So, a common current among wine aficionados is a disdain for “critter” wines – you’ve seen them, cases upon cases of little penguins, kangaroos, toads, black cats – a veritable vintner’s Noah’s Ark – with cute labels designed to make passersby go, “Awwwww…” In general, these wines sell because of what’s on the outside of the bottle and not the inside. Good marketing for sure – but rarely good wine. Being Californian, I’ve had to practice uttering “critter wine” mumbled with contempt and dismissal, with a sneer (or an eye-roll) and a little put-upon exhale. Try it for yourself.
Anyway, so a couple of Saturdays ago, we were picking up some stuff at our local BevMo when we passed the rums and The Beloved pointed out a bottle of The Kraken – Dark Spiced Rum. Immediately, I knew I had to have a bottle and I may have even broken out in “Aaarrrgh! The Kraken! Arrrr! Rarrrr!” in public (though I will deny it). I had to have a bottle because:
- Giant squids are awesome.
- The Kraken (a mythical beast) is the largest and most dangerous of all giant squids
- Did I mention that giant squids are awesome?
Now, rum is generally the redheaded stepchild of distilled spirits. They’re made for pina coladas, fruity daiquiris and mai-tais – not serious drinking. But I had just read an article in the last issue of Imbibe that had just described how some serious rums were being made to savor. The Kraken — dark, powerful and inky black (like squid ink, get it?) promised a departure from your regular Bacardi experience.
Clocking in at 94 proof, I will say that unless you want to get seriously blotto, put a couple of tiny icebergs in with your Kraken. The flavors of this rum are actually very good (and better — mellower — with a little ice-melt) – I was happy to find that it wasn’t sweet, but had strong molasses, bitter chocolate and coffee flavors, and a pleasant vanilla finish. A little Kraken makes a really good nightcap.
Now, I just need to figure out how to avoid rum snobs pointing out that I’m a sucker for “critter” rums.