Captain Morgan is said to be named after a Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. However, the famous portrait bears no resemblance and was created by cartoonist Don Maitz. Although technically a “spirit drink” and not rum, Spiced Gold is produced from molasses-based rum aged in American oak casks and flavoured with botanicals.
Spiced Gold is quite hazy and doesn’t really let the light through very easily. It leaves a heavy residue when rubbed between the hands, which indicates a high quantity of additives that were added to make it.
However, this is expected if it is to be regarded as spiced rum. After all, it’s made by mixing and steeping various herbs, spices, caramel, and sugar in a spirit. In fact, the bottle actually brags that it was made using natural aromas or natural flavourings.
It leaves fast and thin legs that trickle down the side of the glass. Diluting it with water won’t show any whirls, which suggests that it has been chill-filtered.
Captain Morgan Spiced Gold’s Nose
Notes: Cinnamon, Coconut, Vanilla
There’s quite a prickly nosefeel composed of the rum’s spices. It’s dominated by cinnamon with a pinch of vanilla. However, a distinctive coconut aroma is quite noticeable as well.
Although you’re going to get some other spices, these aren’t quite as overt as the bouquet isn’t particularly intense. Its diversity on the nose is limited and really consists of just two spices.
Captain Morgan Spiced Gold’s Palate & Mouthfeel
Primary Taste: Sweet
Opening: Nutmeg, Caramel
Heart: Clove, Gingerbread, Aniseed
Finish: Moderate [Vanilla, Cinnamon]
Although Spiced Gold has a generally sweet primary flavour, it also has a savoury property that prevents it from being too cloying. Its oily mouthfeel is generally smooth thanks to a heavy dose of sugar that curbs any roughness.
It opens with an accord of nutmeg and caramel. As these notes dissipate, the heart reveals itself with flavours of clove, gingerbread, and anise. While the finish is quite spicy too, its cinnamon note is softened by a vanilla essence.
The finish is surprisingly long but it keeps you reaching for more. Indeed, the spices, the cinnamon in particular, continue to deliver with a slightly drying effect. Admittedly, it’s not unpleasant!
However, it’s not a particularly complex drink and if it wasn’t for the sugar, it would have a quite rough texture given that it’s particularly youthful.
How To Drink Captain Morgan Spiced Gold
Before you feel attacked, we make it a point in every review to say that the best way to drink something is the way that you enjoy it the most. If you want to sip Captain Morgan neat or in a mixer, that’s fine by us as long as it’s what you like!
Indeed, Captain Morgan Spiced Gold isn’t unpleasant neat. While it can be a little rough on the palate, the flavours are pleasant. Nevertheless, it’s best known for being an excellent mixer for simply cocktails at parties. And for good reason!
As mentioned above, Spiced Gold will usually be mixed with a non-alcohol ingredient like soda or a fruit drink. Nevertheless, here are a few cocktail suggestions that you can consider:
Dark n Stormy
Hot Buttered Rum
Spiced Gold can be used as an alternative to dark rum. However, you could also use it instead of white rum if you want to produce a more complex experience. For instance, it can add another layer to either a Piña Colada or Daiquiri. Meanwhile, it’s practically made for a warm and comforting hot buttered rum.
Similarly, consider it as a substitute for vodka in a mule as it pairs well with ginger ale. That said, it isn’t always your best choice. For instance, a deeper-flavoured mojito would be better with amber rum like Barcadi Carta Oro instead.
Spiced Gold is actually quite pleasant for cooking rather than as a pairing. For instance, the spices can add flavour to a rum baba or a pound cake. Otherwise, you could pair it with milk chocolate. The chocolate’s creaminess will help smooth out the rum’s rough edges.
At Bespoke Unit, we’re also very fond of cigars. You may have noticed our extensive cigar section! We would recommend cigars like the Oliva Serie V or a Plasencia Reserva Original. Basically, opt for something with character that isn’t going to be either too mild or too heavy in body.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
Captain Morgan’s bottle is iconic largely thanks to the efforts of Don Maitz! His timeless pirates is instantly recognisable. Meanwhile, the bottle’s design does well to embody the pirate concept with golden elements that are reminiscent of treasure or similar.
Otherwise, there’s no packaging and the bottle is sealed with a regular screw cap.
As for its value, expect to pay somewhere between $20 and $30. Indeed, prices vary depending on where you buy it. In Europe, it’s somewhat less at around 15€. While not a particularly complex or luxurious product, it offers decent value for its price.
Finally, it’s a pretty casual drink and a staple at parties. In this context, it goes down quite well. However, it’s probably better to opt for something slightly more premium for affluent events.
Purists will argue that it’s not a rum. While they’re right, it doesn’t matter all that much. Indeed, Captain Morgan doesn’t try to market it is one anymore and its bottles carefully state that it’s a “spirit drink”. However, for its price point and the experience that it offers, it’s really not that bad! In fact, it’s quite pleasant and has a variety of uses!
Charles-Philippe's work has covered a broad range of subjects from cigars and fragrances to wine and spirits. Fascinated by how history and culture together form the unique contemporary identities of alcoholic beverages, his articles follow an in-depth exploration of their development through a combination of tradition and innovation.