Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan
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 –

Dark & Spicy

Rum and Ginger

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

35 ml Captain Morgan Black Label
Ginger Beer

Method – 

Simply add your favourite ginger beer to Captain Morgan and garnish with a slice of lime.

or perhaps;

Captain Morgan - Apple Jack O
Apple Jack-O

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

50 ml Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast
115 ml chilled apple cider

Method – 

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice, stir and serve.

Plus you have;

Captain Morgan - Watermelon MojitoWatermelon Mojito

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Captain Morgan Watermelon Smash
35 ml Captain Morgan White Rum
25ml lime juice
25 ml Simple Syrup
Club soda
Mint leaves

Method –

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.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

Morgan’s Spiced & Coke Pre-mixed Tasting Notes

As well as being handed a can of Southern Comfort mixer (https://drinksenthusiast.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/southern-comfort-lemonade-lime-pre-mixer-tasting-notes/) I was also able to taste the Morgan’s Spiced offering of their pre-mixer with coke.

Morgan's Spiced & Coke Pre-Mixer

With a strength of 6.4% and my love of rum, this is a perfect mix! The aromas and smells of vanilla instantly hit your nostrils with a spice mix following closely behind. A huge vanilla hit surprises you when you first taste, with the unmistakable flavour of Morgan’s Spice coming through soon after. A slight spicy end lingers in the back of your throat but its smoothness almost soothes it to a mouth-watering effect. Granted it’s not on par with the fresh pairing of Morgan’s Spiced and Coke, and at 6.4%, you don’t seem to get a strong taste of the base spirit, but don’t let that put you off. It’s like a mask for alcohol – it’s there, you know it’s there, and after 5 of these you will be close to having a very good night!  This is a top 5 pre-mix contender!

Round-up

Just a brief round-up –

Got back from Corks Out in Timperley today on the hunt for my flat-mates payday spirit buying – bottle of Goslings Black Seal rum. As always we had to sample some of the other dark rums on offer including Chairman’s Reserve and Ron Barcelo Gran Anejo! I also sampled an Amaretto, slightly more expensive than Disaranno, named Saliza. I myself bought 3 bottles of ale from Robinsons Brewery, Old Tom – original strength, chocolate and ginger. Personally, some of the best ales around.

Also recently tried the new Eristoff Gold, toffee and vanilla flavoured. I’ll be posting a full review of it A.S.A.P.

I also hope to be tasting in more detail the Goslings Black Seal, Chairman’s Reserve, the Polish beer Leche, the 3 Old Tom Ale’s, and the pre-mixed Jack Daniel & Coke and Jack Daniel & Ginger Ale.

Keep up-to-date with my escapades on Twitter at http://twitter.com/flowgomanic

Pre-mixed Malibu & Cranberry Tasting Notes

Malibu & Cranberry pre-mixed

I promised Malibu on there twitter feed I would try out some of their pre-mixed drinks that they offer so on a recent trip to the supermarket I bought a can of Malibu & Cranberry (£1.49). Having tasted my first pre-mixed drink only a few days ago (Jim Beam & Coke), I had high hopes for this version and at 5% it comes stronger than the JB too.

After opening the can you get the instant strong smell and aromas of Malibu and the cranberry sneaking in later, and with pouring into two glasses (i shared it with a friend to get a females perspective on what to me is seen as more a lady style drink) an intense red/purple colour, not your traditional cranberry colour. Once in the glass the aromas we had when i first opened the can were nowhere to be seen, which was a bit disappointing, but it may also be due to the fact the open glass releases a lot more than a can would.

The taste was surprisingly ok, not as strong as i thought it might have been but you could definitely tell the Malibu is there. Unfortunately, after the first few tastes my palate got used to the taste of Malibu a little too quickly and  i finished it wondering if I’d drank all the Malibu at the beginning. Don’t let that put you off though, a refreshing mouth-watering aftertaste will get you finishing the can fairly quickly and I would recommend for a pre-party drink due to the price and the attraction of you can drink it quickly due to it being still instead of carbonated.  If your thinking of having it in a glass i may recommend adding some fresh limes like your traditional Malibu and mixer drink.

Now to try there pre-mixed cocktail pouches, an eye catching find in the pre mixed section!

The Circle 360 Review

Theres a new champagne and cocktail bar located in the Italian area of the Trafford Centre’s Orient food hall. I’ve watched this bar grow from day one as it’s location is opposite to where i work and i’ve been itching to try it out ever since its grand opening less than a week ago.

I took along a friend and arrived at about 3pm. As you can see the back bar automatically grabs your attention, the large circle with a magnum of champagne in the middle! A good layout of spirits surrounded underneath it including Jack Daniel Single Barrel, Belvedere, Patron and Martin Millers as well as display ice buckets with several bottles of Moet & Chandon poking out the top. Cake stands were also visible for there Afternoon Tea promotion (more about that later).

