Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Rum Review

Kirk & Sweeney 12 Year Rum

As we sit here on the first day of autumn (when this was published), our thoughts and tastes turn to the tastes of fall. Gone are the light, sweet, fruity tastes of summer, making way for the crisper, heavier tastes of autumn. It’s soup and chili season, I’ve shifted my beer buying to stouts. I find myself in search of a good sipping rum, that’s smokier than some of the sweeter, spiced rums I tend to enjoy in the summer. Enter Kirk and Sweeney’s 12 year rum.


Kirk and Sweeny is an 80 proof 12 year Dominican rum. I quite like the smaller, globe bottle. The label touts its rich mahogany colour, and range of flavours from earthy sugar cane and dried fruit to vanilla and oak. It’s certainly got all of that and more.


Much like last week’s Ron Marqués del Valle, it’s a strong tasting smokey rum. But where it differes from RMV is how it balances that smokiness. It’s not as strong or pungent. It’s still very prevalent, you still get that warm, smokey taste, but it doesn’t overpower to make you not want to drink it. I’ve been drinking it neat, and I’ve quite enjoyed it. I did have a glass over ice, and the sweetness of the sugar and vanilla was brought out, but neither dominated the taste. It still very much had that balance of flavour.


I hate to go back to the Ron Marqués well again, but the two are so similar and I’m reviewing them so close… Kirk and Sweeney has many of the same qualities that I found “just fine” in Ron Marqués, they just happen to do it better. Maybe it’s the 8 years of Ron Marqués vs the 12 years of Kirk and Sweeney, but Kirk and Sweeney just balanced it better. The sweetness comes through when drinking it neat, if not as dominant of a flavour, so it cuts the smoke. It shines even more once we get it over ice. Those vanilla undertones really pop once you’re sipping over ice.

In cocktails, I see this working in the very simple liquor forward cocktails. That sharp smokiness will come out in force, especially when paired with some citrus flavours of a rum Old Fashioned or the Jungle Bird, as mentioned in last week’s review of Ron Marqués. Kirk and Sweeney just has a better balance of flavours, and will lend itself better to certain cocktails.


The sharp smokiness isn’t completely in my flavour palate, and it would probably never be in regular rotation. But if that’s the particular flavour I’m in the mood for, this is where I’d go. I’d pick up that bottle of Kirk & Sweeney. And the quality of rum, paired with the fun bottle, means it would impress if entertaining and making cocktails for your friends. If you’re going to be entertaining, but keeping the cocktails simple and elegant, this is the rum for you.

Published by Brodie Mann

I've been a podcaster and radio DJ for over 15 years, and an appreciator of my favourite things for my entire life. That includes film, music, food and of course... a nice glass of rum.

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