Shiver me timbers! This month we launch the second of our two month series of rums. The Privateer North East Trade Wind.
- Rums that are exclusive, limited and private release cask strength perfection
- Rums that are some of the most sought after investment bottles in the world
- Rums that can directly trace their origins to the swashbuckling mercenaries of the American Revolution – the Privateers
- Rums that are only available in Australia via the Tribe!
Get ready for a Privateer Rum that is truly unique in the way it is created. A rum that is made using the best and richest distillation process from Privateer – The private cask ‘Privateer North East Trade Wind’! PLUS 9 lucky members will receive a signed bottle from legendary Head Distiller, Maggie Campbell. Ahoy there!
As good as the ‘1776’ was (and it was EPIC!) this months ‘Rum of the Month’ is even better. This month we see another ‘Letter of Marque’ (i.e. privately commissioned) release, a single cask, cask strength rum distilled from the very richest portion of the heart cuts of many separate distillations.
The Privateer North East Trade Wind is a single cask maturation of the Privateer ‘Queens Share’ method, bottled straight out of the cask and with no chill filtering, colouring or added sugar. Just as it comes out of the cask (well… without the splintery bits of charred oak of course) bottled at a cracking 110 proof (55% ABV). To understand how this is made, you need a little background.
Essentially, when you distil a spirit from a fermented sugar/yeast you get three distinct parts (or ‘cuts) of the distillation process. Known as the Head, Heart and Tail cuts.
The ‘Head’ cut is the first part of the distillation process and is comprised of mainly the smaller/ lighter alcohol (methyl alcohol – the one that blinds you if you don’t get your distillation right) plus some of the lighter, more volatile aldehydes and other chemicals. Now the ‘Heart’ cut is the part of the distillation that is kept as is. This is the part of the distillation that would go into barrels for aging.
After the ‘Heart’ is done, the ‘Tail’ cut is then distilled out of the wash. This part of the distillation has lots of the ’heavy’ molecules – oils etc. The heads and tails are traditionally added to the next batch and re-distilled once more.
The Queens Share method is slightly different. An extra ‘cut’ is made to the distillation – towards the end of the Heart (middle) cut and just into the tail cut. So essentially you’re left with the ‘heavier’ parts of the Heart cut. This is collected, blended with the other Queens cuts and finally re-distilled and those Hearts collected. This is the ‘Queens Share’ – the best and richest distillation from Privateer. And the Privateer North East Trade Wind is a privately bottled cask of this.
Privateer International share the Rum Tribe’s philosophy when it comes to what a rum should be – as they put it – “Best Ingredients. Best Practices. Never Sweetened. Never Filtered” Like us, Privateer fervently believe that well made, carefully aged rum can easily stand on it’s own without the need for [mostly undeclared] additives to prop it up. This is a company that is all about the rum!
Now the privateer ‘Letter of Marque’ (LOM) series rums, are personally selected by ‘rum people’ (international buyers etc) – in this case our partner in crime, Justin Boselely – and are single cask rums.
To say they’re a collector’s items is an understatement. Fast becoming one of the most sought after and collectable rums around the globe, recent sales in Europe of the LOM series have resulted in it being sold out in days – only to be put back online buy these rum investors are selling their bottles at 5 times their original purchase price.
In case you don’t know – a privateer is a sort of ‘deputised’ pirate. During the War of Independence, America gave ‘letters of marque’ to ships who wished to hunt the British ships. These ‘Letters of Marque’ effectively made the ship an official military vessel. Well, somewhere in between military and pirate to be accurate.
This strategy has been used a number of times throughout history to increase a countries naval presence with little outlay. The reward for their ‘service’ was whatever they could plunder from the British ships they captured or destroyed. Commonly, the ships owner took half the booty and the rest was divided between captain and crew.
This month’s rum – the Privateer North East Trade Wind – is not only made by the direct descendant of privateer, Andrew Cabot – the company that produces it also embraces all the history, drama and passion of the era when American merchants were their emerging country’s navy. Even the brands logo pays homage to those swashbuckling buccaneers of the revolution with a stylisation of the American Privateers flag.
The Rum Tribe Privateer Online Masterclass
The culmination of the Privateer Rum releases will be an online Zoom tasting session with the team from Privateer. We’ll learn more about the processes and techniques used to make ‘our’ rums, and what the differences mean to each expression. There is an incredibly knowledgeable team at work behind the scenes at Privateer, and we can’t wait to hear what secrets they’ve got to pass on to our member! Stay tuned for the announcement of the details for that Zoom tasting.
Our Tasting Notes:
Colour: Coppery gold.
Nose: Aniseed and strong Dutch licorice, 1920s Red and white striped hard boiled sweets
Palate: Aniseed & caramel, A hint of the Circus has just come to town fairy floss, pepper & rich molasses in a duo of flavours
Finish: A looooooong finish . Those flavours just keep dancing on the back of the tongue not willing to let go!
Hand selected for the Rum Tribe, North East Trade Wind is a unique cask of privateer rum’s Queen Share.
Queens Share Rum is made form the richest cuts of our rum distillation. In every distillation there are three main cuts. The Heads (harsh alcohols not wanted in the final spirit cut) come off of the still first. The hearts follow, this is the flavourful rum that is collected and bottled as our New England White Rum, New England Reserve Rum and Navy Yard. Lastly, the tails cut is made to separate the hearts form the bitter alcohols at the end of the still run.
However, as the hearts run is approaching the tails cut, the spirit becomes more powerful and flavourful. Even once these tails have overpowered the hearts and we’ve made our cut, some of these rich hearts are still intertwined with the bitter tails.
At this stage, our distillers collect a fourth cut – a blend of rich hearts mixed with some tails. These small amounts are collected over many runs and then redistilled together – liberating the hearts. This creates a single batch, single barrel expression of Queens Share Rum.
Distilled in the Spring of 2018 by Maggie Campbell herself, North East Trade Wind was aged in a used rum barrel for 2 years, 7 months. ‘North East Trade Wind’ was harvested in Winter 2020 and bottled at a cask strength of 110 Proof (55% ABV).
The original Andrew Cabot (1750–1791) – privateer and entrepreneur – not only amassed a flotilla of 25 ships to aid his countries bid for independence, he was also the owner of a rum distillery in Massachusetts. 6 generations later – his direct descendant of the same name, discovered his ancestor as well as the ‘family business’ whilst doing genealogical research. Already a keen and accomplished sailor, [the current] Andrew Cabot – on finding documents and advertisements pertaining to his ancestor’s distillery was immediately “drawn to the alchemy of distilling”.
As an American history nut, Andrew well knew the importance and significance of sugar and rum in the American war of independence. After discovering his family place in this very history – Andrew decided that his legacy would be the re-birth of the Cabot name in American rum production. The first requirement was a location for the distillery, and to Andrew, there was no other option but to locate in the new distillery in the same Essex County that the late Andrew Cabot had his distillery.
Whilst Andrew had an interesting and varied resume – including 20 years software development, and a genomics research position at Harvard Business School to name a couple – one skill he did not possess was how to distil rum – and so he did. It was not his intention to carry out the job of distiller at Privateer, but he felt it was a skill he needed to have a more than basic grasp of to successfully run a distillery.
In 2011 the Privateer distillery was operational and production of white rums started immediately. The ‘business end’ of the distillery is two stills. A steam-coil heated, 1,000 gallon Vendome pot still from Kentucky separates the low wines. The spirit still is a 200-gallon copper eau de vie still (a pot/column hybrid), made in Germany by CARL GmbH. It’s named “Baldwin,” after the writer James Baldwin, and handles all final distillation tasks.