Speciality 360

Sitting ourselves on white leather bar stools which despite looking like salon chairs, went surprisingly well with the white decor, we were greeted by the bartender on duty with a smile and a drinks menu. I had already previously asked The Circle Club (the company behind the bar) on there Twitter feed which cocktails they recommend with the replies of ‘Pornstar Martini and the speciality 360’, so with curiosity getting the better of me i plumped for the 360 while a French Martini was ordered as well. Now i don’t know if this is me but if you make a cocktail, you make it in front of the customer, not halfway down the bar. It would have been nice to see what ingredients he was putting in to this speciality cocktail (i glimpsed Hendricks gin being used) but i gave the man his dues once he presented me with the finished item.A dark blackcurrant colour with a fresh blackcurrant and cucumber fold as a garnish made a good first impression. It had a smooth velvety taste to it with the constant aroma of cucumber coming from both the garnish as well as the Hendricks gin. Slightly overpowering it sometimes but the blackberry taste counteracted it nicely and made it a very nice mouth-watering signature cocktail.We were a bit confused with what our other drink was as we originally ordered a French Martini however a champagne flute was handed to us which eventually turned out to be a French 75. Obviously thinking the French Martini would be served in the Martini glass and the signature cocktail served in a champagne flute, it turned out we were drinking the drink the other one had ordered. A mistake on the bartenders part but non-the-less the French 75 was a beautiful lemon zest cocktail with the Moet & Chandon champagne top not overpowering the overall complexity at all. After a few sips i also noticed it started to go down very smoothly, as if the drink had settled and it allowed you to enjoy it that little bit more. The glass itself helped, an elegant yet simple thinly stemmed champagne flute that curved at the top to reduce the amount of gasses being released.

A Parisian Re-fashioned followed next for me with an absinthe take on the Old Fashioned classic.

Parisian Re-fashioned

Made with coating the inside of a tumbler glass with Le Fee Parisian Absinthe and igniting for a few seconds, blowing out and starting the 7 minute process of an Old Fashioned. The use of Woodford Reserve bourbon was a particularly good choice and vanilla sugar made my day as the sweet tooth guy I am. To be fair it wasn’t 7 minutes in the making but the drink itself was a well-balanced affair. The vanilla sugar took the edge off a drink which can sometimes come on a bit strong if not enough Demerara is used and it worked well. The burnt orange zest gave some interesting aromas as it mixed with the coating of absinthe and the Woodford Reserve but it didn’t over come you which made it a very drinkable drink.

My friend is a lover of Tanqueray 10 and asked the barman for a recommendation that involved fruit juices. The result was Tanq 10 with both fresh and puree strawberries with a top of champagne served in a Martini Glass. This had a zest tingly sensation to it, possibly due to the champagne top but also to the fresh strawberries used. The gin was hard to tell it was there sometimes but you got the odd taste of the Tanq once you made your way through the layer of fruit.

The Circle 360 bar menu is a simple yet well set out design with a ‘champagne story’ on the inside cover to highlight the bars purpose.

Now i will say this, the prices that the drinks are being sold for are worth it.

Champagne cocktails (Bellini’s, French 75’s) for £6.95

Signature cocktails (Pornstar Martini, Jack Daniels Single Barrel over ice) for £5.95

Classic cocktails (Mojito, Margarita, Long Island) £4.95

Contemporary cocktails (8yr Itch, Grey Goose Le Fizz) £5.45

Martinis (Cosmopolitan, French Martini) £5.45

French 75

Compared to the rest of the Trafford Centre’s bar/cocktails offerings as well as the reputation of The Circle Club i did expect to be paying a lot more for these drinks, especially when they use premium spirits and champagne! This could be a winning formula for them and i hope they stick at these prices for a while to come.

Now as you’d expect there are offerings for wine with what looks like a very good and varied selection in each category (a bottle of Sangiovese, Ceravalo Estate caught my eye for £29.50). The usual suspects of champagne are there with glasses of Castell Lord Cava at £3.50 to £7.95 for a Moet & Chandon Imperial Rose and topping to a bottle of Krug Clos D’Ambonnay Vintage 1996 at £3295. Theres Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Laurent Perrier, Veuve Clicquot and Louis Roederer thrown in there for good measure too.

Soft drinks are available too with the offering of juices, milkshakes, smoothies and tea and coffee as well as fresh cake slices including victoria sponge, cupcakes, scones and lollicakes (cakes on a stick, – popular with celebrities apparently!). They also do a Afternoon Tea priced at £15.50 where you receive a pot of Darjeeling tea, choice of 2 sandwiches, scone, elderflower cake, chocolate choux pastry and fresh fruit tart!

Nearing the end of our visit we were both genuinly impressed with the offerings that The Circle 360 give you in the case of drinks as well as surroundings. The stunning bar set-up is a thing to see and you don’t always feel like your in the middle of a food court when your sat there, something which i thought would put me off.

You’ll be seeing me here again that’s for sure, theres plenty more drinks for me to try!