Shipwreck hails from St. Kitts and is aged for four years before being juiced up with exotic (and unnamed) spices.
Brinley’s rendition of spiced rum carries a big and flavorful kick. I love the way Shipwreck hits the palate, with sweet rum smoothed out by age and time in the barrel, plus a good shake of cinnamon, orange, woody notes, and a marshmallow-like candiness. It’s not too spicy, with clear sweetness dominating.
But the joy fades as Shipwreck gets toward the finish. A funky kind of skunkiness — that what David Wondrich reminds us is sometimes called “hogo” — that, on its own, isn’t entirely wonderful. For a spiced rum, it may just be too much wood, too much clove — or perhaps not enough alcohol. At 72 proof it’s decidedly light and maybe a touch watery.
It drowns away in Coke, but comparing Shipwreck against a more balanced spiced rum without doctoring, you’ll have no trouble sussing out the superior.