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Blackheart Spiced Rum

Review: Blackheart Spiced Rum  (83.5/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka) Arctic Wolf
Published on July 08,  2016

Blackheart is a relatively new spiced rum from the Blackheart Rum Co, a whole owned subsidiary of Heaven Hill Distilleries. The spirit is bottled at 46.5 % alcohol by volume, and produced  from imported rum which has been blended with a hint of spice, caramel and natural flavors.

When I investigated the brand I learned the Blackheart Spiced Rum Company has recently introduced a marketing campaign featuring Playboy Playmate, Kayla Collins as the Miss Blackheart 2016. According to the company website:

“Blackheart Rum has teamed up with Playboy and selected the Playmate who has been named Miss Blackheart 2016! Fans voted and chose Kayla Collins, the Playmate who embodies the bold, bawdy, edgy and seductive traits just like Blackheart. We can promise she’s bold and brazen enough to carry the title!”

The spirits company has also teamed with Bellator MMA and is working with the inaugural Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 Light Heavyweight Tournament Champion, Phil Davis in a corporate partnership to bring more viability to the Blackheart Spiced Rum brand.

All that marketing is fine, what we really want to know is how the spiced rums tastes …  

blackheart-spiced-bottle-shotIn the Bottle  4/5

As you can see from the bottle shot (j-peg) to the left the Blackheart Spiced Rum arrives in a pretty standard tall bar-room style bottle. What catches the eye is the label which features Blackheart sitting seductively on a wooden dock post by the ocean. At first I quite liked the label, but the more I looked at it the more something just seems wrong with our little lady Blackheart. The graphic is of low quality which gives her skin a rather mottled appearance, especially on that right shoulder which is facing me. Maybe I quibble too much, but in this day and age, such poor image quality in the graphics is rather puzzling. Still, the image does catch they eye, which is its main purpose.

In the Glass 8.5/10

In the glass, the rum displays a slightly thickened consistency with a light mahogany colour that is just turning towards copper.

The nose is tainted with hints of black cherry, cinnamon, licorice and indistinguishable peppery spices which accent the caramel rum scent. The combination is quite interesting and reminds me of Dr. Pepper soda (but not nearly so sweet which I hope bodes well for the spiced rum).  I let the glass breathe, and a few baking spices (vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg and more cinnamon) were climbing out of the glass as well to greet the breezes as well.

Everything is pleasant and I am happy that despite the higher bottling proof the rum does not seem to display any undo astringency.

In the Mouth 50/60

I was quite happy with my first sip of the spiced rum. As the nose implied, it does not carry as much sweetness as most other spices or flavoured rums, which I think is a good thing. I taste some black cherry soda without the bubbles, alongside impressions of vanilla, cinnamon and caramel. Other spices are a little harder to distinguish but there is some black and red licorice, a bit of nutmeg,  a smattering of clove and some hints of allspice. Whether these spices have all been added is mere speculation as the flavour impressions I receive could be from the underlying rum as well.

I should note that although the rum is stated to be 93 proof, it is quite smooth. There is just a touch of astringency, but the rum is still sippable with ice. The rum works even better as a mixer bringing just enough rum and spice forward to bring a little brash attitude to your spiced rum and cola mixed drink.

In the Throat 12.5/15

The finish is a touch dry with lingering flavours of cinnamon, caramel, black cherry and vanilla. Despite the high-proof , this is pleasant, and I think that touch of dryness in the finish is what is working so well with the cola.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The Blackheart Spiced Rum was a thoroughly enjoyable diversion. I found it quite similar to Sailor Jerry, although the Blackheart is not quite as sweet, and perhaps a touch smoother despite the higher alcohol proof.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipes:

Here is a great high-ball recipe for barbecue season.

SAM_0626 Spiced MandieSpiced Mandie

2 oz Spiced Rum (Blackheart of course)
1/4 oz Chartreuse
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz sugar syrup
Fees Cocktail Bitters
Slice of Lemon

Quarter a lemon slice and place it the bottom of a tall glass
Add a few drops of bitters and the Chartreuse and muddle with a long spoon
Add lots of ice
Pour the Spiced Rum, the Lemon Juice and the sugar syrup over the ice
Complete with cola
Stir and serve


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


One Response to “Blackheart Spiced Rum”

  1. Patrick Halstead said

    Here in the NW corner of the USA, Blackheart is generally $2-$5US less per fifth than other “name” spiced rums and it does serve well as a mixer, at least with cola. On its own, however, the first sensation (illusion) is of effervesence, i.e. bubbles being created on the tongue, reinforced by its “Say ‘hello’ to Dr. Pepper (or Mr. Pibb, or Dr. K….) soda pop impression. The underlying rum asserts itself but, while 93 proof lively, exits with little afterburn or other characteristics. The pin-up on the bottle may be better looking than the one used for Sailor Jerry but is embarrassingly less authentic.

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