Now here’s a brand that many of you will have seen, and probably ordered at some point in your life – Captain Morgan’s rum. But why is this brand so widely available? And how does it differ to any other rum?
When Sam Bronfman, President and CEO of Seagram’s drinks company, arrived in the Caribbean in the 1940’s, he was surprised by the opportunities presented by spiced rum. He quickly set about becoming the ‘Rum King of the World’ and established a network of trading relationships with distillers across the region, founding the Captain Morgan Rum Company in 1945. Named after a gentleman named Henry Morgan, born in Wales but left to sail for the West Indies in 1654 and quickly became captain, garnering attention as a legal pirate who defended the British interests. With his exploits, he was knighted and by 1680, Sir Henry Morgan was a plantation owner and Governor of Jamaica. There he lived out his final days until his death in 1688.
When the company subsequently purchased the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica, Sam bought an age-old family recipe for spiced rum from the Levy Brothers, two Jamaican pharmacists from Kingston.
Using charred American white oak bourbon barrels, and filled with triple continuous distilled rum, they are rested and matured until ready to be bottled.
So once it hits our glass, how does it fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes on its two major expressions –
Captain Morgan Black Label – 40%
Strong vanilla on the nose with a slight spice ending. Both become more dominant on the palate, despite a smooth beginning. Rather harsh on the throat but a long sweet after-taste develops.
Captain Morgan Spiced – 35%
A light vanilla nose that carries onto the palate. A slow start but brings a slight raw vanilla flavour with hints of toffee and cassia spice. A rather harsh finish but soon mellows.
These two are perfect for mixing simple drinks with too –
Dark and Stormy
35 ml Captain Morgan Black Label
Simply add your favourite ginger beer to Captain Morgan and garnish with a slice of lime.
If you like your rum and you haven’t tried it, it’s worth a go to complete your collection, and it’s great for a simple mixer too.
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