Review: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

This is not Captain Morgan, folks.

The Kraken, with its sea creature label and black-as-coffee liquid within, makes a striking impression on the bar and in the glass. The idea is kitschy: A drink as strong and dark as kraken (giant squid) ink, powerful enough to take him down. And, yeah, at 94 proof and laden with flavor, perhaps it is. (The label doesn’t indicate it, but the rum is distilled in Trinidad and Tobago.)

The Kraken — the rum, that is — cuts quite a profile in consumption, a truly monstrous hit of chocolate and molasses, cut with Christmas spices — cinnamon and allspice, cloves and maybe even some ginger. Vanilla is big on the finish. Overall the effect is quite impressive, and any spiced rum fan will get a big kick out of The Kraken.

Again, at 94 proof, it needs a bit of water if you’re sipping it straight, and it works just fine with your standard mixers — though last night I was bemoaning the fact that no good recipes exist using spiced rum. The price is also right.

A / $20 /

the kraken black spiced rum Review: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

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84 Responses to Review: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

  1. What’s the provenance of Kraken rum? I visited their flash-craptastic website, and it was not friendly with Safari on Win. Couldn’t even find out where the stuff is distilled.

  2. Trinidad and Tobago — just updated the post after asking them directly.

  3. LOL. I just returned to the site to check for a response, saw the update and wondered if I somehow overlooked it in your original post. Thanks for the swift reply.

  4. I tried looking on their website for this info, but their locator is broken. Do you (or anyone on the wubernets) know if this is available in Atlanta, GA? Since it’s a Proximo product, I’m going to assume that it’s got good availability, but you never know…

  5. It’s brand new so it could take a while to work through the distribution channel.

  6. Love that bottle. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it makes its way to Mississippi. We’re not exactly rich in spiced rum, but I have Pampero and Pyrat, so I can’t complain much!

  7. It’ll be hard to top Pampero, J. Lindsey. If you see Vizcaya on the shelf, that’s the one you’ve gotta try– it’s the new killer sipping rum on the block.

  8. I emailed and asked when it is going to be in my area and got this reply:

    “While Kraken rum is only currently available in PA,VA, CA, MI & OH the product will be sold nationally after January 2010!
    Check back with us after January to find a location in your area :)”

  9. On my third bottle… Makes the best rum n cokes…

  10. There do exist good mixers: make grog! Mix 1/3 Kraken, 2/3 water, in a 2 quart pitcher, add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 5 limes worth of juice, and you’re good to go!

  11. Pingback: » Drinkhacker’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

  12. I’ve had this bottle numerous times here in Virginia. It’s a delicious rum, the taste is that of Bacardi Select with the smell of Captain Morgan yet the taste on the palette is extremely smooth, I’ve given it to friends and family through snifters (shot glasses used to taste it) and it turns out that The Kraken is easy enough to drink straight as I have had no problems with it. Here in Va, it goes for roughly $15 a bottle and that’s a fair price for this good rum. I’ve added it to the collection of rums that I own and will continue drinking this for times to come, it’s a very decent and delicious rum, I swear by it.

  13. Nicholas,
    just wondering, can i pick it up at the ABC store in Northern VA? I have a few friends (and my husband) that are big fans of spiced rum, in particular Sailor Jerry’s. This sounded pretty good and the bottle design can’t be beat. Good Christmas gift? I saw this great post on NotCot where they were unwrapping what I assumed was the “launch” packaging- very cool stuff like Kraken teeth and a wax seal. Wish I could find that box to give for gifts this year.

  14. I’m a liquor saleman in S. Carolina and we’ll being selling this fine produce come Jan’10! Can’t wait! Heard nothing but good things. You people that already have access to this brand; how much $ does it usually cost?

  15. Wow..maybe should have proof read my message b/f submitting! Salesman and product is what I meant to type! Drinking and typing sometimes don’t mix!

  16. It runs just about $20 a bottle. The place down the block from me sells it for $19.95 a bottle. Yummy stuff… really smooth with a nice boozy burn at the end.

  17. Just picked up a bottle from BevMo for $21 in Bay Area. Excited to start drinking it!

  18. Picked me up a bottle of this here in pittsburgh @ 15.99. Phenomenal price, this booze is generating a lot of buzz and after tasting it I’ll be sure to help fuel that. Can’t wait to taste test this side by side with the Appleton Reserve I also picked up.

