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KCM Spirit Reviews

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Review 172: Captain Morgan Sherry Cask Finish

Review 172
Captain Morgan L.E. Sherry Cask: 35% abv

Background: And here we are, revisiting Captain Morgan. It might seem like a huge jump in quality from our regular reviews, but it is always nice to review the basics. Captain Morgan is currently owned by Diageo, and was brought to market in 1944. Probably the most well-known rum in the states, Captain Morgan rum is actually named after Sir Henry Morgan, a Welsh privateer. Captain Morgan actually started being produced by Seagram Company, but was bought by Diageo in 2001. There has been rum produced in both Jamaica and Puerto Rico, but the stuff you’re probably used to slamming down came from Puerto Rico most likely. Captain Morgan is distilled spirit from Molasses and spends some short time in oak barrels to give it some life. What makes this unique is that it spends some time in a sherry barrel. So is that good or bad? Well, pre-emptively, we can tell you rum is sweet, and so is sherry, so it could either blend well, or be sickeningly like drinking sugar. And not to be overly critical, but you would think that if Captain Morgan was going to make a limited edition bottling, they would kick up the abv to more than a pathetic 35%. We did buy this, however, because it makes for a good experiment. So here it goes: Where has all the rum gone?


Nose:  The nose starts off with a nice, custardy fruitiness, vanilla and sweetness up front. The smell of vanilla is pretty overbearing up front. There are some hints of cinnamon you’ll catch up front. There is also a slight waxiness that comes through on the nose. This is an odd first in the KCM tasting notes history, but it’s fairly direct. There is some anise present in the nose, as well as some slight ginger and subtle lime. There is a definite strawberry/blueberry note present in the nose, with some orange sherbet and modest melon flavors as well. There is some confectionary flavor to it as well. 

Arrival: There is some definite honey flavor that comes out initially in the arrival, with a smooth sweetness throughout. There is some gentle, soft fruitiness akin to fuji apples and sweet berries, followed by a definite creaminess. There is a definite sugariness that comes through in the arrival. It is definitely sweet, but weirdly enough, it is a light sweetness, not much like the rich, overburdening flavor that you would expect out of a fortified wine.

Body: The body comes up with succulent black cherry flavors, some sweet berries and left over orange and cream flavors, along with subtle hints of vanilla and honey, without every getting too far into the sherry territory. This was probably not a nutty sherry cask, and it probably had minimal exposure, because the raison and nutty characteristics we become so fond of simply are not present. It is still sugary, lots of molasses present. This is very much similar to the arrival, and in this sense, you get what you get. It isn’t a very dynamic rum. What becomes unique about the body is a slight presence of anise and spice.  
Finish: The finish, which doesn’t hold much of a presence in the grand scheme of things, holds the most spiciness, but retains the sweet notes of before. The anise and some cinnamon comes through the most here, but the finish is fairly abrupt. It doesn’t last very long and besides the slight sensation of alcohol, you have forgotten what you drank. You might feel like you just brushed your teeth with the refreshing, almost fluoride-like flavor that hangs in the back of your mouth.

With Water

Nose: The nose, after adding just a slight drop of water, is even bigger in the fruity, vanilla, floral, and slight anise spicy notes. It is such a potent, but not off-putting nose, you would honestly want this as your car scent mirror tag. Other than the prominence of the nose, it doesn’t feel like much changed here.

Arrival: Although most of the notes have remained present here, and we aren’t noticing any new ones come out, it seems like there is a slightly better balance now in this one than before.

Body: The body is very much the same as the arrival, with a better balance, not much else is going on.
Finish: The finish is very similar, although it seems a little more dry and astringent than before.

Final Comments: Not bad…pretty clean and fairly interesting. It is unique and without water, it is pretty easy to drink, and it does everything you might want out of a rum. We are not huge fans of Captain Morgan, but what they’ve accomplished here, at $20, is pretty damn impressive, for lack of better terms. There is not a lot of dynamics to the rum, but we enjoyed it for a good sipper. This is also a good rum to experiment with, since it is so unique.
Why you’d buy it: You’d like to try something different, or you just want something good to mix with.

Why you wouldn’t: You are REALLY looking for something of high quality in the rum world.

Score: 8.25/10

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