This is really the signature rum for the Captain Morgan brand. However, it is no longer its most recognised rum/spirit drink. A lot of people recognise Morgan’s Spiced (UK) Or Captain Morgan Original/Gold Spiced Rum (USA). There are so many differences around the world that I won’t even begin to try and explain any further variations within the Captain Morgan brand. The UK has recently begun adopting the US style bottlings of the Spiced Rum.
This rum also suffers from a bit of a brand identity around the world as well. Whilst this rum is branded “The Original Rum” in the UK this bottle which I bought on a Thomson cruise ship is labelled “Jamaica Rum”. It is produced in Jamaica and matured and bottled in the UK and then exported as “Jamaica Rum” to the duty free and presumably other foreign territories. I did look into the Captain Morgan brand but in the end if the rum is black/very dark brown and looks a bit like the picture to the left it is THIS rum (probably). The rum is bottled at 40%, to be honest I think it might also be bottled at 37.5% I’ve drank a fair bit of Captain Morgan in my time and I’ve never noticed a great deal of difference.
The presentation of Captain Morgan is in a standard bar bottle with the usual screw cap. The rum has a little bit of a story about the Welsh Privateer (ie Government Licensed Pirate) Henry Morgan from Welsh Wales and gives the recipe for a Captain and Ginger. I guess Captain and Cola is now the preserve of the Gold and Black Spiced Rum. The rum is stocked in most supermarkets and is an entry level rum. It’s marketed as a dark rich navy style mixing rum.
Marketing of this rum isn’t pretentious. Personally I find the whole thing a little bit boring and derivative. It’s a mixing rum intended for parties and there are frequent cocktail suggestions and pirate jokes which you’ve heard a million times before. It has a very strong presence in the market however and it is clear how it has such a large share of the “cheap” end of the rum market. To me it is aimed at the young and stupid.
As mentioned earlier the rum is a navy style and as a result it is dark almost black. Whilst the label on this variant is “Jamaica Rum” it is actually a blend of rums from Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados. The rum is blended in Jamaica and then bottled and matured in the UK. When poured the rum is a dark brown caramel like colour. When nosed the rum is very pungent and definitely has that Jamaican high ester nose. It is reminiscent of Pussers in some respects. It is also very sweet smelling, almost sickly and cloying. The pungency of the Jamaican rum doesn’t quite balance with the sweetness of the Guyanese and the rum does “get up” your nostrils a little in an unpleasant way. The two kind of clash. Where Pussers has a lot going on but is quite balanced and Skipper/Lambs Rum smells much sweeter, this just doesn’t really seem to work. My immediate impressions are that the Demerara rum within the blend seems to be clashing with the Jamaican. The Bajan rum unsurprisingly is totally lost in the mix.
When sipped (very cautiously) the rum just give the palate a very hot spicy peppered burn. There is a little liquorice for a couple of seconds but once the burn has subsided you are left with a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. The finish is very short and quite severe. The mouth is left burning rather than tingling. An ice cube may well help with this but to be perfectly honest I already know that this rum is no sipper so I’m going to skip that part.
Captain and Cola is the classic drink as far as the marketing department are concerned. Ask any old sea dog and they may suggest a Rum and Pep (rum and peppermint) or Rum and Black (rum and Blackcurrant cordial) A good rum and cola is what I mostly enjoy. A good rum and cola is not what the Captain Morgan’s makes unfortunately. The biggest problem I have with Captain Morgan is that the rum it is most similar to, Pussers is just so so much better. Captain Morgan is nothing like the sickly sweet “navy” rums such as Skipper and Lambs. It is nowhere near as bittersweet (or as potent) as Woods. When nosed it smells very similar to Pussers. Sadly when it comes to drinkingthe experience is very different. When sipped it just burns and gives a short bitter aftertaste. Pussers also burns and gives a bit of a rough and ready sip but it also coats the palate with a lot of flavour and the finish lingers with a lot of complexity. When you introduce Captain Morgan to cola it does again smell all very “naval” just like Pussers. It bodes well but then you take a drink and………………
Basically the mix of Demerara and Jamaican Rum’s seems to have been blended with too much added sugar and or caramel or the Demerara rum used just isn’t very good. You just feel that half decent Jamaican, Bajan and Demerara rum’s have been thrown together in the hope of getting something “naval” and authentic. The result is a sickly sweet cloying medicinal mess. It’s like a bottle of Pussers mixed with Benylin. The only saving grace is that Captain Morgan is half the price of Pussers. Well it isn’t half as good I can tell you that!
The biggest problem I have with this rum is the very fact I also regularly drink supermarket blended rums. I can think of only one supermarket rum that I wouldn’t buy in favour of Captain Morgan.
It’s sad that some people actually think this is rum as it should be!