Trick-or-treat folks, and no don’t worry we are not playing a trick by reviewing a pumpkin spice spirit. No we were contacted by a taylorstrategy.com rep. wondering if we wanted a sample of ‘the first pumpkin spice rum brought to market.’ Of course being good sports we said yes, hoping to get a sample nip. They then sent us a bottle turning this from a ‘hey here’s a thing to try, to I guess we should review this’, and here we are. Now no worries we will continue to focus on spirits instead of niche flavorings (so many vodka flavors), but think of this as a Halloween special where we consider the following as both a rum and flavored booze.
We would like to point out that this is actually the first time in many years that a company (while not directly) has sent us a spirit. We’ve been asked about such a thing multiple times, but once we outline the point of the site, the complete freedom of creative control, and the overall ethos of ‘we are not your friends’ we mostly never hear from said contacts ever again, which is fine btw. The point of this site is to keep to the ideal that a 5 is a true average, that scores of 93-99 are thrown around in this industry willy-nilly and that someone needs to be willing to stand up and say – “hey, this is a piece of shit.”
With that in mind though let’s move to the actual spirit. Of course there is no baseline (even they claim to be the first to market), but as it pertains to a rum – for a straight up sipping get their Private Stock instead. Hell just get the regular or 100 proof rum (we should maybe get around to reviewing those… also see Capt, we can play ball – send us free stuff we won’t bring up that your white rum was an unmitigated disaster – wait.).
What they Say: “Have a blast at captainmorgan.com”
Taste: 5.5 – PUMPKIN. PUMPKIN. PUMPKIN. PUMPKIN. PUMPKIN. PUMPKIN. Seriously holy shit pumpkin. That’s all there is too it.
Aftertaste: 6.0 – This is where much like the aroma it continues that pumpkin spice, but also somehow tastes a bit more muffin-y.
Burn/Smooth: 5.0 – This doesn’t burn or really provide a warmth, but it does kind of have an ethanol component to it. It does have all the pumpkin spice-ness going on which I guess does something? Overall this is average for not going down like silk, or salt water.
Aroma: 6.0 – That’s spooky. Because listen if it just smelled like pumpkin spice we could write it off. It however smells almost EXACTLY like a pumpkin spice muffin.
Manliness: 6.5 – So the text isn’t wanky, but the bottle (while identical to their cannon blast bottle) is still meant to look like a pumpkin. However they had the balls, and we mean BALLS to mail this to us – HBR. We do not forgive or take anything lightly, so if you mail to us you have some cajones – however we still need to consider this rum against the ‘white girl potential’ where it loses many points, despite the manliness,
Mixability: 4.62 – Note we tried it with some things, and they also sent us some recipes in the info.
W/ Rocks: 4.0 – That just somehow makes it more pronounced. This however has the unintended effect where now I like it less, and wish it was more subtle.
W/ Apple Cider: 7.0 – The pumpkin and apple blend together in a way that in a small way cancels each other out. Make no mistake this you can taste both things here, but they lack the power they had on their own. Overall it tastes good, and it also doesn’t feel sickly sweet so it makes it easy drinking. Honestly if you added a bit of vodka to this it’s kind of dangerous. Also having this with a mulled cider is just great, but then mulled cider is a step up.
Rum and Coke: For the record this will of course not be scored as it’s likely a ‘bad choice’ considering the flavoring of the spirit, but I felt it had to be at least tried. It’s kind of like a rum and coke, but it’s distinctly wrong.
Orange Pumpkin Smash (1.5 oz. Jack-O’Blast, 2 oz. orange juice, 2 oz. club soda): 4.5 – I have the distinct impression this was made purely for the aesthetic of it being orange. I say this because while it is by no means a vile cocktail, it’s not a good one.
Jack-O’Lager (1 oz. Jack-O’Blast shot, 4 oz. Lager): 3.0 – For authenticity (and because no beer was mentioned) I went with a Michelob Lager as that is a very common lager used for beer bombs. (This coming from experience, and I admit there are better choices, but again this is more akin to real-world) While it does improve the beer making it more like a pumpkin beer – you are better off getting almost any pumpkin beer – which at this point any bar will have. As such it does poorly here.
Blasted Brew (.5 oz. Jack-O’Blast, .5 oz. Cannon Blast): Haha, nice try Captain Morgan, while we appreciate the product synergy, we will get Cannon Blast on our own time. (Or hey you could send it to us, we promise not to be nice, but fair)
Value: 3.5 – So here’s the thing. First let’s just assume that this is a seasonal buy and use that as a reason to detract only 2 points from perfection value-wise. Any more is being outright mean. Now let’s say it is in season, is this still a good value? The answer is still no. It’s not a great mixer, and sure as a chilled shooter it’s a novelty, but it’s a cheap novelty. That price point is actually spot on to get itself bought by someone for a party in season so while it doesn’t do well – it’s not apocalyptic like some seasonal garbage.
Google Shop Average: $16
Metric Score: 37.12/70 |+| Metric Average: 5.3 |+| Reviewer Average: 5.5
Final Thoughts: The review scores do reflect that while this is nothing great to rave about to all your friends, it can be enjoyed as a shooter (chilled for best effect). While of course the initial reaction as a ‘joke’ spirit done to capitalize on the pumpkin spice craze doesn’t do justice to this as a spiced rum – it is a novelty. A novelty that highly reminds one of a pumpkin muffin and has no facet of awfulness, but a novelty none the less.
Editor’s Note: I do wish more of our reviews came with an info packet of pricing, cocktails to try, and imagery. Oh well guess we’ll forge ahead on our own.