When it comes to rum, there are certain tropes that have become synonymous with the drink. Pirates are one of them. The idea of the rum-swilling, swashbuckling scallywag was thrust into popular culture in the pages of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and since then, every buccaneer has yearned for their rum.
A Pirate’s Life is a series that reimagines real-life and fictional pirates in the modern day and the kind of rum they’d want to get their hands on. First up is the complicated and ambitious pirate Captain Edward Kenway of the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
Mount Gay Black Barrel
Kenway built a notorious reputation for himself as a scourge of the Caribbean. As the captain of the Jackdaw, he sailed all over the West Indies, seeking fame and fortune. It stands to reason he’d have visited Barbados and would have enjoyed some fine-tasting Bajan rum.
I’d see one of his top picks being the Mount Gay Black Barrel, a smoky, whisky-like rum that’s packed full of flavour. With notes of nutmeg and orange and a fiery aftertaste, it wouldn’t take long for Kenway to finish the Black Barrel.
Appleton Estate Signature Blend
As a man determined to rise above his station, Kenway developed a taste for sophistication, for acquiring good things. He’d apply the same mentality to building his rum cabinet and a staple of any great collection is the Appleton Estate Signature Blend.
This moreish single-pot still Jamaican rum carries notes of banana cake, brioche, butter and toffee. Peppery and spicy qualities burn the tongue and Kenway would gladly drink his fill while sharing the bottle with his crew.
John Watling’s Buena Vista
Kenway was a part of the Republic of Pirates based in Nassau and regularly travelled to the Bahamas during the height of the Republic’s power. Having developed a taste for Bahamian rum, I’d see him choosing a bottle of John Watling’s Buena Vista, which is produced by John Watling’s Distillery at the Buena Vista estate in Nassau.
Aged in Bourbon barrels for five years, this rum has a caremalised, oaky quality that’s present throughout the drinking experience. It’s balanced with nutty vanilla notes and is the kind of rum that Kenway would take his time to sip and enjoy. He’d drink it and remember the good memories he had of his friends Black Beard, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
Rhum J.M Blanc
Every pirate has a type of rum they like to annihilate themselves with on a heavy night of boozing. For Kenway it would be Rhum J.M Blanc. Produced in Martinique, this rum belongs to the vegetal class of rhum agricole and it packs a hell of a punch.
Spring onions, chili pepper, black pepper and ginger wreak havoc in a tornado of heat. As soon as Kenway got done burning his guts, he’d pour himself another glass and grin self-destructively.
Barti Spiced Rum
A proud Welshman hailing from Swansea, Kenway would want to own a rum that reminded him of home. His choice would be Barti Spiced rum, a drink produced by the Barti Distillery, a venue inspired by another infamous Welsh pirate John ‘Black Bart’ Roberts. (In Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag Kenway has a complex relationship with Roberts and the drink would be a strong reminder of his frenemy).
Barti Spiced is a blend of Caribbean rums infused with vanilla, clove, orange and seaweed sourced from the Pembrokeshire coast. The sea connection would create a sense of nostalgia for Kenway, made even stronger by the label of a ship rolling on the waves. Perhaps he’d think of The Jackdaw, of simpler days where he was truly the master of his own destiny.
What other pirates would you like to see have their rum collection examined? Sound off in the comments section!