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How the Wrath of a Norse Sea-Monster Gave Birth to Iconic Kraken Spiced Rum

Kraken spiced Rum

Kraken spiced Rum

The Victorian rum bottle sticks out from any bar-shelf calling attention to its shape. Two round handles, which once had a functional purpose (when bottles were hung inside boats during long voyages), adorn its sides.

News18 Tippling PointIt happened in those hoary times. Ships regularly shuttled between the Carribean islands and the Continent, carrying their wares, mostly large quantities of sugar and rum. Back then, merchants had only one thing to fear on the ocean - the unnegotiable wrath of the pirates that would unleash upon them any moment.

So on one such voyage, in a ship filled to its seams with black rum, sailors sat with their eyes peeled, on the lookout for the pirates to emerge. They were almost relieved as the sea looked calm, empty and promising. What did they know! The villain had already set its eyes on the booty. From deep down the ocean.

Before the sailors understood anything, their ship was smashed into smithereens. They only saw humungous limbs abruptly emerging from the water and lashing across the hull and the mast, defying all logic, giving those poor people little time to comprehend and finally blowing all hopes for salvage. Men were thrown off board only to be sucked deep into the darkness below. All the barrels of rum were destroyed save one, which was later found to be stained with a curious ink, black, as if some wild squid had squirted its swarthy message into it, forbidding human trespassers.

What happened! The Kraken had done it again!

The Kraken, according to Norse sagas, is a sea-monster of gigantic size, (imagine a colossal squid) that dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. Soon fictive stories about the beast travelling along the waters to shake up even those sailors from places as far away as the Carribean. They say that Kraken finds it amusing to topple ships belting them with its burly tentacles. If the ship still holds out against the blitzkrieg, the beast would quite insightfully switch to plan B. It would begin to circle around the vessel, madly, lashing the water with its tentacles, creating a maelstrom that would surely sink any formidable ship.

It was against the attack of such a Kraken that one bottle of rum stood up so bravely (even though stained with the black ink) on that fateful day when yet another ship was destroyed by the beast.

Later the beverage industry took notice and commemorated the incident and the legends about the beast by creating a rum named - Kraken.

Made in the Virgin Islands (by proximo spirits), from naturally sweet molasses harvested from sugarcane that grows on riverbanks, Kraken Black spiced Rum is spruced up with 11 spices including cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves (the rest is secret). Black in colour, boldly referring to the ink of the mythical beast, the rum can ruffle your placid evening with its brute and rugged nature.

With 90% proof, and with the array of spices warming it up, Kraken is not a drink to be trifled with disrespectfully.

Take a sip, straight, on the rocks or diluted with water. Your nose and the palate will soon parse the fine notes of toffee and spices from the drink. Kraken is also a great addition to the cocktail world. You must try the Kraken rum with ginger beer, Cola, or root beer for a spicy and long drink.

Aged for 24 months, Kraken today comes in interesting packing.

The Victorian rum bottle sticks out from any bar-shelf calling attention to its shape. Two round handles, which once had a functional purpose (when bottles were hung inside boats during long voyages), adorn its sides. Get close and take a look. The bottles are furnished with drawings of the tentacled monster that has been terrorizing sailors in different parts of the world for centuries.

If you want to see how thickly they have stretched out the theme of monster over the rum, watch a few commercials of Kraken Spiced Rum on YouTube. The rum Kraken, they claim, is as dark as the beast. Only the bold can cross over to such turbid, inky black waters, where the monster lurks. Can you survive its tentacles?

(Manu Remakant is a freelance writer who also runs a video blog - A Cup of Kavitha - introducing world poetry to Malayalees. Views expressed here are personal)
first published:February 23, 2020, 12:09 IST