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Cruzan Rum Review

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Glasses of Rum for Cruzan Tasting Seminar

Bobby "G" Gleason led a rum tasting seminar at Cruzan Rum Distillery.

Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham
I will admit that I was not very familiar with Cruzan prior to my trip to St. Croix. I had a random Cruzan cocktail here and there and was aware of their line up but had never truly explored the brand. That quickly changed when I met Bobby “G” Gleason, Master Mixologist for Beam Global Spirits, and he took our group on a tasting tour of Cruzan.

Essentially Bobby “G” guided us through a side-by-side comparison between Cruzan and other popular brands. It is always in these types of testing that one learns some amazing truths and the realization of why you enjoy one brand or another becomes clear.

The first sampling was the white rums and Cruzan’s counterpart the most common Bacardi in the world. In these clear spirits Cruzan was less sweet, both in aroma and taste, but Bacardi had a noticeable alcohol note that made it seem unnatural and unclean. This goes back to that elimination of fusel oils that Gary Nelthropp was so adamant about earlier in the day. The same could be seen in the aged rum comparison where Cruzan Single Barrel and Bacardi 8 were matched up. Here I found that same unnatural alcohol in Bacardi and a very smooth, natural, and more subtle sweetness in Cruzan.

The process was repeated and while I found that I tremendously enjoyed the strong orange peel notes of Pyrat XO, Cruzan was impressive throughout. The White Rum is nice sipping but even better for mixing, the Single Barrel a rum worthy of the slowest, chilled sips and the very dark Black Strap (which I recommend highly as a replacement for Meyers Dark) is very sweet, luscious and simply yummy.

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