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Whaler’s Killer Coconut Rum

Review: Whaler’s Killer Coconut Rum  (82.5 pts/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka) Arctic Wolf
Published on March 19,  2012

A few weeks back, I received a few bottles of the different flavours of  Whaler’s Rum from the local importer here in Alberta, Diamond Estates. They were hoping I would taste them, share some with my friends, and perhaps write a review or two. I didn’t really know a lot about Whaler’s Rum so I agreed to accept the samples of these “Hawaiian” style rums.

According to the Whaler’s Rum website, the rum is made from an old Hawaiian recipe. The story goes that early seafarers used to rattle vanilla beans in empty rum bottles at sunset to attract migrating whales to their ships. The whales (who apparently were friendly in those earlier days) then guided the sailors to the tropical haven known as Hawaii. There, the seafarers discovered the old rum makers of Maui, and they were so impressed with that rum that they called it Whaler’s in homage to friendly whales who led them to the rum.

Of course the story is just that, a good story, and the rum really doesn’t come from Hawaii (although the recipe might). I note that Whaler’s Rum is a subsidiary of Heaven Hill Distilleries, and the Whaler’s Killer Coconut Rum was bottled in Barstow Kentucky (much closer to the Atlantic than the Pacific). It is almost certainly produced from imported Caribbean rum.

Whalers Coconut bottle shotIn the Bottle 4.5/5

The Whaler’s Killer Coconut Rum bottle has a bit of an old-school look to it allowing me to imagine that those old rum makers on Maui would have used a bottle just like this to store their rum within. The eye-catching label is colourful and the killer whale (representing the Killer coconut) is a nice touch.

I like that the makers of the Whaler’s rums have apparently colour coded their bottles and toppers to match the expected flavour inside. When mixing drinks it is pretty easy to just grab the white bottle and topper when I want a coconut flavour, rather than to have to read each label to find the right bottle.

(I should also note that the flavoured rum is bottled at 20 % Alcohol by volume.)

In the Glass 8/10

The rum is clear in the glass with slightly thickened or lightly syrupy appearance. The aroma is very nice with coconut scents mingling with light caramel and vanilla. I was expecting more intensity in the breezes above the glass from a flavoured rum labeled “Killer Coconut, but the scents in the air above the glass are rather laid back. I guess Killer Whales are more laid back and relaxed than I thought.

And in fact I prefer this laid back approach. Intensely flavoured spirits are sometimes also intensely sweet, and my impression on the nose is that this will not be the case.

In the Mouth 50/60

The thickened consistency of the flavoured rum coats the palate allowing the flavour to linger as you sip. This flavour is well represented by the nose and consists of a firm coconut, some sweet caramel and sugar, and a nice dollop of vanilla. This triumvirate works very well, as the flavoured rum is sweet enough to be pleasant, without being too sweet, and the coconut flavour is firm but not cloying. This seems like a nice dessert style sipper, which would also work very well in a Pina Colada as well as other cocktails (see recipe below).

In the Throat 12/15

At 20 % alcohol by volume we would expect this spirit to be very smooth, and indeed it is. As stated earlier, I appreciate that the sweetness and the intensity of the coconut rum are not ramped up such that the exit would be cloying.

The Afterburn 8/10

The Whaler’s Killer Coconut is a thoroughly enjoyable coconut flavoured rum. It is laid back and easy to sip, and better yet, when I had my friends over to try some both neat, as well as in cocktails, they all liked it too (probably even more than I did to tell you the truth).

You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipes

SAM_0644 Chocolate  Covered Banana

Whalers Chocolate Covered Banana

Chocolate Covered Banana

1 1/4 oz  Coconut Rum
1  Banana
1 – 2 tbsp  Chocolate Syrup
1/2  cup Vanilla Ice Cream

Pour rum into blender
Add 1/2 banana, chocolate syrup and ice cream
Blend until smooth
Pour into a tall glass
Garnish with the other half of the banana


A Day At The Beach

1 oz  Coconut Rum
1/2 oz  Amaretto
3 oz  Orange Juice

1/2 oz  Grenadine

Add the Coconut Rum, Amaretto, and Orange Juice into a metal shaker with Ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Pour into a highball glass over ice
Top with Grenadine
Garnish with a pineapple wedge


My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them 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 spirit.  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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