Caribbean Rum Under Attack

I’ll be honest, mates – numbers and figures make my head hurt. But take a gander at Cap’n Jimbo’s writeup about massive rum subsidies that provide an unfair competitive advantage to three huge rum producers at the expense of the little guys and I think you’ll agree it looks a right mess. An excerpt:

Then things got much, much worse when the USVI instituted a “rum war” against Puerto Rico last year. What happened is almost unthinkable. The USVI gave Diageo nearly $3 Billion – not million, billion! – in subsidies. These subsidies were so rich that they amount to more than double the cost of actually producing rum! Diageo is actually being paid to produce rum. The USVI also gifted Fortune Brands (Cruzan) $1 Billion, yes billion – for all manner of free improvements and facilities, including a guarantee that Cruzan can buy molasses for just 16 cents/gallon – far under the market price of $2.00/gallon that the Caribbean producers must pay.

The risk is that we lose the small rums we all love, and are left with naught but a few mega-rums, one of which is Bacardi of all things (crikey, I might have to go back to drinking water instead.)

You can read the full article over at CanadianWhisky.org, and then consider signing the petition. But whats more, keep buying your favorite rums, mates – they need our support, now and always!

Review: Kinectimals 2 (a.k.a. Farcry 3)

Rating: ★★★★½
91bgUBn5VML._AA1500_Buy at Amazon.com

Kinectimals is perhaps one of the most overlooked pirate games around – mainly because you probably didn’t know it was a pirate game. True, the basic idea is “pet the tiger” or “pet the leopard” or even “pet the bear” through the magic of Xbox Kinect, but it also involves the search for pirate treasure on a tropical island filled with ancient ruins. See? Piratey.

Of course, it was also pretty heavily targeted at kids, which is why it was such a bold move when they announced the sequel, Farcry 3. Continue reading

Johnny Depp Recording “Son of Rogue’s Gallery”

Interesting.

The original Rogue’s Gallery was more mediocre than good, but it did have a few gems. A sequel all these years later? Normally I’d suggest that ship has sailed (hah!) but there are a few in the lineup that interest me. Iggy Pop in particular would seem well suited to the task of crusty sailor songs. And Courtney Love? Yeah, she could have been right at home in a seedy dockside bar, I’d wager.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s every chance this album will be wretch. BUT… maybe not 🙂

Johnny Depp releasing a record of “pirate ballads, sea songs, and chanteys” | Music | Newswire | The A.V. Club

(Via.)

Thanks to Jason Lang for bringing this one to my attention!

Review: Pirate Santa CD

Rating: ★★★★☆
www.piratesanta.com

Having reviewed the children’s book Pirate Santa nearly one year ago, it seems a fine time to introduce the companion CD. Yes, it features a booming voice reading the story. And yes, it includes weird and wonderful sound effects. These you expected. What you might not have expected would be the additional music thrown in for good measure.

For those unfamiliar, Mister Mac is a pirate. A pirate, and a children’s singer. Approximately 37 feet tall, his shiny bald head has sometimes been mistaken for the sun, and the adoring children gathering at his ankles appear no more than two apples tall. Yes, much like Smurfs, only less blue.

Where was I? Continue reading

Something to be Thankful For: Surprise Rum!

IMG 1642All right, I admit I’ve been derelict in my Bilgemunky duties of late. Life happened, and I’ve been pretty well immersed in non-piratey endeavors of late. But hey, look what just showed up at my doorstep! RUM!!! Nothing says, “wake the hell up and say something Bilgemunkyish” like an unexpected visit from rum.

Normally a white rum wouldn’t get me so excited, although there have certainly been exceptions. And this appears to be one of them. It’s called Caliche Rum, it’s aged up to four years, and it looks pretty awesome. Can’t wait to break it open (but I should at least wait until after lunch.)

Booty for Boobies? Sounds like a good cause to me!

A pirate party dedicated to the fight against breast cancer? Sounds like the purpose opportunity to engage is some good-natured villainy to me! From their website:

Booty for Boobies is a crew of breast avengers raising treasure for the chests. We host an annual Pirate Party that is focused on the task of raising money that is contributed directly to Breast Cancer Research. Through the generous donation of sponsors we are able to give 100% of the door proceeds at our event to the American Cancer Society in support of their Breast Cancer programs.

Concerning Bilgemunky Radio…

Ahoy all!

It’s been one hell of a summer – plenty of heat to make the rum all the sweeter, and a couple of pirate festivals thrown in for good measure.

This past May I put Bilgemunky Radio on a summer hiatus. The reasons for this were twofold. First off, I was having hardware issues that made it increasingly difficult to broadcast a quality show. Taking the summer off gave me the time I needed to evaluate the situation and consider possible solutions. Continue reading

Review: Raiding Parties Card Game

Rating: ★★★½☆

www.raidingparties.com

We live in a glorious age. There was a time not long ago when, if you wanted to enjoy some piratey fun, you couldn’t simply fire up the computer or break out the smartphone. There was a time when you had to use wooden swords, or perhaps some books with dice and mounds of scratch paper. Of course, there was another time not so long ago when many of the tabletop adventures took place in card form. I mostly missed out on those days – just a tad too old to get into Magic the Gathering or Pokemon. And this is why I shiver in fear whenever a pirate card game comes along – it’s not their fault, but I’m somewhat mentally stunted when it comes to card games. Continue reading

Review: Cane&Abe Rum

Rating: ★★★½☆
madisondistillery.com/Rum.html

Cane&Abe is a rum that just dares to be different. Its bottle, what with the loop on its neck, looks more appropriate to moonshine than rum. The native-american style eagle on the label, again, doesn’t exactly screech of high seas adventure. And being made in Madison, Wisconsin; arguably the LEAST piratey city in the entire US of A? Now my mind is blown.

But let’s not rush to judgement – it is, after all, the rum that matters. At a glance it’s a deep amber, although in the glass it’s significantly lighter. The nose is prominently butterscotch and sugarcane – one of which is a common element in rum, the other less so (I’ll leave it to you to figure which is which.)

On the tongue, Cane&Abe is again like hot butterscotch – liquid candy for adults. Light and sweet, this isn’t exactly fit for putting a kraken into a half-nelson while making out with a mermaid and kicking a spanish corpse. But while it’s not the stuff of pirate legend, it IS pretty decent in its own right, and might be worth checking out if you’d like a break from charred gunpowder and molasses.