I think most of us will remember having the odd rum and coke when we were younger. But when did it become unfashionable? Suddenly in the late noughties it seemed a bit low brow to be ordering anything other than a G &T. But rum is making its comeback. Here, I have four spiced rums that will have you dreaming of Caribbean shores and ordering some tiki mugs for your next party!
4 Spiced Rums you Should Try Right Now
Dark Matter Spiced Rum 40%
My very own Scotland has brought rum to this highland landscape. Founded by two brothers after a visit to the Dominican Republic (a personal favourite holiday spot of mine!) they came home full of inspiration and set up Dark Matter Distillers outside Aberdeen. Their rum has been awarded The Rum Masters Gold award in 2016 and 2017.
Their tagline is ‘Inspired by Science. Driven by Curiosity’ and the bottle design incorporated the scientific feel.
This molasses based rum has a full on smack of spice on the nose. Christmas cake flavours initially leave a smooth clean sip. Cloves are dominant and the peppery spice is far from any spiced rum I have previouly tasted. Neat it feels a bit too sharp and the usual cola mixer masks the unique flavours. I found Gingerella ginger beer to be a perfect pairing that lets the diverse flavour shine through. The complexity comes from the addition of the spent leftover liquid in production, like in the bourbon industry. A solid rum that will delight tradional rum drinkers as well as more modern tastes.
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum 40%
First introduced to the UK market in 2010 by Proximo spirits who saw a gap in the market after the waining of Captain Morgans stong marketing.
Love a cool story behind a bottle. The Kraken was a mythical sea creature who attacked ships in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Ledgend has it that it took down ships loaded with rum!
The rum is distilled in The Virgin Island and is aged for 12-24 months before being blended with a range of spices. The colour of this rum is beautiful. Hold it up to the light and you find a purplish cherry walnut shade. An initial sweet cinammon nose leads to a pleasantly well balanced drink. Easily sipped neat it has a smooth finish but a fiery afterburn makes it a better mixed drink. I love his with orange and passionfruit J2O an lots of ice.
Admiral’s Old J Spiced 35%
A nice history lesson on the bottle, Admiral Edward Vernon was responsible for reducing the Royal Navys rum ration and did so by diluting it. To get past the lower volume the Admiral suggested that the sailors added sugar and lime to make it more pleasant. This is made in his honour.
The most unusual thing about this rum is the fact that legally it isn’t a rum! Bottled at 35% it doesn’t meet the required 37.5% alcohol content to be classified as a rum. Don’t let that fool you.
The most sweet smelling rum here, the sugar content verges on liqueur territory but the flavours are phenominal. Rich vanilla scents lead into caramel. Initial taste is cut through with lime and again a smooth vanilla hit. Definitely one to sip slowly on it’s own or as a delicious throwback to your youth with cola.
Sailor Jerry Spiced 40%
The company was founded in dedication to Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins. A ledgendary tattooist of ww2 soldiers and sailors in Hawaii during WW2. The bottle depics his designs and they say ‘In his name we make our rum‘
This spirit is created from a range of Carribean rums and infused with spices. No specific islands are mentioned anywhere. The rum was reformulated in 2010 after it was affected in the noughties by a hard marketing campaign by it’s biggest competitors.
The smell is very fragrant with caramel. A slight oaky aroma lets you know that the base rum has been aged somewhat. Not as smooth as the other rums it isn’t one of my preferences to drink neat but the initial hit of alcohol is quickly replaced with the familiar spiced rum flavours of vanilla and cinammon. I love it mixed with cola and could happily drink this until the cows came home! Sweet enough to keep you interested but not enough to be sacharine. Sometimes an original is the best.
So when was the last time you had a rum and coke? Have I tempted you?
Let me know your thoughts.