The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
When Isaac told me that my next blind tasting wasn’t a whiskey and that he was a fan of this spirit, I knew exactly what it was! So, we are taking an inadvertent break from blind tastings. Surprisingly, this was the first time I’d tasted The Kraken Black Spiced Rum though. Admittedly, I’m somewhat of a rum novice. It seems that every time Isaac has offered me Kraken Rum at his house, I’ve chosen bourbon instead. After tasting it for this review though, I won’t be passing it up so easily next time!
Before I get into the rest of the review, I have to say a little about the packaging and overall marketing of The Kraken Black Spiced Rum. They have absolutely nailed it! It seems to ride the line between a unique, cool bottle/packaging without being gimmicky. Personally, I think they’ve done a perfect job. There were even two 3d billboards in Chicago that had the Kraken’s tentacle pulling someone out an apartment window! They also sell some of the coolest merchandise I’ve seen at The Kraken Rum Store. They even have a Kraken branded wallpaper. Talk about the perfect decoration for a game room!
As many of you probably know, The Kraken is relatively a new rum having been introduced in 2010. Kraken’s base rum is distilled and aged 1-2 years in Trinidad and Tobago before being sent to Lawrenceburg, Indiana to be blended and bottled. That is where they add eleven spices such as cinnamon and clove to the base rum. Since that’s about all the background that I could scrounge up, I have to comment on where they came up with their name. RELEASE THE KRAKEN! This is that moment where those snooty folk that can’t handle a spiced rum review need to run…..cause The Kraken is coming for you! They take their name from the mythical sea creature that is a giant, Giant, GIANT Squid. The idea is to create a rum as dark as the Kraken’s ink. That’s pretty dark for those that are not in the know. I think they hit their mark!
Like everything about this rum, the nose is deep and rich. Right off the bat I get a strong vanilla and molasses aroma that almost reminds me of vanilla cola. There is also a hint of cinnamon and dark cherry. I’m not a very experienced rum drinker so this nose really reminded me of a high quality vanilla/cherry cola. I’m a big fan of vanilla and because that is the dominant aroma, I really enjoyed it but I can see how it would be too overpowering for some. All in all, a good start!
For as dark as this rum looks, it tastes just as rich. Just like the nose, the first thing that I’m picking up on my palate is vanilla and molasses. There’s also a little bit of cinnamon, black cherry, and licorice. I’m surprised at how easy this is to drink with it having a hefty 94% alcohol content. This is actually very enjoyable just to drink neat. I never thought that I could enjoy The Kraken Black Spiced Rum in my snifter glass!
I know I could keep going on about how much Kraken reminds me of vanilla cola but it really does. I’d imagine that if you take a vanilla cola and swirled a cinnamon stick then drop a cherry in, you’d almost have the taste of Kraken. Of course I would rather take down some Kraken than a cola cocktail though!
The finish continues to deliver the rich, sweet molasses and vanilla flavors that are prevalent throughout the flavor profile. The cinnamon also gives way to more of an black licorice and clove note. Overall, the finish rounds out a surprisingly enjoyable experience.
A Perfect Storm Cocktail:
This is a version using Kraken rum for the classic dark and stormy cocktail. The recipe for this cocktail can vary depending on what type of ginger beer you use and your individual preference of ginger. Because I use a ginger beer that uses the most ginger per bottle that is out on the market currently, I increased the amount of Kraken rum from 2 oz. to 2 ½ oz. Otherwise the ginger takes over and the rum is lost. If you prefer a less prevalent ginger taste, there are other ginger beers that are milder on the ginger. Feel free to experiment with the recipe. That’s one of the benefits of The Kraken Black Spiced Rum being priced so well!
- 2 ½ oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum
- 6 oz of Spindrift Ginger Beer
- Few drops of fresh lime juice
- Lime peel
Add Kraken rum, ginger beer, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for a few seconds. Strain into a highball glass over ice and garnish with a lime peel. I used a Riedel H20 Longdrink/Highball glass for the first time and I think it looks great! I also used a Tovolo Cylinder Ice Mold to make that awesome cylindrical block of ice. It looks pretty awesome and doesn’t water down your cocktail nearly as fast as traditional ice!
Kraken’s Nectar Cocktail:
Kraken is fine on its own, but because it holds up so well in cocktails I thought I’d add another one for you to enjoy! This may be too sweet for some, but that is easily adjusted by either adding less maple syrup and/or adding more Kraken.
- 2 oz Kraken Dark Spiced Rum
- ½ oz pure maple syrup
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Then shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy!
I must say that I was yet again pleasantly surprised with this spirit. Although my experience with spiced rum, and rum in general for that matter is quite small, I feel this was a wonderful entry into the rum world. Granted, this is a more interesting version of any rum than I have tasted before and I feel this is very good rum for almost any palate. Even if you could care less about the packaging, you have to admit that bottle would look very sexy in anyone’s collection. Best of all, how about that price, talk about value!