A Pirate’s Life: Long John Silver

“Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest. Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of a rum.” That timeless phrase was uttered by Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and immortalised the connection between pirates and rum in popular culture. The complex antagonist of Stevenson’s tale was a cunning and opportunistic pirate who loved his rum as much as he loved bragging about his accomplishments.

So, let’s take a look at the kind of rum that Silver would drink….

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum

Silver has claimed that he served in the Royal Navy and that it was the reason why he lost his leg. But whether he was telling the truth or not, he’d have a taste for strong Navy rum that would set his mouth on fire. He’d gladly down a bottle of Pusser’s gunpowder proof rum.

At 54.5%, the gunpowder is a potent pot-stilled blend with notes of figs, apple, dried fruit and prunes. Full-bodied and dark, it’s aged in oak barrels and comes off with a filling aftertaste that would put Silver in a jolly mood.

Captain Flint Dark Rum

The relationship between Silver and Captain Flint is about as complex as it gets for notorious pirates, so of course Silver would have no problem drinking a rum that was inspired by his frenemy. He’d toast to the man with a bottle of Captain Flint dark rum while finding another way to mock him. Or maybe he’d toast to his parrot Captain Flint instead.

Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum

Silver’s appreciation for strong rum would lead him towards a bottle of Plantation O.F.T.D (Oh Fuck That’s Delicious) and he’d be saying those words as soon as he started sipping. (Really it stands for Old Fashioned Traditional Dark, but Silver would voice how much he loved the rum anyway)

This potent overproof rum is bottled at a ridiculous 138 proof, which works out to 69% ABV. A blend of rums from Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados, there’s plenty of heat and flavour to burn the tongue. Notes of burnt fruit, mango and cocoa smolder in a firebomb.

J.Gow Spiced Rum

Carrying on with his decision to drink rum inspired by other pirates, Silver would go for a bottle of J.Gow. This Scottish rum is named after the infamous Orkney pirate John Gow, who cut a bloody swathe through Amsterdam, Genoa, and Britain. Gow was a bloodthirsty bastard and Silver would probably like his style.

J.Gow Spiced is produced on the tiny island of Lamb Holm, which is connected to mainland Orkney by the Churchill barriers. It’s pot stilled and carries notes of ginger, oatmeal, cinnamon and vanilla. Definitely the type of rum Silver would sip to clear his palate from the stronger stuff.

Pirate’s Grog 5 Year Rum

Another rum that Silver would undoubtedly look to get his hands on is Pirate’s Grog 5 year. This golden drink is a blend of Caribbean rums that have been aged in bourbon barrels for 5 years on the island of Roatan.

Located 60 km from Honduras, Roatan was used by pirates as a resting point between voyages. It’s the kind of place that Silver would have liked to hang out and count his loot. The rum tastes of raisin, butterscotch and vanilla.

Silver isn’t the only pirate with a love of rum. Discover the type of grog that Captain Jack Sparrow enjoys.

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