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Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum

Review: Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum  83/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Published October 25, 2012

Admiral, Sir Henry Morgan (aka Captain Morgan), was a Welsh ‘privateer’ who attacked and plundered the Caribbean on behalf of, and with the written consent of (in the form of an English Letter of Marque), the Governor of Jamaica, Sir Thomas Modyford. Privateers at that time in history were essentially ‘legal pirates’ who were allowed to attack and loot enemies of the state reaping the rewards from their plunder in lieu of pay. Researching Sir Henry Morgan, I learned he was a skilled naval captain, a ruthless buccaneer, and one of the most successful ‘privateers’ in the history of piracy earning a Knighthood for himself in 1674. Being one of the most famous ‘legal Pirates’ in the history of the Caribbean, it is no small wonder that someone decided to name a Rum Company after him.

Speaking of that Rum Company, Captain Morgan Rum 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 brand is now owned by Diageo, and their Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is the best-selling spiced rum in the world.

The subject of this review, is the lessor known Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum, which (according to the Captain Morgan Website), is a blend of clear, rich Puerto Rican white rum and tropical spice with sweet vanilla character. It is bottled at 35% alcohol by volume and fortunately for me, the Diageo marketing team here in Northern Alberta provided me with a the sample of the Canadian bottling for my review.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

It is hard to argue with the impact the iconic Captain Morgan Logo has had upon the world of rum. The swashbuckling privateer with his leg upon a rum barrel is one of the most recognized symbols in the industry. Even though the bottle is the standard bar room variety, the logo on the label brings attention to the brand and makes it immediately recognizable on the store shelf. It’s hard to argue against the presentation that has come to define an entire category.

In the Glass 8/10

This is a clear rum which displays no colour at all in my glass. A quick tilt of that glass and a slow twirl reveals a slightly thickened oiliness on the inside of the glass which drops slender legs. The initial aroma is pleasant with a pleasing (but very mild) mixture of butterscotch and vanilla rising into the breezes. I sense some tropical fruit (mango, banana and orange peel) and light accents of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Also rising into the breezes is a very light oakiness. The rum has been aged for one year in oak, and  although the rum is filtered clear, a small remnant of the oak aging remains giving me an ever so light impression of wood spice.

In the Mouth 50/60

It is obvious that the Captain Morgan Rum Company does not want to mess with the tried and true formula established by Captain Morgan Original Spiced. In this vein, the Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum sticks to firmly to the path of a strong vanilla presence which is accented by light spices. Having said that, I sense that the Silver Spiced Rum is perhaps a little smoother than the Original Spiced. Vanilla leads out with light butterscotch flavours and we some pungent spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger) accenting the more dominant vanilla. As well, a light fruitiness is apparent, and my conclusion is that the Silver Spiced Rum is quite pleasant, and I can enjoy it by itself or with a little ice.

Of course the rum is not meant to be sipped neat or served with ice, rather it is meant for the cocktail and the bar drink. I tested the rum in a few recipes: a spiced daiquiri, which was very good; a spiced mojito which was even better; and as a replacement for Vodka in a Cosmopolitan where the Silver Spiced rum was thoroughly delicious. I also did some mixing with Cola and the result was pleasant; however, I found that I preferred the fruit based cocktails such as my own recommended recipe below, the Spiced Darwin.

In the Throat 12.5/15

As stated earlier, the spiced rum is quite smooth especially considering that it is a relatively young spirit. The finish is dominated by vanilla, but I also sense the light spiciness of cinnamon,cloves and nutmeg and perhaps a touch of wood spice.

The Afterburn 8/10

I like the Captain Morgan Spiced Silver Rum. It is pleasant and smooth and tastes nice in a wide variety of cocktails. In fact, this strong mixability means that for me this Silver Spiced Rum is a better overall spirit than the Captain Morgan Original. If the spirit demonstrated more complexity, I could have pushed the score up higher; but my score of 83 still represents a strong mixing rum with sipping potential.

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

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Suggested Recipes

Spiced Darwin

2 oz Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz Lime juice
2/4 oz Grapefruit  juice
1 Barspoon Sugar syrup
Ice
Lime slice for garnish

Shake all the ingredients over ice
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a small slice of Lime

Please remember to drink responsibly, the aim of my blog is to help you drink better spirits…not more spirits!

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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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