I know next to nothing about rum. I don't drink many tiki style drinks except for mai tais. I've really liked most of the ones I've had, including what I believe to Trader Vic's new recipe, called the Trader Vic's Mai Tai (it's on their happy hour menu).
My Oregon state monopolized liquor stores don't have great rum selections - mostly the big names like Cruzan and Bacardi, a bunch of spiced rums, and a couple bottles from Cuba and Haiti. Nothing from Martinique, no rhum agricole, etc, that I could see. I see St. James recommended a lot but didn't see that at the store either.
In my cabinet I have Appleton XV and Castillo Silver. I tried using these in a Mai Tai and it didn't turn out very good. I'm not sure if the Appleton XV (or the 12 year I saw at the liquor store) counts as amber or dark rum.
What mass-market, easily found rums are best in a mai tai?
How can I tell if a rum is amber or dark?