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Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum

Review: The Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum  79.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (aka Arctic Wolf)
Published October 31, 2012

Captain Morgan Rum has expanded their range of spiced rums to include a new “Black” spiced rum. I suspect that the recent success of the Kraken Black Spiced Rum has motivated a move in this direction in order to garner a segment of this market. Of course the launch of the Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum was accompanied with a slick media campaign which you are probably aware of already, but in case you are not, I shall relate a little of the information here.

The newest addition to the Captain Morgan Brand was apparently inspired by the story of Captain Morgan’s burial on the shores of Port Royal Harbour, Jamaica in 1688. As it was related to me, an earthquake struck Jamaica, just after the good Captain was buried. His casket was dislodged from its tomb and washed out to sea. It was never recovered, and to this day it has been suggested that perhaps his spirit lives on haunting the seas of the Caribbean searching for his lost remains. I received my sample bottle for review several weeks ago, and I thought I would relay my impressions here on my website:

In the Bottle 4/5

The Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced Rum seems to be aiming its arrow directly at Kraken Black Spiced Rum.  Both the bottle (which if you added two rings on the neck, and the label which uses an almost identical colour scheme remind me very much of Kraken. The rum is also bottled at 47.3 % abv, which is just a smidgen higher than the Kraken.

I like the bottle presentation, The imagery of the background story is captured quite well. As the bottle empties, images of Captain Henry Morgan’s casket and skeleton are revealed inside the bottle on the backside of the front label. Of course the front label shows the iconic Captain Morgan logo with the swash buckling Privateer placing his foot upon a barrel of rum. Although the presentation seems to hit the right mark for me, I did deduct a point because I felt the over all ‘look’ was not really original. As I said earlier, it is very similar to that other Black Spiced Rum.

In the Glass 8/10

Poured into the glass the rum looks very dark and inviting. The scent of vanilla is quite strong, and this aroma is accompanied by dark caramel, cinnamon, cloves, cherry cola, and hibiscus. I am not really sensing any discernible oak in the breezes, and my sense is that the rum is very young despite its dark colour. This sense of youth is reinforced by a light astringency rising into the breezes although with the high bottling proof, I did expect much more of an alcohol push from the bottle than what I am receiving.

In the Mouth 47/60

The rum leads out with a spicy “candied” flavour. I taste cherry licorice, caramel, lots of vanilla, and spicy cloves and cinnamon.  It is a flavour profile that grew a little on me through my tastings, although I certainly would not describe the rum as a sipper. It is smoother than many 40 % abv rums, but the 47.3% abv which Captain Morgan Black Spiced carries does gnaw a little at the tonsils and the back of the throat.

Because the rum is such an obvious mixer, I mixed Captain Morgan Rum’s flagship cocktail, the Captain and Cola, and I was very happy with the result. It is obvious to me that the rum was designed specifically to mix very easily with cola bringing more cinnamon and cloves to the fore than the traditional Captain Morgan Spiced Rum does, yet remaining true to the vanilla pathway which works so well with coke.

In the Throat 12.5/15

The rum is, as I said earlier, quite smooth considering it carries 20 % more alcohol forward than most other spiced rums on the market. It does tap the tonsils if you sip it neat or on ice, but mixed with cola, the alcohol push of the rum is barely noticeable.

The Afterburn 8/10

I purposely wrote this review of Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum with the Kraken Black Spiced Rum in the back of my mind. In fact, I tasted the two rums side by side during my review process. The two rums are obviously similar, and to me it is equally obvious that the success of the Kraken had a great deal to do with the decision of Captain Morgan to make their own high-proof Black Spiced Rum.

Although the two spirits are very similar, I did find the Captain Morgan Black Spiced had more to offer me. The balance of flavour seems to work better both neat and when mixed in cocktails. My score of 79.5 indicates that the Captain Morgan Rum despite its smoothness and balance is not really a sipper, but it is a great mixer.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

3 Responses to “Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum”

  1. Brendan said

    I am obsessed with rum and everything Caribbean and I completely agree that capt. Morgan black is way better than craken.

  2. Patrick Halstead said

    Following the reviewer’s lead, I compared this with the Kraken and agree it is more composed or coherent than Kraken but there are times that the more rowdy, fruity flavor of the Kraken (provoking a “What’s happening?” response) is desired. Price could enter into it but in my area they go head-to-head, same price.

  3. Tom Riphahn said

    At 46 I tried the Captain Morgan’s Black rum for the first time a few months back. I loved it. I’ve drank it mostly with cherry Pepsi. It is a good mixer. I’m anxious to try some of the other spiced rums. Any recommendations?


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