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The Spirit of a Privateer

The small-batch spirits movement continues to gain strength in the United States.  Privateer International opens a new rum distillery in Ipswich, MA.
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Privateer International Opens Distillery
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It was an economic instigator for the American Revolution. George Washington insisted on having it at his 1789 inauguration. Early in the history of the country, it was a ubiquitous campaigning tool. And prior to the Revolutionary War, the average American consumed three gallons of it per year.
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Rum is the common thread running through these events in the early history of the American Republic. And the name Andrew Cabot (1750-1791) was associated with the manufacture of one of the earliest rums ever made on American shores. Cabot, along with his business partners, owned a rum distillery in Beverly, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. They smuggled their molasses into the country in defiance of British tariffs and laws. Once America declared independence from Britain, the economics of distilling rum changed and Cabot divested his distillery to focus on increasing his interests in privateering.
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Today, another Andrew Cabot, six generations removed from the original, is carefully handcrafting fine American rum in Ipswich, MA.  Distilled from premium ingredients, in small batches, and with an obsessive attention to quality, Privateer Rum is a touchstone to an era when rum was America’s most prized spirit..
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“There was an irresistibility and inevitability to this mission,” said Andrew. “And it quickly became clear to us that Privateer was positioned to fill an important gap in the ultra premium rum market.”
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Bill Owens, President of the American Distilling Institute, concurs: “During the American Revolution, a war privateer and successful businessman from Massachusetts named Andrew Cabot was also busy distilling rum. Nearly three hundred years later, his descendant by the same name is using the original family approach to create his own craft-made rum. It is amazing to me that the great American spirit of ingenuity, freedom and independence can carry across so many generations, and nothing carries this tradition better than the art of distilling.”
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Privateer’s award-winning master distiller Eric Watson said, “Privateer Rum will be like no other rum available in America today. Our proprietary approach combines the best of old and new world practices, resulting in levels of character and complexity that often are not found in ultra premium rums today.”
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Privateer International, the name of the distillery, refers to the twenty-five privateer vessels that the original Cabot owned in whole or part during the American Revolution.  These were fast and maneuverable vessels that hunted British merchant ships across the North Atlantic and from Canada to the Caribbean. Rum was the second entitlement of the sailors in this fleet, the first being their shares in the large prizes they captured from British merchants.
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The rum that bears the Privateer label embodies the rebellious American spirit, and is currently available by the barrel at the Privateer Distillery, 28 Mitchell Road, Ipswich, MA.
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For more information, visit the Privateer Rum website.
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