At around $14 for 1.75 liters, Costco is charging for a half gallon less than many brands charge for a fifth. It felt like a gamble, but at such an inexpensive price it isn’t really much of a risk.
The packaging is very simple, but gives off something of a classy vibe. The bottle is almost rectangular, but has a curved taper like a perfume bottle and is narrower at the bottom than the top. Under the label the bottle is silkscreened with a sketch of sailing ship. Instead of a foil seal, the bottle has a less expensive plastic one. Underneath that is a wooden cap fastened to a synthetic cork.
Opening the bottle, the scent is really magnificent. It’s very complex, and hard to pick out any individual scents, but it’s a rich and tangy smell. The first sip had a surprisingly potent piquant spice burn, but not any alcohol burn. The spices themselves are tasty, but underneath the rum has a flavor that’s rich in a different way from the scent. Leaving a glass out for several hours to mellow, the taste of the spices recedes and leaves just that rich, almost creamy flavor.
Mixed with Coca-Cola, the potent spices in Costco’s rum interact with the sugar in the soda to cancel each other out. The same is true of the base rum and the cola; the flavors of the rum and the Coke work against each other and the result is a very mildly flavored drink. It doesn’t taste bad by any means, but is almost completely bland. I think I’ll try a stronger mix later with more rum in it; after the ice had melted a little the rum came through again, and there was some of that familiar Rum & Coke synergy to the taste.
In a rum float [check “The Silver Book of Cocktails” under “Chilly Rum Soda,” pg.596] the addition of vanilla ice cream to the Rum & Coke somehow makes it all taste bitter, which I did not expect at all. In the future I would probably skip the ice cream and only add whipped cream on top, since the home made whipped cream I added brought out the flavor of the rum and went very well over all.