Bobby “Mo” Momorella of M/V Certifiable wrote asking us to compare his favorite Kraken Black Spiced Rum to Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. Challenge accepted.
Kraken is made in Trinidad and Tobago distilled from naturally sweet molasses, aged one to two years then blended with eleven spices. It is unknown what type of barrels the rum is aged in. Captain Black states right on the label “Double Charred Blackened Oak” providing the rich black color. Cloves and vanilla top the flavors of the rum which many speculate was created to compete directly with the popular marketing campaign feature, the Kraken sea creature. In the proof war, Captain edges out Kraken just slightly at 94.6 proof.
For our test we began neat followed by rum and Cokes, carefully measuring both ingredients creating a fair test. There is no He Said/She Said to report for this test. For once our palettes actually agreed.
Kraken has a powerful caramel and molasses nose with just a hint of spice. Almost too sweet for Clint’s liking. On the other hand, Captain leads with spice with undertones of caramel and vanilla. Cloves and cinnamon are the prominent spice in both rums.
Expecting a sweet taste from Kraken we were shocked by the explosion of spice in the mouth. So much spice in fact that it tickled Terry’s nose. Once the taste settles the caramel kicks in giving the rum a smooth finish. Captain is what-you-smell-is-what-you-get. Subtle cloves, cinnamon, and slight licorice complimenting the caramel and vanilla. The taste leads right into the finish with no surprises.
As previously reported, Terry is definitely not a rum and Coke fan however after one sip of Kraken and Coke, Clint could not get the glass away from her. The explosion of spice when sampled straight up balances out the sweetness of the Coke making this a refreshing cocktail.
Captain was surely a disappointment as a mixer. This spiced rum has nothing to cut the sweetness of the Coke. The entire drink fell flat leaving you wondering if there was any alcohol used.
While we were so hoping to have a common bond with our reader “Mo,” we learned there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to rum. Just simply enjoy.
We call this a draw.
Kraken: 1.5 sipping, 3.5 mixer
Captain: 3.5 sipping, 1.5 mixer
Mixing Rum Scale
1 – Is there rum in this drink?
2 – Could use some cherries
3 – Great Happy Hour mixer
4 – Worthy of an umbrella
5 – Fine mixer. No umbrella required
Sipping Rum Scale
1 – An expensive mixer
2 – A quick celebratory shot
3 – Wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with friends
4 – Are my friends worthy of a sip
5 – Special moments rum
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 32 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.