  19. I’m a big fan of spiced rums and am always looking for a new one to try, can’t wait to find it here in FL. In the past year I’ve been drinking a lot of Kilo Kai and was wondering how they compare?

  20. Chris: I much prefer Kraken to Kilo Kai – Kraken is rich, complex and eminently sippable, while Kilo Kai comes off as a little bit artificial tasting to me.

  21. Found at Toco Giant in Atlanta this morning. I like dark rums and spiced rums and this is definitely the best marriage of the two so far. Better straight than on ice.

  22. I got my first bottle last week. I live in S.E. Kansas. Kraken is the best spiced rum I’ve tried. I usually drink Pompero, Flora De Cona 12 yr., Brinley Gold Vanillia (my favorite flavored rum), Whalers Rare Dark Reserver, Whalers Vanillia (my wifes favorite flavored), Pyrat XO resever, and Cruzan Single Barrel Estate (my least favorite).

    Kraken was a really nice surpise. Cpt. Morgan and the other commerical spiced rums got nothing on Kraken. My son is in south TX. and is bringing me home a liter and a half in a couple of weeks. He got it for 24 bucks down there. I paid 22 bucks up here for a fifth. I like it straight and with coke both. It’s even pretty good with Dr. Pepper. Great stuff.

  23. Just found this at my local beverage store (Central IL – it’s everywhere!) and was intrigued by the bottle. So glad you reviewed it! I’m always drawn by unique bottle/label designs and have been taken in before. Now I know to give this one a try! Thanks!

  24. ‘Tried it last weekend and I must say it is excellent, both over ice and in what was the tastiest rum and coke I’ve ever had. I highly recommend that you pick up a bottle this weekend, channel your inner Titan, and “RELEASE THE KRAKEN !!!”

  25. I first saw the advertisement in the Multineer Magazine and just bought my first bottle in Honolulu. The website is eerie and the timing of its national release is just in time for the new Clash of the Titans.


  27. Hey guys! I have a great Kraken recipe that you will all love:
    The Kraken Rita
    1 oz Kraken rum
    1 oz Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
    splash of OJ
    heavy spash of sour
    mix and serve as a cocktail or as a shooter. It’s a sweet and hearty flavor.

    Kraken Skulls
    1 oz Kraken Rum
    1 oz Grand Marnier

    1 oz Crystal Head vodka (thus the “skull” of the name – since the Crystal Head bottle is skull shaped)
    splash of simple syrup
    splash of sweetened lime juice
    mix with cranberry and pineapple
    sink in grenadine
    serve as shooter, iced cocktail or even martini

    I am working on more recipes. I hope you all enjoy these!!

  28. I am a Liquor rep in Michigan. We launched The Kraken here last year in September. It was a really fun brand to sell and build. As always Proximo treated us great! Thank you to all Michigander’s whom have purchased The Kraken.

  29. Here’s a tropical favorite with a new twist:
    Kraken Mama
    1/4 oz Coffee Liquor
    1/2 oz Captain Morgen Spiced Rum
    1/2 oz Cream of Coconut
    1/4 oz Kraken Rum
    1 oz Lemon Juice
    4 oz Pineapple Juice
    Garnish with a cherry and straw on the rocks.

  30. I work in a wine & spirits department and have had The Kraken as a personal recommendation since we got it in about a month ago.
    You have GOT TO TRY THIS!! I haven’t been this jazzed for a liquor since Firefly hit the market!
    I usually pitch it as:

    “EXTREMELY smooth for 94 proof, MUCH smoother than Sailor Jerry (my old stand-by). If I had to criticize it in ANY way it’s that it’s described as a SPICED black rum and I’ve finished a bottle myself and the “SPICE” is incredibly subtle. If the ad men at Kraken were able to change the name, my suggestion would be CHAMELEON, because WHATEVER you mix it with, you can’t tell the liquor is there……it’s THAT smooth. It blends or ENHANCES whatever you mix it with to the UTMOST flavor.”

    And at 94 proof for $16, it’s a STEAL!! Until something better comes along, the BEAST will be in MY belly!!

