Captain Morgan Rum Co.

Captain Morgan may have just fired the last shot in the annual pumpkin-spice craze with its new Jack-O’Blast pumpkin-spice rum. A riff on Cannon Blast—itself a citrus take on spiced rum—Jack-O’Blast’s pumpkin-shaped bottle is spot-on marketing. On the nose, it recalls your drunken aunt elbow-deep in holiday baking, though the taste is mellower. Suggested as a chilled shot, there’s a gentle sweetness with a pop of cinnamon and nutmeg. The spices taste manufactured, not natural, but are quickly overshadowed by the rum kick at the end. As a shot, it resembles an American-autumn version of akvavit—an herb-based Scandinavian spirit—but Jack-O’Blast could serve a higher purpose in mixed drinks or desserts. Used in hot buttered rum, Bailey’s and coffee, or in a sauce for flan or cheesecake complementary flavors could cut the rum’s rough edges (with its 30 percent alcohol by volume) and blow a hole in your holiday parties.