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Captain Morgan Canon Blast

Review: Captain Morgan Cannon Blast  69/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (aka Arctic Wolf)
Published September 15, 2015

Captain Morgan Cannon Blast has just begun to appear on store shelves throughout North America. The new spirit from Captain Morgan (apparently produced from Captain Morgan Rum as well as natural flavours and spices) promises to deliver a pleasing citrus sweet front end while providing a finish with a warming (as in spicy), but not overwhelming, sensation. The new spiced rum is apparently (based upon the media information provided) designed to be ideal for the shot glass.

Coinciding with the release of this new citrus and spice flavoured rum, the Captain Morgan media team began to send samples and product information to media outlets (like The Rum Howler Blog) encouraging all of us to use the #(Hashtag)Boom when we tweet and write about their new spirit.

Note: Captain Morgan Cannon Blast is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

Cannon Blast Bottle ImageIn the Bottle 4/5

The new Captain Morgan Cannon Blast is pictured to the left. The bottle has the size, shape and colour of an authentic cannon ball. The iconic Captain Morgan logo has been changed slightly so that his left leg is perched upon a small cannon rather than the usual rum barrel. Interestingly, the Captain Morgan image changes if you place it under a black light. Under the influence of the ultra-violet light the Captain sheds his skin so to speak, and we see his skeleton grinning wickedly at us.

I am torn by the presentation as I love the cannon ball shape and the obvious thought and care taken in creating the bottle concept. However, I (to be quite honest) am not fond of the macabre. Imagery surrounding death which is used to sell alcoholic spirits troubles me as we all know that alcohol in its various forms is responsible for far too much destruction when consumed in an irresponsible manner. I can not help but to draw a parallel between a cannon blast shot from a real cannon which is meant to cause real destruction and death, and the cannon blast shot served in a glass which could also cause real harm if consumed irresponsibly.

I should make the point that I believe the intent here is to evoke the spirit of Captain Morgan, and not to associate the Cannon Blast Spiced Rum with death per se. I also understand that the grinning skeleton is meant in good fun. However, as I indicated, I am uncomfortable with the imagery and the associations it may convey inadvertently. Perhaps images of persons who turn into skeletons under black lights could be left off of the labels of alcohol products.

In the Glass 7.5/10

When poured into a clear glencairn, I see the spirit has an appealing amber colour in the glass. When I tilt and twirl that glass the spiced rum is slightly thickened and drops medium-sized legs. The aroma carries an obvious rum-like caramel aroma which is tainted by the sweet and sour scent of a lemon drop candy. The lemon drop candy scent grows stronger as you let the rum breathe, and I also begin to notice a light spiciness which reminds me of ginger and cardamom. (My friend Lucas who was inspecting the new rum with me said he could also recognize some cinnamon accents.) There is also a light astringency in the air which seems to indicate a rather young spirit.

In the Mouth  39.5/60

Because the spiced rum was represented to me as a spirit meant for shots, I decided to serve Lucas and I a small amount each in a shot-glass to begin our tasting session. We each took a cautious sip, and then downed our shots. I saw Lucas grimace, and I am sure he saw me grimace, as the tart flavour of sour lemon drop candies filled our mouths and overwhelmed our ability to control our reactions. It was not pleasant. Although there is a soft rum and some sweetness beside that tartness, it is the sour flavour of lemon drops that dominates. If this is a rum meant for shots, it must be meant for that crowd which hangs out at campus pubs and dares each other to shoot Jagermeister to prove their manhood.

I tried a variety of cocktails, and my only limited success was when I drowned the spirit in crushed ice and added a half can of ginger ale with a touch of lime and simple sugar. Basically I was trying to dilute the tart lemon flavour to a level where I could approach it. When I was sipping the tall ice filled drink I began to notice a building up of spicy ginger upon my palate. Evidently the ginger spice was there all along, I just had to bring the lemon flavour down several notches to bring the spice into focus.

All was not lost, as the media sheets I was given by the Captain Morgan team gave me a recipe for what they called a Blasted Brew. Basically it is a 3/4 ounce shot of Captain Morgan Cannon Blast dropped into a glass of lager (see actual recipe construction below). Unfortunately for me, I avoid beer; however my friend Lucas (who loves beer) was more than happy to give it a try with one of the craft lager beers I had in my bar fridge. Apparently, it was pretty good, good enough in fact that Lucas promised to bring over some more beer the next time he visited to help me dent the Cannon Blast once more.

In the Throat 11/15

The flavour up front is all about the sour lemon citrus. However, the finish does bring the spicy warmth promised by the Captain Morgan advertising sheets. After the taste of lemon disappears, I taste a growing ginger glow left over upon my palate. As I take more sips ginger heats up more and more unfortunately to the point that it is cloying rather than comfortable.

The Afterburn 7/10

I think that there are two crowds who will like the Captain Morgan Cannon Blast. The first is that Jagermeister crowd which I referenced earlier who will see the act of partaking in shots of the Cannon Blast as a rite of passage in campus bars. The second is that crowd of persons who like a hit of citrus with their beer. For the rest of us, this particular spiced rum has little to offer except perhaps a grimace.

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


Suggested Recipe

Cannon Blast Blasted Brew Image

Apparently, a strong hit of citrus and ginger spice within a glass of lager is a good thing. The hops in the beer stand up to the strong flavours and the overall combination serves to improve both the beer and the Captain Morgan Cannon Blast.

Blasted Brew

3/4 oz Captain Morgan Cannon Blast
6 oz Red Stripe Lager (substitute any good craft lager beer)

Pour 3/4 oz of Captain Morgan Cannon Blast into a shot glass
Pour 6 oz chilled Lager into a tall beer glass
Balance the shot on the rim of the beer glass
Slam the table to drop the shot into the beer

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for some of my mixed drink recipes!


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)


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