I am looking for the brand of light rum that has the stongest rum flavor. I emphasize light because what I am looking for is distinctive rum flavor, not the flavor of the barrel in which it was aged. I normally use Bacardi light, but to me, its flavors are too weak. Any recommendations?
I would recommend "Appleton White" from Jamaica. It's a blend of column still and pot still rum, and pot still destillation tends to produce a more flavourful spirit.
You might also want to look into rhum agricole. it's not destilled from molasses but from sugarcane juice. it's a different flavour profile, but for me, it's more intense.
My choice for a light rum with a strong flavor is Leblon. It is made from fresh cut sugarcane unlike Bacardi (which is made from molasses), and is only aged for 6 months so you don't get any notes from the barrel.
But more importantly, it's reasonably priced (~$23 for 750ml) and widely available throughout the US. You'll often see it at bars for those not wanting the well rum or Bacardi.