Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum

by Matt Robold on September 4, 2008

The Old New Orleans Crystal and Amber reviews are in the can.  As we enter month two of my one-month focus on Old New Orleans Rum, we move on to their third offering: Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum.

Spiced rum (often referred to as just “spice” in the Islands) is one of the more common spirits for introducing (American) people to molasses-based spirits.  The well-known brand with the pirate mascot in the red coat is the second largest brand of spirits sold in the United States by volume.  That’s a lot of spiced rum and cokes.

In the Caribbean it’s very common for locals and sailors to make their own “spice” by purchasing inexpensive white rum and then infusing it with spices, nuts, fruits, sugar, and any other flavor they may want to mix in to create their own, unique spirit.  The spice is then used in punches, cocktails, or even just straight out of the bottle.  The myriad of options vary widely – and the commercial offerings can vary almost as much as the homemade stuff.

The Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum is made using their typical 500 gallon batch approach.  The rum is blended and then various spices, caramel, cayenne pepper, and vanilla are added to the blend and allowed to flavor the spirit.  The cayenne pepper and vanilla are added late in the infusion process to prevent the spice from becoming overwhelming.  One fact about the recipe for Old New Orleans Cajun that I found fascinating is that the recipe was “perfected” in just one try.  The original test recipe has never been modified.  Once the infusion process is completed, the rum is bottled at 40% abv and shipped.

Appearances

Into the glass goes the rum for its swirl and examination.  The Cajun Spice is a very pale straw color, with fast-running legs.

Nose

I can sum up the nose of this spirit in one word:  “Christmas.”  There’s a dominating smell of gingerbread present right at the front.  It’s warm and inviting and conjures up images of decorating gingerbread men and putting them on the mantel with a glass of milk for Santa Claus.  I’m suddenly gripped by the desire to place a large coniferous tree in my living room, wrap myself in a scarf, and burst in to song.

Following the gingerbread smell is the scent of fresh nutmeg, and the nose finishes off with just a hint of apple.

Palate

Christmas continues!  The entry is full of gingerbread again, followed closely by nutmeg before it gives way to a spicy mid-palate.  Flavor from the cayenne pepper finally makes an appearance and lasts through the finish.  The spiciness is not overpowering at all, just enough heat to give the rum some kick, and the alcohol burn is minimal.  There’s an apple note in the mid-palate that hits about the same time as the cayenne.

For some reason, this light-bodied rum made me think of my mulled apple cider infusion from this past winter.  Not that the apple flavor is that strong in the Cajun Spice, but more that this seems like it would be a perfect rum to mix into a hot drink (like, oh, mulled apple cider) on a cold winter day.

It’s not winter right now though, and I had a different cocktail in mind.  I decided to make the same drink made for me at Celebration Distillation: Cajun Tea.

Cajun Tea

1.5 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum
.5 oz Simple Syrup
Iced Tea (unsweetened)

Fill a highball glass with ice.  Add rum and simple syrup, and then top off the glass with unsweetened tea.  Garnish with lemon.

The drink is dangerously refreshing.  Obviously the better the tea you use, the better the cocktail will be.  I used a brewed Lipton iced tea for this, but I would really like to try this with some sun-brewed tea.  After finishing my first tea with little delay, I made myself another, adding about .5 oz of lemon juice to the mix (I generally put a lot of lemon in my tea anyway).  This is the kind of drink that can get you in trouble on a hot day because you’ll just keep refilling your glass before you realize that standing up to do so is no longer an option.

The Long & The Short Of It

It is genuinely hard for me to not be effusive in praise about this rum.  The idea of Cajun spiced rum was a little scary when I first heard about it.  The mix of flavors however is terrific, and the rum manages a great balance between dry and sweet.  You can grab a bottle for under $40 at DrinkUpNY.com.

Dood’s Rating: 4 Bottles of Rum Out of 5

Dood’s Other Rum Reviews

Have you tried this rum?  What did you think?

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{ 6 comments }

Tiare September 5, 2008 at 2:57 pm

This was interesting reading but i have become even more confused now as i hear contradicting opinions on this rum..it looks like its a rum you either love or hate. I have never tried it but i hope to, some day. Port Royal…

Matt Robold September 8, 2008 at 1:36 pm

It does seem to be a rather polarizing rum. But one of the things I love about rum is that there’s so much variety, and even though you may find many rums you don’t like, it’s nigh impossible to not find a rum you DO like.

John February 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Our friends have tried to get us to try this for a long time now. Finally managed to get a bottle and WOW!! I love spiced rum and this stuff is incredible. Captain who?

Logan Lannoo August 10, 2009 at 2:56 am

I, a native Louisianian recently visited this distillery and took the tour. I was pleased to find such quality in my own back yard! As I spoke with staff members about the products, and being a true bred Cajun this rum really hit home! Living not even 20 miles from our best known product of oak barrels (Tabasco sauce) I absolutely adored this rum. I am not a rum drinker by all means, but the tour and experience at Old New Orleans has made me a believer! Something I may suggest, seeing as this rum had you at the north pole, try placing a little bit of it in your favorite egg nog. I hear it is pretty amazing! Although this rum may not be as phenominal as the 10 yr, it is a good bang for it’s buck! If you are ever near New Orleans I beg you to please, PLEASE go check out the distillery! Also a couple of secrets, they are always brewing up new products/test batches and use tour guests as test audiences! While I was there they were working on a giner beer they called gingeroo. And another great tip, The prices of the rum differ from $18 (crystal), $22 (amber), $25 (Cajun) to $55 (10 yr) which may seem like a steal, but you can buy all for in a set for $100! That’s $20 less and I know alot less than what you would pay elsewhere! Check it out, at least for the discounted rum!

Capt. Dan May 19, 2010 at 2:45 am

Doods,
I was reading rum reviews and ran across this rum. I’ve been a big Captain fan for a long time and luckily I work out of Louisiana and had the opportunity to grab a bottle of this rum. Well……….my favorite drink is The Captain with Vernor’s Ginger soda which is everywhere in my home state of Michigan as it is brewed in Detroit. I call this drink “Pirate Juice”. I had the forethought of bringing some Vernor’s with me when I picked up this Cajun Spice. I can tell you that this rum kicks the peg leg out from under the Captain! I was drinking the Cajun on the rocks just smacking my lips when I decided to add a splash of the Vernor’s. Amazing! It really makes the flavor pop.

This rum seems hard to find unless in the immediate New Orleans area. I paid $23.99 in a store in New Orleans and couldn’t find it again once I got out of town. Drinkupny.com has it for I think $31.00, so I plan on picking up more in N.O. when I pass through on my way home.

Barbara Davis August 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

Rummy over Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced rum! …. but where can I purchase some in Greensboro, North Carolina? I realize the ABC Store regulations put you through hoops to bring it to market here in NC. I suggest you (the owners of Old New Orleans Rum(s) approach/ contact Ruddy, owner of Cafe Europa Bar in downtown Greensboro– He has a great clientele. And the ABC store on Fleming Rd. would be a great retail location. (right next to XYZ) Please advise. Barbara D. reply email: ZephyrFilms@aol.com Thanks again. You’ve got a great product– now to market this hot stuff!

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