Coconut Rum Tasting

My wife and I love to entertain and we have friends and family over quite often. Typically when guests visit I will pick a few rums to hightlight and everyone will do some random sampling. My wife has often encouraged me to organize a rum tasting but am usually not organized enough to run a formal tasting .

When Cape Coral, FL-based Cape Spirits were kind enough to send me a review sample of their Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum I thought it presented the perfect opportunity to organize a tasting. I did a quick search through my rum collection and pulled the a number of coconut rums to create a flight.  I printed a tasting sheet and invited some close friends over.


Our tasting lineup included six (6) different Coconut rums: Wicked Dolpin Coconut Rum, Malibu Original Limited Winter Edition, Bartenders I’m Coconuts Over You, Coruba Coconut, Ma Doudou Coco, and Topper’s Rhum Coconut Retriever.

I set out the tasting sheets, poured the rums, and offered some simple tasting instructions. For each rum, I asked my guests to silently view, smell, and taste each rum noting the flavor profile they percieved. I asked them to think about what they tasting prior to opening discussing of each expression. I think everyone did a good job analyzing the rums. Below are the impressions  they noted for each expression.


Original Bartenders I’m Coconuts Over You [Unknown – 21% ABV; 42 proof]

– “Orange citrus; vanilla”
– “Vanilla; caramel”
– “Soapy; vanilla”
– “Hints of vanilla & cinnamon”

– “Light coconut; unusually watery”
– “Coconut; sugary; caramel”
– “Very sweet; coconut”
– “Toasted coconut; vanilla; floral hints”

Ma Doudou Coco [Saint Martin – 30% ABV; 60 proof]

– “Soapy”
– “Play-doh; acetone?”
– “Cough drops; blue raspberry”
– “Smells like a kid’s drink mixed with alcohol”

– “Kool Aid; sweet; ground coconut; coconut candy bar; slight spearmint”
– “Fake coconut; orange”
– “Almond Joy coconut; Girl Scout cookie; lingers on palette”
– “Tastes like an Almond Joy type coconut; slight mint linger on the tongue”

Topper’s Coconut Retriever Rhum [St. Maarten – 21% ABV; 42 proof]

– “Sweet and syrupy”
– “Creamy; sugary”
– “Looks like a liqueur in the glass; sweet with coconut hints”
– “Light coconut pie”

– “Strong coconut flavor; kinda artificial”
– “Warm on the tongue; lots of coconut”
– “Creamy coconut; white chocolate & coconut; hint of spice”
– “Syrupy sweet; remain full of sweet coconut”

Coruba Coconut [Jamaica – 21% ABV; 42 proof]

– “Hints of Coconut; Vanilla; Toffee”
– “Pineapple; Sweet orange; caramel”
– “Alcohol; caramel”
– “Caramel on top; alcohol on the bottom”

– “Buttery; Overly viscus, maybe glicerine?; remain has slight hint of bottom dunder”
– “Orange; vanilla; buttery toffee”
– “Buttery caramel; slight burn”
– “Tastes like caramel & buttery toffee”

Wicked Dolphin [Florida, USA – 30% ABV; 60 proof]

– “Light coconut”
– “Toffee; alcohol; earthy fresh”
– “Buttery; light toasted coconut”
– “Toasted coconut; buttery; strong alcohol”

– “Earthy, organic flavor; Coconut rind; hint of Agricole; more alcohol; even coconut flavor”
– “Toasted, buttery coconut”
– “Totally different taste; coconut!; light burn; fresh; slight moonshine taste”
– “Strong, toasted coconut; strong alcohol/sugarshine taste; slight alcohol burn”

Malibu Original Winter Edition [Barbados – 21% ABV; 42 proof]

– “Hints of coconut”
– “Suntan lotion; coconut”
– “Coconut; suntan lotion!”
– “Light coconut; suntan lotion”

– “Buttery flavor but overly viscus…ugh!”
– “Buttery; toasted coconut”
– “Buttery; Like a Werther’s candy; coconut chunks suck”
– “Sweet buttery taste; Werther’s candy flavor”


Prior to the tasting most of my guests viewed coconut rums as sweet, syrupy liqueurs designed to be buried in a mix of fruit juices. Unfortunetly most of these coconut rums fit that profile perfectly. Most mass marketed coconut rums are low alcohol white rums enhanced with sweetner and artificial flavors.

However, my tasters did note that one of our rums was different than the others. Everybody agreed that Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum’s higher alcohol content, low-level sweetness, and light coconut water taste made it their top choice.

We all had a good time determining which flavors we were actually tasting and understanding what we liked (and disliked) about each spirit.

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