I went back down the list for a cocktail that I had previously made and had enjoyed enough to tag it as “make again”. The Fitzwell came up on the list. A sweet rum-based cocktail, that isn’t terribly strong.

0.5 oz Coconut Rum
0.5 oz Spiced Rum
0.5 oz Creme de Banana
2.0 oz Pineapple Juice
2.0 oz Orange Juice

Place all ingredients into a shaker, and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy.

Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum

Just to give another spiced rum a shot, I picked up a bottle of Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum. This is one of the rare alcohol items that actually lists what the spices are supposed to be. The list includes allspice, vanilla, pepper, ginger, mace, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and juniper berry.

To be very honest, I couldn’t identify all of these items if they were given to me individually. The aroma, however, is a nice, sweet, spicy mix. Not really intended for sipping, so I skipped that.

Mixed in a Rum and Coke, it isn’t bad. It isn’t great either. I still like the Bacardi Oakheart or the Captain Morgan Private Stock substantially better.

Proof: 70 (35% ABV)

Paid: $12

Buy again? Probably Not

Captain Morgan Private Stock Spiced Rum

Again, thanks to a sale price, and Derrick and Ian at Common Man Cocktails, I decided to try another spiced rum. While I wasn’t very impressed with Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, this is another story.

Although it is pricey (for a cheap drinker like myself) at $25 for 750ml, it was on sale at $22. So I gave it a try. Let me tell you, I like the Bacardi Oakheart a lot. This is on the same level as the Oakheart to me. Great flavor, the alcohol doesn’t hurt you, and it mixes well. Vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and some other spices I can’t separate out.

It is sweeter than the Oakheart, but brings a lot of flavor to the party. Makes a great Spiced Rum and Coke.

Proof: 80 (40% ABV)

Paid: $22 (on sale)

Buy again: Probably (when on sale!)

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

Don’t be dragged to the bottom by the Kraken! A decorative bottle to be sure. But there is that “black” rum versus dark rum confusion. Whatever the case, it is not a bad spiced rum. I like it better than Captain Morgan Original, but not as good as the Bacardi Oakheart, which is also much easier on the wallet. I bought a miniature (50ml) bottle just to try it.

Mixed with Rum and Coke, the spices come through, along with some sweetness. It has a little alcohol burn, but it doesn’t hit too hard.

Proof: 94 (47% ABV)

Paid: $1.50 for 50ml

Buy again: Probably not

Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum

Well this is the original spiced rum, or so they say, whoever they are. I actually bought a miniature (50ml) bottle just to try it. Straight sip equals alcohol burn. I didn’t get a lot of aroma from it. Mixed in Coke, it was underwhelming to me. The alcohol burn was still present, and the flavor was a much muted version of the flavors I have come to expect from other spiced rums.

Proof: 70 (35% ABV)

Paid: $1 for 50ml

Buy again: No

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum

Apparently, spiced rum enthusiasts who spend time online really like Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum. I’ll spare you the oft repeated stories about the artwork and the guy behind Sailor Jerry’s. It is a spiced rum with a slightly higher proof than others in the category. Oddly, I get a cherry candy flavor from it. And it is fairly pronounced even in Rum and Coke, as well as other cocktails I’ve tried. On review, I also get a cherry medicine aroma.

46% ABV (92 Proof)

Paid: $10 for a 375ml

Buy again: No

Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum

My Second Bottle

Spiced Rum. Who hasn’t heard of Captain Morgan? Even to someone who hadn’t had a drink in 30 years, the name and commercial image of Captain Morgan was burned into my brain. I was intrigued. Here was a category of rum that was, by its definition, loaded with spicy flavor.

Off to the web! The Rum Howler Blog gave Bacardi Oakheart a score well above the other spiced rums that were reviewed (at least among the ones in my local ABC stores). Another factor was the Common Man Cocktails Spiced Rum Blind Tasting linked on the Resources page. As much as people (and Derrick in this case) don’t want to like the Bacardi brand, sometimes it is exactly what you end up liking (look at around 21:00 into the video).

I’m not saying this is the best spiced rum. While quite a few brands are represented at the new (and second largest in the adjacent county) ABC store, many are not. Bacardi Oakheart apparently has a wide distribution, as one would expect for a Bacardi brand.

So, with a bottle in hand, I removed the screw top and was greeted with the smell of maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and some other sweet and pleasant aromas. A slight sip, well, there is the alcohol again. I can taste the aforementioned flavors, but I wouldn’t try to drink it straight, as is my lot in life when it comes to alcohol. The burn I get when tasting it in a cocktail is more peppery than alcohol.

I tried and enjoyed it first in a Cruzan Car. Then, after remembering one of the reviews, made my first (spiced) Rum and Coke! This hit my taste buds in all of the right places. In time I learned that there are sweeter spiced rums, although this is plenty sweet, but Oakheart is my go to if I want a little less sweetness.

This experience only cemented my interest in rum in general.

Proof: 70 (35% ABV)

Paid: $13

Buy again: Yes