The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

KRAKEN BLACK SPICED RUM The Kraken is a fairly newish rum to the market. Introduced in 2009 to the UK and at a time when Sailor Jerry had re-branded and changed its formula. The Kraken was introduced to compete with Morgans Spiced and Sailory Jerry.  The darker nature of the rum was hoped to give a more authentic style rum experience.

The Kraken’s popularity has no doubt been helped by the early adoption of the rum by JD Wetherspoon’s empire of high street public houses.  The Kraken is a mythical sea beast from the 17th and 18th century, who would attack and plunder ships.  The rum is strong, rich, black and smooth just like the mythical beast.  It is 40% abv which is higher than most Spiced rums.

The packaging of the rum is very good.  An old fashioned pirate style flagon/bottle and a nice box as well (though its presentation is a little out of step with the bottle).  Such presentation is unusual for a rum available in the Supermarket especially a Spiced one. The design is in keeping with The Kraken (dark and smooth) and overall is very slick. The rum is at the higher end price wise of the Spiced Rum Market. Having said that the range is only between around £15 and £25 per bottle. It is stocked my most retailers and you can pick a bottle up here. The labelling of the rum gives little away. It is a Caribbean rum blended with spice, caramel and other natural flavours.

As with most Spiced rums it is very aromatic. Vanilla is present very much in its profile but unlike Morgans Spiced Gold there is also a caramel/treacley  heavy molasses like smell. In the glass the rum has a reddish hue to it, I suspect the packaging makes the rum look slightly darker than it actually is.

When sipped neat The Kraken is very sweet and tastes slightly synthetic, almost medicinal in a  way. It’s not unpleasant but overall there is something quite artificial about the taste. I do not think that the actual rum in the blend is particularly well aged or a particular good rum. The smoothness of the rum leads me to believe a lot of caramel and other flavourings have been used to hide the roughness of the rum. Unlike Foursquares Spiced rum there is nothing subtle about the spicing and the caramel flavour makes the rum, to my taste overly sweet.

When mixed with a little cola the vanilla flavour comes out more, making it a little like a cream soda. There is  still a slight medicinal after taste  A little like cough syrup. It isn’t as vanilla like as Morgans Spiced, possibly due to the darker nature of the rum.

It’s better than Morgans Spiced Gold. The Morgans Spiced Black rum isn’t available in the UK market yet. If looks are anything to go by it should be a similar taste profile.  Having said that I’ve got that wrong many a time! It isn’t subtle like Foursquare Spiced, it certainly doesn’t have any authentic rum taste to it.

I’m not a huge lover of Spiced Rum’s to me a good rum should shine through without the need for spices etc and if you want to taste something other than rum that is what mixers are for. Overall despite the slick presentation and clever marketing you get the feeling you aren’t getting a great rum for your money. Whilst overall its quite easy going and easy to drink, it doesn’t really do much for me personally.

It’s an ok spiced rum which is probably disguising a cheaper rum base, its the kind of “rum” that non rum drinkers will enjoy e.g Sailor Jerry, Morgans Spiced.

1 stars









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5 comments on “The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

  1. Vile. “Synthetic” is a great descriptor. Very cloying.

    Some rums are for people who don’t like rum. This one is for people with no taste at all.

  2. “Synthetic. The perfect word to describe my underwhelming experience with this one

  3. Yes I would say I have a similar experience. When it comes to the Supermarkets I find Sainsburys carries the best selection in the UK. Chairmans Reserve being available is a HUGE bonus! I recently re-visited Sailor Jerry and was pleasantly surprised. Cockspur Fine Rum is a good golden mixing rum. Much better than Mount Gay Eclipse (In my opinion)

  4. I tend to agree with you … Spiced rums originally got me into drinking rum…Morgans spice and Sailor Jerry’s were so good after no more beer could be consumed on a night out.

    However in the last couple of years I have learnt a lot more about rum and started buying sippers and other rums not available in supermarkets.

    I was short on rum (well a mixing rum) and saw kraken on offer whilst shopping. I had not brought any Kraken in a couple of years. I remember loving it but I was left disappointed. I now find it quite syrupy and almost to sweet for my palette. I ended up buying some mount gay for a mixer which is often what I tell friends to try if they’re interested in something else other than Morgans Spiced…

    The Kraken is now just hanging out in the rum cabinet looking good but not really having a whole lot of substance when put next to the diplomatico ….

    • This stuff does not taste good. Even when mixed with cherry, vanilla, or classic coke this is a sub par product. Their are too many other good choices out there.

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