Now here’s a brand that many of you will have seen, and probably ordered at some point in your young lives; Captain Morgan’s rum. A stalwart to many, and one of the brands and expressions within that i’m sure many of you start your rum journey with. But how did it get to become so widely acknowledged around the world?
Lets dive into some reasoning and 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 1943. Named after a gentleman named Henry Morgan, born in Wales but left to sail for the West Indies in 1654, he 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. In 2011 Captain Morgan’s flagship The Satisfaction was discovered by archaeologists off the coast of Panama.
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, plus some flavoured styles recently released –
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%
Launched in 1982, 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.
Captain Morgan Jack-O Blast – 30%
Limited edition pumpkin spiced rum, essentially pumpkin flavours blended with Captain Morgan Spiced. Light pumpkin aromas on the nose, with subtle spices following. Thick viscosity to begin on the palate, with plenty of ripe pumpkin and cinnamon that creates a warm finish.
Captain Morgan Watermelon Smash – 25%
Limited edition watermelon rum that blends Caribbean rum with watermelon flavours. Ripe watermelon instantly hits the nose, with a very soft note of the rum coming through. Once onto the palate, the rum note comes through a little more, followed by waves of watermelon leading to a sweet yet fresh finish.
All of the above expressions are perfect for mixing simple drinks with too –
Rum and Ginger
35 ml Captain Morgan Black Label
Simply add your favourite ginger beer to Captain Morgan and garnish with a slice of lime.
50 ml Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast
115 ml chilled apple cider
Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice, stir and serve.
Plus you have;
50 ml Captain Morgan Watermelon Smash
35 ml Captain Morgan White Rum
25ml lime juice
25 ml Simple Syrup
Middle mint leaves, simple syrup, and lime juice in a highball glass. Add ice, top with club soda and garnish with watermelon and mint leaves.
A great rum for mixing and simple serves, although i know that most rum purists will wish the fact that the spiced expression would hit the required abv mark of 37.5%. One for an easy weekend with friends. The two flavoured expressions are currently only available in the US.
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