The first thing you’ll find in Malibu Black is rum–real flavor of rum. Once you get over the fact that this Malibu product isn’t about super-sweet candy coconut you can begin to go through the flavor wheel from brown sugars and mildly sweet coconut in the background.
While you will spend a bit more for Malibu Black, you have a product that can stand on its own as a multi-dimensional tasting experience. It’s not as sweet in sugars and oaks as some black rum but it’s also not as extreme in sweetness as the original. However, I find the original Malibu as more of a one-trick poney of coconut explosiveness. The authentic coconut is distracted by the sugar-infusion where Black brings back some rum heritage and the complexities that go with that experience.
I would put Malibu Black well above its original product in overall taste experience. This may be something to give Cruzan a challenge!