Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum

Cruzan 9 rum

Product of:  St. Croix, USVI
Aged:  1-2 year blend 
Price: $16
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context: Flavored/Spiced Rum
RG Rating: 7.5

Tasting Notes
Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum’s golden-maple amber color results from two years in oak and the coloring affect the added spices have on the spirit.  Unmistakably Cruzan on the nose, with distinct aromas of vanilla up front, then far less pronounced come the nutmeg, clove and mace, with almost imperceptible hints of ginger, allspice, cinnamon.  The spices work nicely together but exhibit no individual character, although they aren’t disturbed by alcohol aromas.  A heavy sweet vanilla flavor dominates the initial taste as well, rendering the other spices insignificant and nearly impossible to discern.  Hopefully the other eight spices add a tiny measure complexity.  A medium weight, sugary body makes a pleasant delivery vehicle for the vanilla, and carries through to the long, medium-sweet vanilla finish.

Several new spiced rums carefully entered the market in 2010, fortunately containing more sophisticated natural flavors than the chemistry set  experiments of a few years ago.  For Cruzan, known to produce smooth, slightly vanilla tasting rums, it should have been easy to produce an upscale spiced rum.

If you are looking for an alternative to the famous Privateer Captain for mixing with your cola, then the vanilla-laden Cruzan 9 is worth a try.  As a sipping rum, or even a sophisticated spiced rum, Cruzan 9 suffers a bit.   Anticipating the nine “heirloom” Caribbean spices called out on the label, I was expecting substantially more flavor, more complexity, and the spicy heat so characteristic and appealing about good Caribbean spiced rums.  Despite the eight other spices claimed on the label, Cruzan 9 mostly delivers a vanilla bomb of a flavored rum that tastes too similar to the other commodity cola accompaniments.  I guess that's what the cola crowd wants.  

Reviewed: December 2010 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017