The Bahamas, off the western shores of the Bimini Islands. The Year is 1655. The sun is slowly dipping into the ocean, softening the light of day, and giving way to the cover of night. A sailor sits high on the main mast in a crow’s nest, his vigil eye peering to the west. Just then, a merchant ship’s sail crest’s the darkening horizon.
“Its time” he whispers to himself. He takes one last sip from his bottle of rum, throws it to the ocean, and raises a black flag quietly signaling to the captain to prepare the crew for a siege.
Fast forward to the present day. A fire gives light to five friends sitting, relaxing, smoking cigars and sipping on rum. Professional outdoorsmen and entrepreneurs Flip Pallot (Walkers Cay Chronicles), Oliver White (Abaco Lodge), Clint Kemp (Black Fly Lodge), and Graham Hegemyer (Southern Tails Charters) were in deep conversation that night about rum, its history, and origins.
Soon the conversation spiraled into the idea of finding the best rum they could and share it with the world. Enter master blender, Francisco Jose Fernandez Perez aka “Don Pancho”. Don Pancho has over 50 years of experience distilling and aging rum. Besides Don Pancho being named “The Cuban Minister of Rum” An interesting fact about his practice is that he distills ages and blends his rum in Panama but in the style indicative of his homeland of Cuba.
Frigate Reserve is offered in four different expressions. 8-year, 12-year, 15-year and 21-year. Today we are talking about the 12-year and 15-year.
The 12-year has a light to medium honey color. The nose is light and subtle, with vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg and a slight black pepper. These flavors continue into the flavor along with some fresh berries and coconut. It has a medium finish with coconut and a light brown sugar.
The 15-year is a medium to dark honey color. The nose is heavy with vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg and leather. The palate has all of the flavors of the 12 year old but is accented with dried leather, macadamia and coconut. The finish is long with vanilla, macadamia nut, and brown sugar syrup.
The story of the bottle that was chosen is an interesting one as well. One day while walking along the beach in the Bahama islands, Clint Kemp sees something gleaming in the sand. He picks it up and cleans it off. What he found was a perfectly intact rum bottle from the 1600’s.
As a testament to rums influential history, Clint knew this would be the bottle he wanted to replicate and use for their unique rum. Obviously no one knows the origins of this particular bottle but one can speculate…
May your rod always be bent down and your rum straight up.