Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spiced Rum
Review: Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spiced Rum (86.5/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (aka The Rum Howler)
Published October 10, 2016
Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spiced Rum has just begun to appear on store shelves throughout North America. Building upon the success of last year’s release of Captain Morgan Cannon Blast (see my review here), Captain Morgan is adding a new Limited Edition Spiced Rum to the shots category with their brand new Pumpkin Spiced Rum, Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Limited Edition Pumpkin Spiced Rum, the first pumpkin spiced rum offering to ever hit shelves
The premise of the new spiced flavour is autumn in a shot glass, as Captain Morgan has blended Caribbean rum with some of your favorite fall flavors, fresh pumpkin and cinnamon (as well as other autumnal spices) creating what they hope will be an insanely delicious shot. Coinciding with the release of this new pumpkin spiced rum, the Captain Morgan media team began to send samples and product information to media outlets (like The Rum Howler Blog) to write about their new spirit. Of course, I had to put it through the paces of my review system to see if it was all that Captain Morgan promised.
Note: Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spiced Rum is bottled at 30 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
The new Captain Morgan Pumpkin Spiced Rum is pictured to the left. The bottle has the size, shape and colour of a small orange pumpkin or Jack O’lantern. 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. Presumably the cannon has just shot out the cannon ball which serves as the ‘O’ in Jack-O’Blast upon the Front label of the rum.
I am torn by the presentation as I love the Jack O’lantern colour and shape. However, I am perplexed by the cannon ball about to explode on the front label. As some of you know, I am not fond of the use of destructive imagery used for the purpose of marketing alcohol related products. 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 an exploding cannon ball which is meant to cause damage and death, and the effects of alcohol consumed in an irresponsible manner. I understand that the cannon ball is meant in good fun and is meant to tie the product to last years release, Captain Morgan’s Cannon Blast. However a cannon ball has little to do with Jack O’lanterns and pumpkins. I guess I would have preferred if the Captain had his foot placed upon on a Rum Barrel (or a giant pumpkin) and a Jack O’lantern replaced the cannon ball on the label. (This is a battle with spirits marketers which I appear to be loosing.)
In the Glass 9/10
The spiced pumpkin rum displays an amber colour in the glass with a somewhat thickened consistency which is manifested by fat leglets after I tilt and twirl my glencairn glass. The aroma from the glass is very nice. I let my wife have a nice sniff, not letting her know what was inside. She immediately smiled and said my rum reminded her of her pumpkin spiced chai tea that she loves. I guess you could say that Captain Morgan nailed it! Pumpkin, caramel, and vanilla rise into the breezes accented lightly by cinnamon and cloves. The combination is wonderful and promises to be delicious prompting me to quickly steal a sip.
In the Glass 52/60
When I steal that sip I notice that the cinnamon and cloves are much more pronounced upon the palate that they were in the breezes above the glass. That thickened consistency I noted earlier is a product of an added caramel sweetness which coats the tongue allowing the heated spices to linger increasing their intensity. Flavours of vanilla, caramel and pumpkin accent the spice and the entire combination is thoroughly enjoyable. I suspect we have a few more spices mixed into the recipe as ginger, nutmeg and allspice all seem to be hinted at as I sip, giving the spiced rum more depth and flavour.
Captain Morgan is promoting the spirit as a ‘shooting’ rum, and I suppose that if you want to whack your tonsils with cinnamon and cloves the spirit has enough sweetness to temper the spicy blow. However, I would recommend sipping instead so that the nuances the other pumpkin spices bring forward can be enjoyed more thoroughly. I also found the spirit worked quite well as a cocktail mixer. I was sent several recipes by the Captain Morgan media team, and have decided to share a tweaked version of my favourite down below.
In the Throat 12.5/15
The heightened sweetness of the spirit ensures the spiced rum has a long sweet and spicy finish. Heated cinnamon and clove dominate although they are tempered by sweet caramel and vanilla. The pumpkin flaqvour (and other pumpkin spices) are not lost in the finish; but they are smothered to some extent by the cinnamon and clove spices.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spiced Rum is a real nice October treat. The pumpkin shaped bottle will make a great Halloween decoration; but much more importantly, the liquid inside that bottle is one the nicest spiced rums I have tasted. It represents a much tastier and more well-balanced effort than last years Captain Morgan Cannon Blast Rum.
There are few spiced rums I recommend as sippers, this is one of them.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
The Captain Morgan Media Team sent me a nice recipe for their Jack-O’Blast Rum which mixed the pumpkin spiced spirit with Ginger Beer and Lime. They called the serving a Mutiny Mule. I tweaked the recipe changing the proportions to more strongly feature the pumpkin spiced rum and then replaced the ginger beer with Ginger Ale, such that the pumpkin spices and not the ginger beer spices would shine in the cocktail.
I call my serving, The Cane Mutiny.
The Cane mutiny
2 oz Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast
3/8 oz fresh Lime Juice
dash Sugar Syrup (to taste)
1 1/2 oz Ginger-ale
Lime Slice for garnish
Add all of the ingredients into a Mixing glass
Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice
Note: If you are interested in more of my 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)