The dark 'n' stormy is a storied drink. Made with two ounces of dark rum and a splash of ginger beer, the cocktail is said to have originated in Bermuda when a sailor held aloft his glass and mused that the drink was the "colour of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under." At least that's according to Gosling's Black Seal, which has a trademark on the tipple. But Gosling's isn't the only black rum on the block. This week, we venture to the dark side with three rums worthy of the popular Caribbean cocktail.
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, 750 ml, $19.95
Made from molasses distilled in the Virgin Islands, The Kraken is aged in oak barrels for up to two years before it's blended with caramel and spices like cinnamon, ginger and clove. The nose gives off a one-two punch of vanilla extract and maraschino cherries. But all ice cream sundae similarities end there. There's nothing sugary about this 94-proof hooch, just booze heat followed by notes of cherries jubilee and root beer spices that dissipate quickly.
Cruzan Black Strap Rum, 750 ml, $14.95
If this rum's oil-black viscosity doesn't intimidate you, then its overpowering nose, with wafts of rich molasses, licorice and burnt pine sap, just might. Made on St. Croix, Cruzan's Black Strap Rum is hot on the palate with a perplexing smoky/sweet flavor that creates both fans and enemies. As one taster put it, "It tastes like a cigar, but not in a pleasant way."
Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, 750 ml, $18.95
Captain Morgan's Black Spiced Rum is made from blackstrap molasses that's aged in double-charred blackened oak and seasoned with clove and cassia bark. Toasted marshmallow, vanilla extract and caramel dominate the nose and also come through on the smooth, lightly spiced palate. Clocking in at 94.6 proof, this dark rum is dangerously sippable.