The Kraken Rum has made a massive splash recently into bars and pubs throughout the UK since its introduction in 2010. The Kraken sea creature has become quite well known with many movies (Pirates of the Caribbean) and advertising using the creature recently. The creature of legend is said to have attacked ships during the 18th and 19th century and is easy to therefore see how it would tie in with Rum. I would recommend visiting their website for a lot more information and a cool experience to boot! The website can be found here. There is a vast array of merchandise that can be purchased from the website, which all adds to the branding and advertising campaign of the Kraken Rum.
The rum itself is strong and dark. It is 94% proof and the colour is meant to be reminiscent of squid ink. It is a mix of 11 secret spices and imported from the Caribbean (no specific island mentioned). The rum is distilled in Trinidad and Tobago though no mention of this is made on the bottle.
Talking of the bottle, I think its design suits its need perfectly. From my understanding the two loops on the side of the bottle were to tie the bottles through rope so they could be placed in the water to keep their temperature regulated and save space on board ships without losing bottles. I love design features even though it would never be used today, in keeping with the theme of the rum. It has a Kraken blown on the glass of the bottle which adds to the character.
When pouring the rum out of the bottle the colour lightens slightly to a more plum or deep purple. On my first smell the spices are pungent with cinnamon and liquorice being at the forefront. I also smell cough mixture reminiscent to Benylin that I was given as a child.
I believe the marketing of this rum is as a higher end mixer, not really meant for sipping. Nevertheless, on my first neat sip I find the spices are at the forefront. I also get some cherry which is nice but doesn’t seem to fit well with the spices. However, this rum does have a higher alcohol volume to the usual yet is actually surprisingly smooth. Unfortunately for my taste, the cough mixture flavour comes through in the tasting as well. This flavour becomes overpowering and ruins the end of the rum for me. There are still spices and some vanilla in the end but the cough mixture taste dominates the finish.
The Kraken website says to mix this rum with either coke, ginger beer or an energy drink. Having mixed this rum with coke is where I find it shines through. The flavours work well with the coke, and it helps remove most of the cough mixture type taste which is the main drawback for me. I have also had a twist on the infamous “jaeger-bomb” shot by swapping the alcohol to Kraken and keeping the energy drink. The flavours do meld together well and the shot is actually more drinkable in my opinion. Another winner from them it seems. I haven’t as of yet tried this with ginger beer, but I will shortly.
Overall, I find this rum to be excellent mixing rum. It could be drunk neat, but definitely first-rate when mixed with readily accessible mixing ingredients such as coke or an energy drink. I don’t think it is suited to a more classic rum based cocktail though. I believe Kraken Rum is an economical way to enjoy your night out drinking with friends. As they say “To not respect the power of the Kraken is to not respect the sea!”