Captain Morgan Black Label Jamaica Rum 73%

Captain Morgan Black Label Jamaica Rum 73% review by the fat rum pirateCaptain Morgan Black Label Jamaica Rum 73%. A high proof offering of Captain Morgan’s “iconic” Black Label rum which was bottled for the German market. Crikey that sounds like a bit of auction spiel doesn’t it?

It probably is. I found myself on the auction sites to get some photos of this bottling.

Quite when this appeared on the German market I am not sure I have found photos of bottlings from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. From what I understand it was discontinued around 2005 but don’t quote me on that.

Whilst the Captain Morgan brand is perhaps now more recognised in the UK for it’s Morgan’s Spiced Gold expression, it was originally much better known for Captain Morgan Black Label. Now, this rum hasn’t disappeared from view and is still popular in more old school bars throughout the UK. Particularly in the North of England and Scotland. However, I think it is often viewed as a bit of an old mans drink.

Captain Morgan Black Label is an interesting rum to try and pin down as it has been blended in various different guises, in different parts of the world. Sometimes it is 100% Jamaican rum and often it is a blend of rums from any of Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica. Last time I bought a bottle here in the UK I am sure it was a blend of rum from Guyana and Jamaica only. The bottle I reviewed previously I obtained on a Thomson Cruise Ship, was labelled 100% Jamaica Rum.  Though I seemed to have my doubts about that at the time (lack of knowledge and assuming all rum in all territories must be the same). I did  though suggest the rum tasted much the same as what I tried previously in the UK.

Anyway, I digress. I’d not looked at my Captain Morgan review for some time. I was quite surprised I had scored it that low. I have tried it since then. To be honest, my last experience, I thought it was average rather than poor. I might invest in a small bottle and give it a re-review.

If I had the inclination, I could probably do a lot more research into the variants of Captain Morgan over the years. It’s not really my scene though. I just prefer to give a bit background on the rum in the glass and then tell you how good or bad.

So lets get on with that.

As already mentioned Captain Morgan Black Label Jamaica Rum 73% was bottled for the German market. It seems to pop up occasionally on Auction Sites. It is probably a bit of a collectors item. If indeed people collect Captain Morgan – which I am sure some do. It is noted as being Jamaica Rum, so I am not going to dispute that for this review.

The actual rum in the blend is likely to be a blend of Column and Pot distilled rum from National Rums of Jamaica (Monymusk/Clarendon). Interestingly whilst NRJ still produce the rum used in Captain Morgan, they also produce a Jamaica only Captain Morgan rum (No they don’t as I should have remembered the Jamaica only Captain Morgan is produced by Wray and Nephew) This is not exported outside of the island. There is some information on this in this article from the Jamaican Gleaner.

Aside from this I can tell you very little about the age of this rum (likely under 3 years old possibly even younger). The dark colour is as the German Label informs is due to the “Mit Fahrstubb,” (with colouring) which is further notes as .”Zuckerkulor” (sugar colour). No I’m not correcting that by looking for Umlauts on my keyboard. So we can safely say even with my rudimentary German that it has some Caramel Colouring.

So let’s get on with tasting this little oddity.Captain Morgan Black Label Jamaica Rum 73% review by the fat rum pirate

On the nose I am a little surprised by Captain Morgan Black Label Jamaica Rum 73% as it has a very strong Jamaican nose. It has a fair bit of vinegar notres on the nose which remind me of some of the Velier National Rums of Jamaica releases.

It also has quite a strong molasses note which suggests that the rum isn’t particularly long aged. If I was handed a glass of this blind my first guess would not be Captain Morgan or even Myers’s. Or any other of usual “Dark/Navy Rum” suspects.

Whilst it lacks the complexity of an aged Jamaican rum it does have a very uncommercial kind of Jamaican vibe to it. It reminds me of Cask Strength rum from Monymusk/Clarendon. There is a good hit of funk about this and the sweetness I was expecting is more fermented Pineapple Juice than the Caramel sweetness I had expected to come across. For the record this was in the clear in terms of a Hydrometer Test. Another unexpected positive perhaps.

Sipped at the full ABV of 73% ABV is a little risque. It’s not advised to drink spirits of this kind of ABV neat – from a medical point of view. I don’t really recommend it from a tasting view either.

At full ABV it is very full flavoured and very Jamaican. However, it is just a bit too much. With water you get less fire and booze but a touch more bitterness. It’s not a hugely complex glass of rum but it is a lot more interesting than I would ever have expected.

The notes on the nose do come out when sipped at around 60% and you get a pretty pleasant quite acidic – fair bit of vinegar on this one rum. It does however have a nice edge of funky notes of Pineapple, banana and some bitter molasses. The base spirit of this one seems solid albeit young and besides the caramel it hasn’t been messed with.

The person who sent me this, chose to send it to me because I drink a lot of Rum and Coke. This is how he prefers drinking this. So I’ve given this a bit of a mix with coke. I have got to say it makes a very funky Rum and Coke. Again, not to dis-similar to the results you get when mixing some Independently bottled Monymusk/Clarendon rums (yes I do, do it on occasion I just don’t feel the need to “brag” about it online as if I am doing something really “naughty” or “forbidden”). It’s big and funky and indeed the sample sender was correct. It makes a cracking rum and coke.Captain Morgan Jack O Blast Spiced Rum review by the fat rum pirate

The very kind gentleman who sent the sample was seeking out alternatives. Initially I had thought something like Myers’s or Lemon Hart 151 would be what I might suggest. I was unsure how “Jamaican” this might be. I’ve noticed in Germany, there is a brand called Old Pascas who do a 73% Jamaican Dark Overproof. I have not tried it but it might be worth a bash.

Beyond that I would probably suggest trying and independently bottled Cask Strength Monymusk/Clarendon. Perhaps try using it half and half in a rum and coke with a less expensive Jamaican rum. Say Appleton Signature, to get more bang for your buck.

Quite pleasantly surprised by this its not at all bad. Shame really, that this kind of rum gets discontinued. Yet, the Captain prefers trotting out Jack O’Blast and Tiki Mango and Pineapple. Though I do suspect this bottling had more in common with the Jamaica only offering mentioned earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 comments on “Captain Morgan Black Label Jamaica Rum 73%

  1. Thank you SO very much for this review, the kind words and the recommendation.

    Best,
    Thomas

  2. You didn’t pay attention 😉 Captain Morgan for Jamaican market is produced by Wray & Nephew, not by NRJ.

    https://i1.wp.com/cocktailwonk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Acr_Jamaica_2016-519-of-1156.jpg?ssl=1

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