Spiced Rum Round 3 – Captain Morgan (Champ) VS Whaler’s (Challenger)

2 Years later and never too late for Round 3. This time Captain M is going up against it’s piratey competitor Whaler’s. Which one will win the booty? Which one will walk the plank? Let’s find out. R2 here and R1 here.


1) Original Spiced Rum – Captain Morgan (Diageo), 35% ABV – 750ml, (Global), $31.61 CAD @ BC Liquor Stores (11/15/2017 price)

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  • blend of Caribbean and Canadian rum
  • in colour (but still rather light), aged in oak barrels for up to 1 year. Caribbean spices used (wiki)

2) Whaler’s Spiced Rum – Bishop Wines & Spirits (Mira Loma, CA, USA), 35% ABV – 750ml$39.50 CAD @ Liquor Depot Dilworth in Edmonton, AB (7/2010 price)

  • “Made from Hawaii’s legendary recipe”

Criteria

Nose:

  • Captain Morgan (CM) has an noticeable alcoholic nasal edge, vanilla, and butterscotch. Semi-smooth.
  • Whaler’s (WH) is much more subdued and clean. Bubblegum, a touch of cinnamon, and cola notes emerge in the mids and just a bit of alcohol detection emerges at the finish.
  • CM = vanilla+alcohol WH = bubblegum+cola. Winner = Whaler’s, simply cleaner.

Taste & Texture:

  • CM: Too thin flavoured to enjoy as a sipper, plus the alcohol detection kicks in almost from the very start. The vanilla is very faint but I must say I just noticed a peppery spiciness from the mids to finish that is decently pleasant. Tastes cheap because it is.
  • WH: Thicker on the palate, bringing a much more composed and complete profile. Brighter and a sharper bite at the start, while drying out by the finish. Cinnamon, cola, and nutmeg along with a bit of caramel comprise of the discernible flavours. There is medium throat heat and warmth that lingers. Flavours are muted, decent but not great.
  • CM = thin-bodied vanilla+butterscotch, WH = cola+alcohol throat heat, but complete.

In a Rum & Coke

  • Captain & Coke is smooth with lots of cola caramel and lime oils painted on the palate. Somewhat cloying at the finish.
  • Whaler’s & Coke is a touch sharper and black pepper spicier, finishing drier with lingering vanilla notes.

Final Notes:

  • Captain Morgan is smoother, cheaper, and more accessible.
  • Whaler’s has more complexity and spicy length, but comes at a price of more alcohol heat.
  • Both come across as imperfect spiced rums.

WINNER = the challenger Whaler’s Spiced Rum, offering more complexity, balance, and refined mixability.

Spiced Rum Round 2 – Captain Morgan (Champ) VS Devil’s Triangle (Challenger)

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Welcome to Round 2! Tonight we have the previous champ Captain Morgan which I liked because of its mixability, up against Devil’s triangle which brings a whole different set of spices to the Rum arena. This time it’s an equal battle of 35%’ers. Check out Round 1 here.

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1) Original Spiced Rum – Captain Morgan (Diageo),35% ABV – 750ml, (Global), $29 CAD @ BC Liquor Stores

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  • blend of Caribbean and Canadian rum
  • lighter in colour, aged in oak barrels for up to 1 year. Caribbean spices used (wiki)

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2) Devil’s Triangle Spiced Rum – Independent Liquor (NZ), 35% ABV – 750ml, (Product of Fiji), ~$23 CAD @ liquor stores in Edmonton, AB

  • …a fiery blend of vanilla, butterscotch, cinnamon and secret spices unlike any other. (on the back label)
  • No product information; A Google search of “Independent Liquor Ltd.” points to their website but the rum is absent from their portfolio

Criteria

Nose:

  • Captain Morgan (CM) has a very clean vanilla extract nosing intermixed with bearable but apparent alcohol detection.
  • Devil’s Triangle (DT) comes out swinging with huge butterscotch but somewhat plasticky, in an off-putting way. Barely any nasal burn in there though, good job.
  • CM = vanilla+caramel, DT = plastic butterscotch. CM because DT’s plastic is giving me a headache.

