37,5% ABV, but the density change due to added sugar, causes the Hydrometer to measure a wrong value. The "wrong" value measured are 26,4% ABV and this was measured at 24°C so we have to temperature correct the measurement using a correction table. 26,4%@24°C = 25%@20°C , looking up in the Sugar g/L conversion table I've created, 37,5% on the label and 25% incorrect Hydrometer measurement gives an exact match to the expected 40g/L sugar added.  

 Hydrometer No Sugar Hydrometer with SugarResult

 

 

References to EU documents:

Accuracy of %ABV listed on the label:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32011R1169
Annex XII ALCOHOLIC STRENGTH
4.Any other beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol  0,3 % vol.
 

Sugar is allowed in rum:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:02008R0110-20140207
Article 5 General rules
1 (e) solely be sweetened to round off the final taste of the product, according to Annex I(3). The maximum level for the products used for rounding off listed under Annex I(3)(a) to (f) shall be decided upon in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 25(3). The particular legislation of the Member States shall be taken into account.


Definition of rum:
ANNEX II SPIRIT DRINKS 1(a-f)
Categories of spirit drinks
1.    Rum 
(a) Rum is:
(i) a spirit drink produced exclusively by alcoholic fermentation and distillation, either from molasses or syrup produced in the manufacture of cane sugar or from sugar-cane juice itself and distilled at less than 96 % vol. so that the distillate has the discernible specific organoleptic characteristics of rum, or
(ii) a spirit drink produced exclusively by alcoholic fermentation and distillation of sugar-cane juice which has the aromatic characteristics specific to rum and a volatile substances content equal to or exceeding 225 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol. This spirit may be placed on the market with the word ‘agricultural’ qualifying the sales denomination ‘rum’ accompanied by any of the geographical indications of the French Overseas Departments and the Autonomous Region of Madeira as registered in Annex III.

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of rum shall be 37,5 %.

(c) No addition of alcohol as defined in Annex I(5), diluted or not, shall take place.

(d) Rum shall not be flavoured.

(e) Rum may only contain added caramel as a means to adapt colour.

(f) The word ‘traditionnel’ may supplement any of the geographical indications mentioned in category 1 of Annex III where the rum is produced by distillation at less than 90 % vol., after alcoholic fermentation of alcohol-producing materials originating exclusively in the place of production considered. This rum must have a volatile substances content equal to or exceeding 225 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol and must not be sweetened. The use of the word ‘traditionnel’ does not prevent the use of the terms ‘from sugar production’ or ‘agricultural’ which may be added to the sales denomination ‘rum’ and to geographical indications.

This provision shall not affect the use of the word ‘traditionnel’ for all products not covered by this provision, according to their own specific criteria.

 

 





People have asked if I would provide some simple instructions on how I measure the Sugar content in Rum. Below are listed the few simple steps needed to make an estimated calculation.

 

You will need the following:

  1. The Rum you want to measure. With the equipment I use, this requires at least 21cl of rum.
  2. A Hydrometer/Alcoholmeter capable of measuring with high precision. I use 6 different Alcoholmeters, each covering a range of 10% with a precision of 0.1% (e.g. 0-10%, 10-20%, 20-30% .... ).
  3. A Beaker in which the rum is measured. I use a 250mL beaker with a diameter of 3cm (That's why I need at least 21cl to do a measurement).
  4. A Thermometer to measure the temperature of the Rum.
  5. My conversion table
  6. Temperature correction table if Rum is not 20 degree Celsius

 

The steps are as follows:

 

1. Pour 21cl of rum into the beaker. Measure the temperature to make sure it's 20 degree Celsius (if not, you have two options, cool/heat the rum to 20 degree Celsius or make a note of the temperature and use a correction table later).

2. Using the Alcoholmeter, measure the % abv. level of the rum. Make a note of the measurement. If the measurement is not done at 20 degree Celsius, use the temperature correction table to find the % abv value at 20 degree Celsius.

3. Read the % abv. listed on the label. Make a note of the value. According to EU regulations, the % abv listed on the label must be within 0,3% accuracy of the rums actual % abv.

4. Use my table and the two values found in step 2 and 3 above (example values are 35.3% and 40%) to find the sugar level in gram/Liter. In this example, I measured 35.3% so the sugar in g/L ends up somewhere between 15 and 19 g/L. In this example I would say 18g/L.

 

If you don't have a temperature correction table for your Alcoholmeter (In case you measure the % abv at a temperature other then the one your Alcoholmeter is calibrated at (normally 20 degree Celsius)), use a search engine and look for "Correction Table for an Alcoholometer Calibrated at 20oC"