Throughout the history of piracy, there’s been a cavalcade of colourful characters roaming the high seas and etching their names into legend. One such pirate was Howell Davis, who stood out for his ability to charm his targets and be a master of disguise.
With links to fellow pirates such as Edward England and Bartholmew ‘Black Bart’ Roberts, Davis kept illustrious company and his taste in rum would’ve been no different.
Let’s take a look at the rum brands Davis would enjoy if he were alive today.
Wrecker’s Welsh Rum
A Welshman, Davis was born in Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire and he’d definitely have rum in his collection that reminded him of home. Wrecker’s Welsh rum from the Pembrokeshire Distillery would be the ultimate tribute to his home county.
Wrecker’s Welsh rum is a spiced rum that’s a blend of rum crafted in the distillery, dark rum from Trinidad and Tobago and local Welsh spring water.
While drinking the rum, Davis would see himself as a literal Welsh Wrecker, capturing ships from across the world and outwitting people with his charm.
During his early career as a pirate, Davis was given command of a ship called the Cadogan that was meant to sail for Brazil in 1718. However, his crew mutinied and sailed to Barbados instead and Davis was imprisoned for a time.
While in Barbados, Davis would likely have tried to find ways to take his mind off his predicament and developing an appreciation for Bajan rum would have been a good tactic.
Doorly’s 14-year-old from the legendary Foursquare Distillery is a bottle to take pride of place in the trickster pirate’s rum cabinet. A blend of pot and column still rum that’s been aged in bourbon and Madeira casks, the 14-year has sweetness, spice and heat for days.
At one point, Davis found himself on the run from Governor Woodes Rogers and he conspired with several other pirates to take over a vessel off the island of Martinique. Davis was elected captain and set up a base at Coxon’s Hole on the island of Roatan near the northern coast of Honduras.
This would have given him an enjoyment of rum from the island and he’d certainly enjoy drinking rum from the Roatan Rum Company, which crafts artisanal rum in different flavours and offers unforgettable holiday experiences.
Davis would also enjoy sipping Pirates’ Grog 5-Years, as the rum originally comes from Roatan, is blended in small batches and aged in bourbon barrels for five years.
M & G Grogue Velha
One of the most successful stints of Davis’ pirate life was ransacking ships in the Cape Verde Islands and he’d have picked up a taste for Cape Verde rum, which is also known as grogue.
A favourite grouge for Davis would be the M & G Grogue Vehla, produced by M & G. The initials stand for Musica e Grouge, music and grog, which ties into the love of partying, art and great drinks in Cape Verde.
Vehla is white rum aged for a year in a fire-fed pot still and bottled at 50% ABV. The sugarcane used to make it has been cultivated in volcanic soil, infusing the terroir of the region and unlocking notes of figs, dates and other vegetal flavours.
Davis was once able to convince the commander of the Royal African Company slaving fort in Gambia that he was a privateer. He then proceeded to capture the commander at a dinner and ransom him for 2000 pounds of gold.
There would be times Davis felt nostalgic about this moment and a way for him to connect to it would be through drinking rum connected to Africa.
A great choice is Equiano, the world’s first Afro-Carribean rum. Crafted by the Grays Distillery in Mauritius and Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, Equiano was made to celebrate the life of Nigerian-born writer Olaudah Equiano.
To learn more about the rum collections of different pirates, check out A Pirate’s Life.