Captain Morgan Dark

Owner

Manufacturer:

Diageo plc

Price approx:

< 20

Origins

Terroir:

Jamaica

Regulations:

not specified

Classification

Style:

british

Gargano:

blended modernist rum
raw material

Raw material:

molasses

distillation

Distillation:

column-distilled

aging

Aging:

oak barrels for two years

sugar added

Sugar added:

not specified

alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:

40%

additives

Additives:

up to 2.5% of the volume, E150a

Pretext

Having heard Havana or Bacardi you filter asking - which one. By Captain Morgan you don’t even inquire. Meanwhile that producer ranks third in global popularity. Seagram and Diageo can do marketing indeed. ⭐


At first, in the time of the brand's foundation (by Seagram in 1944), Sir Henry Morgan actually resembled himself on the label.The swashbuckling buccaneer as a distinctive cartoon character was created by Don Maitz in 1982. Over the years the captain has visually toughened to satisfy the target group; to be attractive in the eyes of  African-Americans and Hispanic drinkers.


The brand hero aims at younger consumers, which expect rather undemanding pastimes and foremost the cheap one. Both as a means and as a target, alcohol does the job. On the official brand’s website you will find more than a dozen cocktail recipes, although the flagship mix remains the composition with cola.


Pirate’s life means constant rotation between a stroke of luck and troubles, but it's hard to tell one from the other. Diageo (owning the brand since 2001) wanted to donate $10k for each touchdown crowned with a known pose to Gridiron Greats, a foundation supporting retired American football players. Diageo could have wished but the NFL found that ambush marketing practice and prohibited it. In return, Captain Morgan gained goodwill and positive attention.


To restore balance in nature you can always bite the competition. 🦈 In Canada there is no bigger fish than Captain Morgan with twelve million bottles sold annually (2015), while Admiral Nelson is barely reaching eleven thousand sales (2014). Diageo sued small fish and the court took a look at the similarity of the competing labels and ruled as follows: the most famous admiral in the history of the British Fleet resembles the pirate figure, which confuses the helpless consumer to such an extent that by mistake he could buy the wrong product. Since Diageo has spent in the past 15 years almost $150-million on marketing Captain Morgan - unacceptable, I guess. 🤔

Procedure

The pharmacists from Kingston, Levy Brothers, created a spiced rum variety based on the rum from the Long Pond Distillery. Seagram bought the rights to produce it, although changed the name to Captain Morgan (1944). A decade later bought Long Pond too (1953). Nowadays, the distillery is owned by the state-owned National Rums of Jamaica and Diageo is considered a key client.


So the rum in my bottle wasn’t filled by Puerto Rican Serrallés or a Virgin Islands giant USVI. The former lost its license in 2012, the latter doesn't deliver rum outside the US. Diageo produces and distributes Captain Morgan globally. Except for Jamaica where Campari Group cooperates with J. Wray & Nephew. However that rum cannot leave the island.


Either way, the Captain Morgan Dark label informs: ‘distilled in Jamaica under government supervision'. I hasten with an explanation:  a) the rum is produced in Jamaica, b) the Jamaican government agency The Spirits Pool delivers the molasses, c) the molasses don’t come from Jamaica entirely, but also from Barbados and Guyana, d) the rum was distilled in a continuous column, e) then aged in oak barrels for two years (hence dark tone comes mostly from caramel), f) the resulting rum may contain additives (up to 2.5% of the volume), g) and where it comes from beyond any doubt, I don’t know.

Aroma
Bouquet was not officially specifed.
Lime, haribo cola sour. Licorice and pineapple.
— as examined by RumExam
Taste
Rich caramel, aged oak, sweet dark brown sugar, oozy toffee, and ripe banana flavours.
— as they tell
Ginger and bitter-sweet burnt caramel.
— as examined by RumExam
Afterburn
Bouquet was not officially specifed.
Caramel.
— as examined by RumExam
⁖Reviewed on: March 12th, 2022