Apart from "the beast," we're generally fans of liquor named after monsters — and Kraken Black Spiced Rum ($22) is no exception. This upscale, but not crazy-expensive, spiced rum is a nice alternative to your normal well-residing rum, and comes in a handsome old-school jug-handled bottle adorned with a label that begs for a spot on the counter instead of being hidden in the cabinet.
Having made rum on St. Croix since 1760, Cruzan has built up centuries of distilling knowledge, and they've used all of it to create Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum ($65). A handcrafted blend of multiple different rums aged up to 12 years old, Single Barrel is blended and then aged further in a new charred oak barrel for another year, giving the libation a terrific golden brown color and smooth, complex taste with notes of pepper, wood, and caramel.
We're not actually pirates, but we do enjoy our rum. Made from fresh cut estate-grown blue cane, Depaz Blue Cane Rhum ($42) is quickly becoming one of our favorites. Selected as one of Wine Enthusiast's top 50 spirits of 2007, it's sure to lift your spirits following the grueling holiday gauntlet of food, family, and headaches.