Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum
Review: Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum 84/100
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on November 2, 2011
(Revised and re-published as part of my 2016 Spiced Rum taste-off))
The Captain Morgan Rum Company traces its history back to 1945 when Seagram’s CEO, Samuel Bronfman, negotiated the purchase of the Long Pond Distillery from the Jamaican Government and formed the Captain Morgan Rum Company. The company’s iconic rum brand, Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum was based upon a recipe purchased from two local Jamaican pharmacists, the Levy Brothers, who had developed the recipe using rum from the Long Pond Distillery.
The subject of this review, Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum is an overproof variation of the Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. It is bottled at 50 % alcohol by volume rather than at the 35 % alcohol by volume strength of the original spiced rum. The overproof Spiced Rum is a blend of Caribbean rums which have been aged in white oak barrels. It should be pointed out that in the past, Captain Morgan rums sold in Canada have included some Canadian distilled rum in their blends for tax purposes. Although it is unclear whether this will continue to be the case moving forward, I note that my sample bottle provided by the Diageo marketing team here in Alberta does make mention of the Canadian Rum in the blend upon the front label.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
It is hard to argue with the impact the iconic Captain Morgan Logo has had upon the rum industry. The swashbuckling privateer with his leg upon a rum barrel has become one of the most recognized symbols in the industry. Even though the bottle is a relatively standard bar room bottle, the logo on the label brings attention to the brand and makes it immediately recognizable on the store shelf.
In the Glass 8.5/10
I poured a little Captain Morgan Original Spiced, and a little Captain Morgan 100 Spiced into side by side glencairn glasses to see if I could tease out whatever differences there were between the two rums. Immediately, I noticed that there was a slightly darker and slightly richer colour to the 100 proof rum. Of course in these days of caramel colouring we cannot really make much of this, but I would say that there is a greater visual appeal to the 100 proof spirit. As expected, it also shows stronger, thicker legs in the glass as a higher proof spirit should.
But the meat of the comparison really began with the nose (and here was the first indication that the 100 proof spiced rum was going to surprise me). Both glasses of rum carried forward a pleasing aroma of rum and vanilla which rises from the glass with light accents of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. In each glass I sensed a very light oak backdrop in the air which gives the nose just a hint of orange peel and wood spice. However, the sense of oak is a little stronger in the 100 proof spirit, and surprisingly, of the two rums it was the Original Spiced Rum which is bottled at 70 proof which carried a lightly harsh astringency into the air and not the 100 Proof Spiced Rum. Letting both glasses decant, again it was the 100 Proof which built stronger aromas of baking spices into the breezes.
In the Mouth 50/60
In my review for the Captain Morgan Original Spiced, I noted how the rum was a little rough and harsh when sipped neat. The Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum however, surprised me in the side by side tasting by carrying less roughness onto the palate. This rum is smoother than its lower proof sibling even though it carries more of an alcoholic punch. The spiciness of the rum is more apparent in the higher proof rum. I think perhaps these characteristics have been watered down in the 70 proof spirit, which allows only the vanilla to come to the fore. The 100 proof spirit with its higher alcohol content and more concentrated flavours just seems richer, smoother and more appealing.
I needed to compare the two rums when mixed as well, and so I checked with the Captain Morgan website for a few recipes for the 100 Proof. I have to be honest and admit that I like the unpretentious nature of the Captain Morgan website. The company doesn’t even suggest that you try to enjoy this rum as a sipping rum. They suggest enjoying the rum as a shot (party style) or mixing it with cola. When I mixed a Captain and Cola with the 100 proof I discovered a bar drink that tasted nice and which gave me a little more punch of flavour than the 70 proof spirit provided.
Although I enjoyed the Captain and Cola with the Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum, I also created a new mixed drink for the higher proof spiced rum after being inspired by Tony Abou-Ganim’s popular modern cocktail, the Cable Car. When Tony created the Cable Car, he started with the classic Sidecar which mixes Brandy with Lemon Juice and turned it on its head using Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum instead of Brandy in his recipe. In my libation, I replace the Captain Morgan Original Spiced rum with the Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum. Then I stepped off in a new flavour direction replacing the Lemon Juice with Orange and Lime Juice as well as adding a dash of Fees Cocktail Bitters.
Because the inspiration for my cocktail was the Cable Car, I chose to call my mixed drink, the Trolley Car. (see recipe below)
In the Throat 12.5/15
The exit, while not sharp, is not really super smooth either. I do notice a little burn, and I also taste more vanilla in the finish than I had on the palate. However, I also taste an enjoyable light spiciness and perhaps even a hint of oak. It would be truthful to say though that the Captain Morgan 100, like the Captain Morgan Original, is a spiced rum ehich wants to be mixed rather than consumed neat or with ice.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
The Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum is much more my style of Spiced rum than the Original Spiced from Captain Morgan. It seems to carry a little less vanilla in the initial flavour, a little oakiness, and a better balance of spice versus vanilla in the flavour profile. Somehow, as a 100 proof spirit, it tastes smoother and mixes more easily than its lower proof sibling. I hope the trend I have noticed recently of higher proof spiced rums continues as on the whole these higher proof spirits seem to appeal to me with more robust flavour both neat and in the cocktail.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
1 1/2 oz Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1 oz fresh squeezed Orange Juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
dash Fees Cocktail Bitters
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a thin strip of orange peel
Please Enjoy Responsibly!
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score 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)