Even if you don’t consider yourself a rum drinker, chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve had a spiced rum. In a mixed drink or at a college party out of a plastic handle, the stuff has gone down your throat. Maybe it was great, and maybe it was the thing to turn you off of rum.
As with any type of alcohol, though, in the last few decades, craft distillers are paying more and more attention to what they put into their products in order to create a high-quality, potent potable. The folks behind South Hollow Spirits are no different.
Twenty Boat Cape Cod Spiced Rum is created at the first legal distillery on Cape Cod since Prohibition (located at Truro Vineyards). The rum is made from a mix of organic sugar cane and molasses and is double distilled. The spices are also locally-sourced from the Atlantic Spice Company.
The name Twenty Boat comes from the history of bootlegging in the area. In 1930, according to the South Hollow Spirits site, a number of rum runners were arrested in Dorchester Bay. One of those men, William Sovell, posted his own bail and promptly went right back to doing what he did best. Twenty boats were sent to catch him to no avail.
Appearance: Twenty Boat resembles heavily brewed tea with a little molasses in it.
Nose: Immediately the spices in this rum make themselves known. Cinnamon and cardamom play around with vanilla. Under these notes, you’ll get the base ingredient: molasses. The nose is akin to what gummy cola bottles taste like.
Palate: With a fairly thick feel, you’d think this rum would be sweeter than it is. Thankfully, it is not. The heavy spice flavors come through from the nose instead — cinnamon and clove, mainly, with allspice coming through on a second and third sip. These mix with a hint of bitter sweetness like an orange peel.
Finish: While there are chai-like notes on the nose and the body, they really come through on the end. These lead into a dry woodiness and a medium-length finish.
Final Thoughts: Often, rums can be too sweet — beyond cloying, even. That is not the case with Twenty Boat. The spice characteristics are at the forefront from beginning to end, and those produce a nice, somewhat dry body. While you can, this rum really shouldn’t be mixed into cocktails — you don’t want to overshadow the already great flavors of this rum.
Twenty Boat Cape Cod Spiced Rum is 47.5 percent ABV and retails for $45.