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Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum

Review: Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum   (72.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra
Published September 05, 2016

Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum is produced by Terrapure Spirits located in North Charleston (South Carolina). The spiced rum is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores.

According to the information provided on the label, the rum has been aged at least one year and features the bold flavour of vanilla with hints of nutmeg and caramel. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Note: I would like to thank the good folks at the Liquor Depot on Millennium Drive in Fort McMurray Alberta for providing this bottle of the Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum to be shared by my tasting group.)

In the Bottle 4/5

The bottle presentation for the Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum is shown to the left. I like the long-necked bottle with the synthetic cork closure. It follows the bartender’s rule of thumb that liquor bottles should be easy to store, easy to hold, and most importantly easy to pour. The label could use a little dressing up; but I have been informed that part of the marketing for some of the Liquor Depot Preferred Brands includes labels which ‘look the part’. The rum is presenting itself as a mid to lower shelf offering meant to appeal to those who are price conscious.

In the Glass 7.5/10

When poured into the glass, the rum displays itself as a pale straw coloured spirit consistent with a lightly aged spirit. There is a light thickness apparent which indicated that some sweetness may have been added along with the spice to create the desired flavoured profile. The information provided implies that vanilla, nutmeg and caramel may have been added to spice and flavour the rum. If caramel was added, it was used judiciously so as not to impact the colour in a large way.

When I brought the rum to my nose the impact of vanilla was immediately apparent. This firm vanilla aroma is accented by light indications of banana, orange peel, and butterscotch/caramel. There is also a light mustiness rising the from the glass, as well as some peppery zest and light sandalwood spices.

There is also a light off-note in the air. I suspect that this is that ‘hint of nutmeg’ which was indicated on the label. However this nutmeg-like impression (combined with the vanilla) gives me an impression of some sort of artificial flavouring. This means that things thing don’t quite come together in the breezes.  I guess you could say that I sensed a lack of balance within the spices of the rum.

In The Mouth 43/60

My feelings with respect to the Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum did not improve when I took a sip. The vanilla is obvious as is a light sweetness. There is also a ginger-like spiciness; but again the taste of nutmeg seems to leave me an impression of something artificial in the flavour profile. There is a vague sense that something is not right. As well, the base rum itself seems limp, lacking any real character of its own. I taste fleeting flavours of banana combined with an undefined mustiness, but nothing else from the underlying spirit. This means that sipping is undesirable, not because the rum is harsh, but because there is no real rum character to enjoy alongside the spice and vanilla.

So I (and a few friends on my back deck) decided to experiment a little making a few mixed drinks. We started with spiced rum and cola, but none of us liked the result. The mixture tasted like Vanilla Coke with the Spiced Rum adding only vanilla and an overt sweetness to the serving. So I switched to ginger-ale and found that this was much nicer as the ginger ale cut through the vanilla and the sweetness making a much more satisfying deck drink (see my recipe recommendation below).

In  The Throat 11/15

The light bodied rum has a short finish which brings a triumvirate of vanilla, sweetness and somewhat pungent nutmeg to the throat. It doesn’t work for me, as the pungent spiciness leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste in the mouth despite the obvious sweetness.

The Afterburn 7/10

My friends and I never warmed up to this spirit. The Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum left me with the impression that it was ‘thrown together’ without much time spent working out the balance of spice and flavour. As well, the underlying rum seemed to have no real character of its own. I think that you can guess that I was disappointed.

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


Suggested Recipes

Flying Machine SAM_2725

The Flying Machine

1 1/2 oz Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Old Thyme Ginger Beer

Add a slice of Lime to the bottom of your favourite tall drinking glass
Fill with Ice
Pour the first three ingredients into the glass over the ice
Add two dashes of Bitters and complete with Ginger Beer
Stir to mix thoroughly
Enjoy Responsibly!

If you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


 You may (loosely) interpret the scores 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)

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