Matt Cottom finds out what the Captain is keeping to himself in this bottle of Captain Morgan’s Private Stock.
Captain Morgan’s Private Stock
Approximate price: £40
Until I was given this as a present a few years back, I wasn’t even aware that it existed. I had never seen it on any shelves and haven’t seen it since. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places?
The Private Stock comes in a huge 1 litre bottle and is over-proofed at 40% ABV, compared to most normal rums which sit at around 37% ABV. It is blended and spiced, and aged for 2 years. Its makers claim only the Captain’s finest rum reserves go in to making it.
Interestingly, Captain Morgan was actually a 17th century Welsh pirate, who defended British interests in the Caribbean. Unlike most pirates, Captain Morgan was knighted and given plantations in the land he had previously ransacked. This amused me a little; the idea of a barbaric Welsh pirate is a touch difficult to get your head around. Anyway…
The Private Stock is classic golden rum. It is a deep amber/brown colour with a sort of bonfire toffee hue running through it.
Upon opening, you are met with a rich whiff of pure molasses. There are also treacle hints and a very subtle coffee character. The overall smell is quite pleasing and complex, leaving you wanting to unearth other aromas, of which there are a few: vanilla being another prevalent one. Private Stock is blended with spices and ‘other natural flavours’ and only aged for 2 years so the oaky tastes are not as obvious.
The first sip is, for me, surprisingly bitter, almost like coffee beans, which immediately settles on the back of your throat. At the front, the mixed spices mingle with the vanilla to create a brilliant juxtaposition of flavours on the tip of your tongue. Private Stock is smooth and silky on the palette and is a real treat in my opinion. After this, there are treacle tones again which seem to come from nowhere, just when you thought the flavour had dissipated. The finish is therefore pleasantly long and rich, seemingly lasting for minutes at a time.
Captain Morgan’s Private Stock is every bit as suitable for sipping as it is for mixing with cola. However for a real treat, add a healthy dash into a black coffee for another variation on the Caribbean Coffee, creating a deeply satisfying winter warmer.
For me, the Private Stock sits somewhere between the normal Captain Morgan’s dark rum and Morgan’s spiced rum and if you can find it, is well worth purchasing a bottle.