Captain Bligh XO (40% ABV) summary

An award-winning rum with a pirate theme, named after the famous mutiny victim Captain Bligh. This bottle comes from the idyllic island of St Vincent, and is smooth, with vanilla and honey dominating. But, it's also kept lively by punchy pepper and bitter coffee notes.


What is the history of Captain Bligh XO?

This is a rum that boasts many awards, and rightly so. The Captain Bligh XO is produced by St Vincent Distillers Limited (SVDL).

Distilling in St Vincent has a turbulent history – in the 20th century, it flitted between bananas and sugarcane as its primary crop. When bananas were planted, the distillery would import molasses from Guyana, and when sugarcane was planted, it benefited from cheaper, more local ingredients. The distillery was nationalised in the 60s and privatised in the 90s. Captain Bligh was victim of a famous mutiny, when he was overthrown as captain of the HMS Bounty in 1789. Bligh, set adrift, eventually reached Timor, and was later appointed Governor of New South Wales in Australia, tasked with combating the supposedly corrupt rum trade. Soon, for the second time in his career, he was overthrown – the New South Wales Corps deposed him rather than give up their rum business.

The Captain Bligh XO rum is distilled in a two-column still. The use of column stills versus pot stills is a complex topic, but columns produce a cleaner distillate with a higher alcohol content, while pot stills tend to produce a more naturally complex spirit. After distillation, the rum is matured for around 10 years in first-fill Kentucky bourbon casks – this typically helps impart notes of vanilla and gentle spices.

How does the Captain Bligh XO rum taste?

The nose is a super-light plume of caramel and vanilla, supplemented by desiccated coconut and toasted sugar. The palate continues the light profile – vanilla is smoothed out over a dry, unsanded oak character. Caramel and toffee are wrapped with hints of pineapple, and the finish is dominated by tropical fruit.

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This review was last updated in January 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at