No, I don’t mean the sea monster. Although I would imagine the seafaring Kraken would taste rather like squid and I do adore good fried calamari. I’m talking about The Kraken spiced black rum. A darker, more sinister looking cousin to Captain Morgan’s spiced rum. Considering ye olde Captain is a pirate . . . maybe The Kraken ate him.
I’m not much of a cocktail connoisseur. My home bar setup consists of several types of craft beers, hard ciders and, more often than not, a bottle of rum. In short, I only keep what I love on hand. A rum and Coke, or more specifically a Morgan’s and Mexican Coke with a squeeze of lime, is perfect when I’m in the mood for a cocktail instead of a beer. I’ve eyed the sea monster adorned bottles of The Kraken at the party store for quite awhile, but have been loathe to spend $20+ on a spirit I have never tried, especially after a disappointing incident with “authentic” Junior Johnson’s Cherry Moonshine last year. The plump garnet cherries bobbing in the scarlet moonshine looked so beautiful. Unfortunately, it tasted like the worst cherry cough syrup dredged up from childhood memories mixed with paint remover. A nasty tasting waste of money. But when I saw this smaller, less than the price of two Starbucks lattes priced bottle of The Kraken, I decided to give it a try.
It came home with me, along with a bottle of Vernor’s ginger ale. Vernor’s is a more gingery version of Seagram’s, so I’d say my drink was somewhere between The Kraken Cocktail and The Perfect Storm listed on The Kraken website. It was delicious and spicy with a kick from the ginger and rum. I tried a sip of the rum alone. It was strong. I also realized I can no longer pull off my college years party trick of being able to drink shots with a completely, not even an eye twitch, blank face. Nope. That “life skill” reached it’s expiration date a long time ago.
Part of the appeal of this liquor, to me, is the packaging. The sea monster snaking around the label is a detailed piece of art. A rather unique creature staring back at you as you peruse the liquor store aisles. The company takes full advantage of its connection with the mythical sea creature offering everything from a custom Moleskine notebook for sale to an online book with information on the monster and the liquor. As an artistically inclined person, I appreciate a good, well thought out marketing effort. I’m happy, though, that the rum turned out to be good tasting as well as good looking.