Review: Spiced Butter Rum Marinade

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Spiced Butter Rum Marinade
by Shore Lunch

Really now, how could I see this on the supermarket shelf and NOT buy it? It’s made with rum and has a pirate on it, for cryin’ out loud! I slathered it all over my dinner that very night. Fortunately it was barbeque chicken night – had it been speghetti night things might have turned ugly. Sadly, the bottle is the best part of this marinade.

The flavor claims to be “rum butter,” but the butter was all I tasted. And butter just doesn’t seem like an appealing barbeque flavor. I was ready to write this stuff off, but then it was suggested I might try marinading corn on the cob with it next time around. Now there’s an idea! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Review: Pirate’s Alley Rum Cakes

Rating: ★★★★☆
Pirate’s Alley Trading Company

Although experienced in rums, the vast world of rum-cakes is largely uncharted territory for me. So when Pirate’s Alley contacted me and offered to send “the finest rum cake on the planet,” it seemed a fine time to broaden my horizons. The cake, as chance would have it, arrived on my birthday, thus proving that Pirate’s Alley not only has fantastic cakes, but impeccable timing.

The cake arrived in a large tin with the company logo on it – a menacing jolly roger that let’s you know it was made by folks with piracey coursing through their veins. Opening the tin revealed a plastic-wrapped, donut-shaped pastry that smelled both rich and slightly nutty. Upon tasting, the cake itself is heavy and moist with a buttery-rum flavor that borders on creamy. Densley made, a small slice goes a long way – none of your crew should have to go hungry with one of these nearby. Never ones to do things the simple way, my own crew and I opted to sever up the cake and serve it with vanilla icecream and home-made caramel sauce, which proved to make for a fantastic (and wonderfully rummy) experience. Continue reading

Review: Sailor Slop Breeches

Rating: ★★★★☆
Flying Canoe Traders

Never before have I tried a piece of pirate clothing that seemed more “ready for duty” than the pirate slops from Flying Canoe Traders. It’s easy to imagine these heavyweight canvas breeches serving aboard a sailing vessel hundreds of years ago, and they could surely perform just as admirably today. A row of seven metal buttons adorn the crotch, while a piece of cord in the back can be used to fine-tune the size – just like the old days. The extra wide legs will allow plenty of summertime ventilation while maintaining that swabbylike appearance that only a good pair of slops can provide.

Straight from the box these slops seem durable and ready for action – the only thing they lack is a good bit of scruff to give them that “broken in” feel. I’m looking forward to remedying this come summer, when they’re sure to be worn aplenty!

Review: Victory in Tripoli

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation
by Joshua E. London

Having read several historical novels of late, it occurs to me that one thing they most all lack is a proper story arc. For example, in a typical pirate biography Pirate A was born, raised, raids this city, raids that ship, yaddy-yaddy-yadda, and then dies. Real life rarely offers the proper format of dramatic elements that make for traditional storytelling, which can make for historical novels that are sometimes a bit winding and seemingly aimless.

No such danger with Victory in Tripoli – we have both a protagonist and an antagonist, a beginning, middle, and even an exciting conclusion. And we of course have pirates – it’s all here!

Long before the United Stated won its independence, the Barbary Nations had established a unique relationship with the major European powers – namely that of terror, extortion, and downright piracy. Continue reading

Review: Pyrat Cask 23

Rating: ★★★★★
Pyrat Cask 23

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

Note¬†– in the years since writing this review, I’ve received many reports from readers that Pyrat Cask 23’s quality has declined. What small tastes I’ve had of more recent bottles appears to back up this observation, although I’m not yet certain. -Bilge

Presentation isn’t everything, but it’s a lot, and nobody knows this like the makers of Pyrat Cask 23. They start with a hand-blown glass bottle, fill it with their finest mix of select rums, seal it with a cork, and label it with some antique-looking stickers (not brown colored stickers, but stickers that used to be white and new and look like they’ve been aged for decades.) Then they hang yellow ribbons from the bottleneck, along with a medallion of the god of bartenders. And lastly, the whole affair is placed in a gorgeous cedar chest. I tell you, when you first open this bottle of rum you feel like you’ve just raided a spanish galleon (and when you look at the price tag, you might wish you had.) Continue reading

Review: Coronation Khukri XXX

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Coronation Khukri XXX Rum

Rum generally conjures images of the Caribbean, of warm climates and fat lazy galleons. Rarely does one think of rum and envision the chilly mountains of the Himalayas. But Khukri Rum defies many expectations, from its uniquely shaped bottle (formed specifically after a knife designed for decapitation) to its surprisingly complex range of flavors.

To the nose, Khukri smells of sweet caramel toffee and cinnamon. It’s still clearly rum, but candied rum, perhaps. The flavor itself is light and sweet at first, and just a bit spicy. But as it warms along the tongue it seems to grow heavier, with a fuller, more robust and creamy sensation, evoking vanilla and syrup.

Khukri Rum hasn’t been available in the United States for very long, and last I heard only had limited distribution in New York and California. Hopefully it will become more readily available soon, as this rum will surely prove a very special treat for rum enthusiasts everywhere.