Kraken vs. Captain Morgan | What Rum Makes the Best Dark ‘n’ Stormy

May I suggest a Dark and Stormy. Get rid of the Coke and find you a ginger beer of your liken. Then compare the two rums.

We recently received a comment from Ken about our Kraken vs. Captain Spiced Rum article in June 2015.  He writes, “May I suggest a Dark and Stormy. Get rid of the Coke and find you a ginger beer of your liken. Then compare the two rums. I have only tried Kraken and so I cannot tell you which is best for a cocktail.”

Well Ken, since we are still quarantined let’s break out our favorite ginger beers and give this a try.

Let’s begin with a bit of housekeeping.

We all know a true Dark ‘n’ Stormy begins with Gosling’s Black Seal rum. The company holds two certificates at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office specifying exactly how to make the drink.

What Rum makes the Best Dark and Stormy?
What Rum makes the Best Dark and Stormy? Kraken vs. Captain

How do you make a Dark and Stormy when you don’t have Gosling’s on board?

As Ken suggests, maybe substitute Kraken or Captain Morgan Spiced rums for the “dark” combining with your favorite ginger beer (and don’t forget the wedge of lime.) Just be mindful not to call it a Dark & Stormy. We wouldn’t want anyone to get in trouble with the patent office.

Barritt’s has been our ginger beer of choice for many moons but we use Bundaberg from Australia, on occasion, for a creamier cocktail. For this test, we began as testers should, drinking the rum neat to get a baseline, then creating the cocktails using an ounce and a half of rum, four ounces of ginger beer and a wedge of lime.

Looking back at our 2015 review we enjoyed the Captain over the Kraken because it led with the cloves and cinnamon a spiced rum should have. This time we found the Kraken to be far more enjoyable neat with a creamy vanilla palate, then a satisfying spice that lingered while the creamy vanilla hit the throat followed by a warming spice finish. The Captain, on the other hand, leads with a strong coffee note before an overwhelming cloves finish. Funny how things changed.

The vanilla notes of the Kraken pair well with the Barritt’s, the subtle hints of spice from the rum and ginger beer keeping the vanilla in check. In contrast, the Captain smells and tastes like a rum and Coke. It’s very sweet with no evidence of ginger or spice. Even the lime can’t break through the sweetness.

Clearly, Captain Morgan and Bundaberg belong together. The coffee pairs well with the ginger beer; the lime completes the drink. Not quite that patented drink but could pass as a “Dark and Stormy” version. On the other hand Kraken with Bundaberg creates a flavorless drink. The sweet notes of both cancel each other out while the spices from both
are nonexistent. 

So Ken, we can safely say we enjoyed your challenge and gave a slight edge to the Captain Morgan Black Spiced with Bundaberg ginger beer though the Kraken and Barritt’s weren’t too far behind.

Do you have a suggestion for Clint and Terry. Send to [email protected]