Kraken Black Spiced Rum
Review: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum 77.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (aka Arctic Wolf)
Re-visited (and re-scored) October 31, 2012
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is from Proximo Spirits. It is an imported black rum from the Caribbean, reputedly infused with 11 secret spices. The rum is named after the legendary sea monster which is claimed to have attacked sea ships during the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a 94 proof black spiced rum which was introduced about three years ago amidst a slick advertising campaign, and it has shown great popularity with consumers since that introduction .
For more information, visit www.krakenrum.com. (The website is kind of cool.)
Over time I have come to enjoy this bottle more and more. It has a Victorian style which is very cool with its double ringed ‘jug’ look, and the label features a nice illustration of a giant octopod. That illustration of a squid-like beast looks perhaps a little “cartoonish”, and the lack of colour on the label makes the entire presentation look kind of early 1900s to me.
In the Glass 8.0/10
The rum is very dark with a deep brown/plum colour. A moderate amount of legs are apparent when I swirl the glass, and a mildly spicy licorice, cinnamon and molasses rise into the air. I catch faint wiffs of cloves, plum preserves, and black cherries as well. However, I also catch a very vaguely medicinal menthol aroma which reminds me of cough syrup.
In the Mouth 46/60
There is a lot of flavour here, but to me, the rum is not very well conceived in terms of balance. Licorice, cinnamon, and black cherry lead out in front of a rum-like molasses. My sense is that the crafters of this rum are going for a taste profile which I would describe as a “kinder and gentler” Goslings Black Seal. In fact there is a lot of similarity to Goslings including a definite impression of Jagermeifter upon the palate. However the Goslings Black Seal has a deeper, darker, more foreboding flavour profile which works well. The Kraken which has a lighter and sweeter taste profile just seems to never find its own place. It is as if the spices were thrown in, just for the sake of having them rather than for how they would work together in a lighter sweeter spirit.
In the Throat 11.5/15
I am impressed that a 47 per cent alcohol by volume spirit has such a smooth finish. Although the finish is nice and long, it is also filled with hints of menthol which spoil the final moments.
The Afterburn 7.5/10
I never really warmed up to the Kraken which just seemed to miss the mark for me. The rum needs more… well rum flavour in the profile. It should be richer. The menthol I kept tasting was very disconcerting as well. It seemed to clash with the other spices and take away rather than add to the rum.
I revisited this review in order to provide a direct comparison to a new Black Spiced Rum from Captain Morgan. If you read both reviews you will see that I show a slight preference for what I perceive is the more balanced flavour of the Captain Morgan. Having said that, based upon my traffic ticker, and the staunch comments from readers in defense of the Kraken Black Spiced Rum, I think many will disagree….
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
The website for The Kraken Spiced Black Rum suggests mixing this rum with cola or ginger ale. They also suggest a cocktail with an energy drink. I am going to go in a completely different direction. I am suggesting a cocktail with Peach Schnapps and pineapple juice. I call this. My Pet Squid
My Pet Squid
2 oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum
1/2 to 3/4 oz Peach schnapps
splash of Pineapple juice
Serve in a small rocks glass with Ice
Remember the aim is to drink better spirits not more spirits!
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)