When it comes to starting a quest into the realm of a certain type of drink, there’s usually two or three brands responsible for kickstarting the interest. In the case of my rum journey, the bottle that started it all was Kraken Rum. A well-established spiced rum, Kraken is a staple of damn near every bar around and with its easy drinking quality, it’s not hard to see why.
Created by Proximo Spirits, Kraken rum is based on the legendary tale of the kraken, a hideous tentacled monster that dragged ships and sailors into the watery depths. That’s a strong brand image right there, personified by the striking white label that features a giant squid flailing its tentacles. The picture is accompanied by the Latin translation of giant squid, Architecteuthis Dux.
The bottle is designed to mimic a Victorian rum bottle, with two hoops on either side to signify the tradition of hanging it up to avoid breakage. From another angle, the hoops could represent the gaping eyes of the kraken, an intentional marketing tactic to add to the appeal of the rum. (It totally worked on me).
Black Kraken spiced rum is blended from molasses-based Trinidad rum, which is aged for 1 – 2 years and mixed with 11 different spices. Some of these ingredients include cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg. To mimic the colour of squid ink, the rum has been flavoured with caramel to achieve the dark quality.
Like the tentacles of the great beast its named after, Black Kraken spiced rum pulled me in from the first sip. An aroma of toffee apple lingers in the air, beckoning for a closer inspection of what lives inside the bottle. A gentle, pleasant heat flashes across the tongue, leaving behind a spicy residue.
Notes of vanilla, chocolate, pear and clove build on the palate. The combination of sweetness and spice makes for smooth drinking. Enjoy the rum neat or mix it with coke and you can’t go wrong.
While some rum drinkers might turn their nose up at the Kraken, it will always carry a nostalgic feeling for me. It’s a reminder of nights spent getting tanked up to get on the dance floor and finding the courage to awkwardly flirt with randomers in a dark and dingy space. In short, the ideal entry level rum.
Origin: Trinidad and Tobago
Nose: Toffee apple
Mouthfeel: Vanilla, chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, pear