The Pirate King's Private Stock

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Cruzan Estate Dark

Category: Gold
Country: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Aged: 2 years
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: Everywhere
Price: $10-$13 (750 mL)
Rating: Three stars

The Review:
Despite the misleading name, Cruzan Estate Dark is actually a gold rum - both in its younger age and golden amber appearance.

At first crack of the seal, this rum surrenders a hint of medicinal alcohol and vanilla with a light touch of varnish on the nose. Allowed to breathe, the rum soon relaxes and releases some very sweet molasses and caramel aromas.

The rum carries simple tastes of vanilla, caramel, pepper and oak - somewhat similar to Cruzan's 151, though not nearly as sweet and obviously not nearly as strong.  Light to medium bodied with a mildly harsh yet short finish. Brown sugar and sour orange aftertaste.

Generally uncomplicated, and surprisingly not bad neat, however, if put on the rocks, this rum gives way from an almost grainy texture to a more silky feel - and a very slight cinnamon flavor appears.

Ultimately, this is far from an ideal sipping rum, but it'll easily do when short on options. It gets absolutely lost mixed with coke and in weak drinks, but at the right ratio, it can end up quite tasty.

I'd much prefer to spend the extra $5 for a bottle of Cruzan's 5-year Estate Diamond, though. Cruzan Estate Dark is a bit short on flavors and smoothness, but this bargain rum is a solid choice for parties or events, and easily beats Bacardi Gold, its primary competition at the price range.

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