Taste & Texture:

  • CM starts of watery thin, just like from what I tasted in Round 1. Flavour delivery comes in the midpalate with vanilla, cola caramel, nutmeg. It finishes with a medium top-of-mouth to the back of throat numbness. Too thin-bodied to be a sipper.
  • Devil’s Triangle, BAM! Instant sugar cane (6/10)-sweetness, even thinner mouthfeel, quick transition to the mids with a spicy heat tingliness, butterscotch backbone, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, tongue numbness, wet woodiness. It ends with a butterscotch exhale, light heat caramel finish.
  • CM = thin-bodied vanilla+cola, BM = bursting sweet spicy butterscotch

In a Rum & Coke

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  • Captain & Coke, super smooth, lots of caramel, lime peel bitterness, lime oils = clean and light.
  • Devil’s Triangle & Coke is immediate butterscotch, plasticky, caramel cola, cloying = has more flavour, but possibly offensive.

Final Notes:

  • Captain Morgan is smooth as usual, though safe and not groundbreaking.
  • Devil’s Triangle, decent as a sipper, too overpowering as a mixer.

WINNER = Captain Morgan, since I primarily buy inexpensive spiced rums as mixers, not sippers. DT isn’t good enough to be a standalone sipper IMO.

Spiced Rum Round 1 – Captain Morgan Original Spiced VS Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy

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The first bottle-vs-bottle this year, let’s get more in that we did last year! Here’s one that I’ve been curious about, spiced rums. Because every distillery has their own secret blend of spices, I’d like to find out which brand I prefer in addition to evaluating their base product.

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1) Original Spiced Rum – Captain Morgain (Diagio),35% ABV – 750ml, (Global), $29 CAD @ BCLiquor Stores

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  • lower ABV at 35%
  • blend of Caribbean and Canadian rum
  • lighter in colour, aged in oak barrels for up to 1 year. Caribbean spices used (wiki)

2) Spiced Navy Rum – Sailor Jerry Ltd., 46% ABV – 750ml, (Edison, New Jersey, USA), $31 CAD @ BCLiquor Stores

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  • company founded by Ed Hardy and Mike Malone, protégés of tattoo artist Norman Keith Collins, whom is also known as Sailor Jerry
  • Caribbean rum with spice, caramel, and other natural flavours

Criteria

Nose:

  • Captain Morgan (CM) consists primarily of vanilla and augmented by caramel’d cola/root beer notes. Low-med alcohol detection.
  • Sailor Jerry (SJ) has a much meatier molasses-caramel character but much more aggressive nasal burn alcohol detection, no doubt due to its higher ABV.
  • CM = mellow vanilla BM = nasal burn thick caramel. CM for ease of mixing due to less alcohol detection.

Taste & Texture:

  • CM is very thin on the palate, just slightly thicker than water and with a bit of oil. The Captain brings forth a lot of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and light caramel backbone. Alcoholic heat is on the high end and goes down to the throat, leaving the top and sides of the tongue medium numb.
  • The Sailor is definitely thicker. Almost immediate tongue numbness after the initial few seconds, caramel, nutmeg, sharp alcoholic heat, intense throat numbness, vanilla-caramel exhale.
  • CM = light-bodied vanilla smooth, SJ = alcoholic heat/throat burn, big caramel+vanilla

In a Rum & Coke

  • Captain & Coke is very smooth with mildly enhanced sweetness, cane sugar, lime juice profile.
  • Jerry & Coke is not quite a smooth but with more malty caramel, lime peel bitterness, and light alcohol hit in the finish.

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Final Notes:

  • Captain Morgan for a smoother, sweeter, stealthier cocktail.
  • Sailor Jerry for a richer, caramel, alcoholic beverage.
  • Neither as sippers. CM too light. SJ too rough.

WINNER = Captain Morgan (based on Rum & Coke mixability)