  31. Move over Captain Morgan, Admiral Nelson, and Sailor Jerry. This is hands down…THE BEST!

  32. wicked wayne

    thiisthe shit

  33. Friends. No doubt- The Kraken, Regatta Ginger Beer, a bit of lime, splash of simple syrup to make one fine “Dark and Stormy”. Damn Lovely! Can only find it in CT at $22 a bottle but now see it at good bars. Cheers!

  34. I just purchased a bottle this morning, only because it looked interesting and being 94 proof, I thought I’d give it a try, being that I like spice rums. Before trying I went to the internet to find some feedback. Guess what, with all the positives I heard I left my computer to open the bottle I only purchased for $17.99 at Albertsons in Culver City CA about one hour ago. This is one of the “BEST” rums I have ever tasted. They only had two bottles, I’ll head back to buy that remaining bottle, if it’s still there. Great Rum Folks, I hope you all get a chance to try it, you’ll want more.

  35. I live in Massachusetts and (yeah I know, It sucks to be me!) and the 1.75 litre bottle is $29.95……… Are you folks buying the 1.75 also? I like your prices better if you are! I bought a baby Kraken on line. Gonna pan fry it with garlic when he grows up!

  36. Procured the bottle at my local liquor store in DC. While it was $24, I only had to walk three blocks to get it. In terms of Dark n’ Stormies, I’m liking the Cruzan Black Strap better with Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer. Kraken is better rum, but the Cruzan seems to work better for this cocktail.

  37. At J. Lindsey: it is now readily available in Mississippi. I just myself a bottle today.

  38. Bought my 1.75L about a week ago and I’ve had a couple glasses a night since then… Bought it for around 24.00 and it’s better than the Bacardi 8yr reserve I usually drink. RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!

  39. JoeJoe Shabbadoo

    The Kraken was recently purchased for 16.99 at BJ’s here in Randolph Massachusetts. Best price I have seen yet.

    The Kraken will sink the Captain.

  40. Loves it stormy

    A victim of marketing, after one look at the bottle, I had to have it. Didn’t matter if it was rockgut. Had to see what it was all about with that big beastie on the label. These guys are marketing geniuses. And, whats more, they make killer rum, too. WOW! I have to say that I am impressed. It made a fantastic dark n stormy. Sorry, Goslings, but I may

  41. Lust hit North Carolina as I approached the bottle. I came across it and had to give it a go.

    Now after tasting, it is Love!

    No better spiced Rum available in my state. I used some ice cubes, one ounce 7-up and 2 ounces Kraken. Sipped away and I am sold!

  42. Good enough to drink straight. Has a jaeger consistency but 20 more proof. My old standby is admiral because it’s such a steady, party all night and be hammered drunk at 70 proof. This black spiced rum truly will make you black out. I tried it up at Indiana university at Big Red Liquors. Apparently it’s origin is Tobago, but Its stateside hq is in Lawrenceburg- down on the Ohio River. Seems to be a hotbed with Brown Forman in Louisville and Seagrams pretty close to Lawrenceburg in Aurora, IN.

  43. This is the best dark rum I have had the pleasure of experiencing. I drink it straight, mix it, cook with it, and hell last night I even make butter pecan ice-cream with it. The flavors are amazing and I’ve made all of my friends try it, with no negative feedback.

  44. I got a question, does anyone know where in Oregon I can get this? I’ve heard POSITIVE stories from drinkers all around and I’m dying to try it.

  45. Almost finished the 1st bottle, onto the 2nd soon. Great black spiced rum. Goes down smooth and leaves that nice, warm feeling in your belly. Put a beat in your belly!

  46. Beast* Wow this stuff gets to you…

  47. Good mixer, and good for a floater on top of rum drinks, but if you’re looking for a refined dark rum for sipping, try:

    El Dorado 15 yr (Guyana)
    Khukri Coronation (Nepal)
    Zafra 21 yr (Panama)
    Zacapa 23 yr (Guatemala)
    Barbancourt 15 yr (Haiti)
    Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva (Venezuela)
    Pampero Anniversario (Venezuela)

  48. Kraken Cookies

    2 oz. Kraken on ice
    Two chocolate chip cookies

    Drink the Kraken and eat the cookies

  49. The Kraken makes a perfect rum and coke and is great straight. Haven’t purchased any other brand since trying KRAKEN!!!

  50. Brinley Shipwreck rum is a new and excellent spiced rum worth looking for. It’s lower alcohol %, but it uses rum aged 4 years, and it’s delicious.

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