Black Magic – Black Spiced

BLACK MAGIC Spced rum review by the fat rum pirateBlack Magic is a new Spiced rum to the UK market.  It is imported from the US by Hi Spirits Ltd and produced in Louisville, Kentucky by Sazerac.

Sazerac are better known for their Rye Whiskey. Which is produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, in Frankfort. Where the rum in this blend is distilled I do not know.  The website for Black Magic states only that the rum is a blend of young and aged rums.

In the US Black Magic is bottled at 47% ABV.  For some reason a number of Spiced Rum brands in the US are bottled at higher than usual ABV’s.  In the UK it is more common for Spiced Rum to be bottled at around the 35% mark and as is legally required labelled as a Spiced Spirit Drink – rather than a rum.  This helps with pesky taxes.

In the UK Black Magic is bottled at 40% and labelled oddly as a Spiced Rum Spirit Drink.  It is likely that in order to reach its target audience the importer has made the decision to limit the ABV – thus reducing the tax duty on the spirit.  It also means they can produce more with less.  As the spirit is further diluted with water.

I’ve spoken of the target audience already.  It is clear from the description “Black Spiced” and the presentation that Sazerac have targeted The Kraken.  The label has been designed by David Welker.  Here is the story behind the label.

I can’t say I’m hugely convinced as the whole thing.  To me it looks very much influenced by The Kraken!

The Kraken is the best selling rum on Amazon.co.uk.  It retails at around £20 per 70cl bottle and is 40% ABV.  Captain Morgan have also released a rum Black Spiced Rum very similar in presentation to The Kraken.  However, they don’t seem to have tried all that hard to get that rum selling in the UK.  It is nowhere near as present as their flagship Gold Spiced “product”.

Hi-Spirits have certainly done well in getting this rum into the UK online market.  It is very visible on Amazon (where I obtained this bottle).  It retails at £22.  So it does offer serious competition for The Kraken.  Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced was/is around £30.  Not much competition for wallet conscious consumers.black-magic-spiced Black magic black spiced rum review by the fat rum pirate

So what do we have in the bottle then? Well first up it is exactly what is says on the bottle.  Black. Well just about.  It’s a very very dark brown with red flashes.  Clearly coloured but no real issue as this is a Spiced Rum.

Sipping on this Spiced rum is not an entirely unsuccessful experience.  It is certainly smooth enough not to cause too much trouble in terms of alcohol burn. Packed with sweet flavours as you would expect from a spiced rum.  It also has a very healthy base of sugar clearly added to it.  Which is smoothing out the flavour of this rum.  Too much for my liking

Tastewise it instantly reminded me of that slightly artificial caramel/butterscotch and cola note that I found in India’s Old Monk rum.  There are also notes of cherry and hints of coconut.  It’s very sweet tasting and definitely comes in on the cloying side especially when taken straight.

Mixed it makes a perfectly acceptable if unspectacular spiced rum and cola or even a Black and Stormy with Ginger Beer.

BLACK MAGIC spiced rum review by the fat rum pirateUnfortunately it all tastes a little synthetic and the rum base could just as well be any rum or even neutral spirit.  It becomes cloying even when mixed, after a few glasses.  Its just too sugary sweet.

You aren’t getting a lot of rum or anything “aged” with this spiced rum.  It’s very closely related in terms of overall profile to The Kraken.  No doubt many people will love this rum.

It has a tagline “seek the skull and awken the magic”.  Interestingly as pictured above their is also a design on the inside of the label.  Unfortunately you have to drink the rum to see it……

I sought it…….there was nothing magical about it.

1.5 stars

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