The Barrel Sample: Privateer Thick as Thieves Rum – The Whisky Exchange

Was looking through my samples to see what I can write about and I was surprised to realise I forgot about this one. Privateer Thick as Thieves is a single cask chosen by the former Privateer (USA) distiller, Maggie Campbell and Dawn Davies exclusively for The Whisky Exchange.

Molasses based, column still distilled, aged for 3 years (and 1 month) in a New American Oak cask and bottled at 56.2% ABV without chill filtering or additives – only 237 bottles were launched.

On the nose it reminds me a lot of Barbados rum. Sour cherries, charred oak, vanilla, red apples and a hint of smoke. Burnt orange peel, some bananas, black pepper and ginger beer. Quite whisky-ish as well. Apricots and passion fruit too.

On the palate the oak is the main player. Vanilla custard, ground coffee, burnt wood staves and plum bitters. Very dark chocolate, orange marmalade and black pepper. Has a slight medicinal note to it, but it’s mostly bitter. The finish is long with angelica root and a touch of vanilla.

It’s hard for me to say this, but I am very disappointed. It becomes very bitter from mid palate towards the finish and it’s just terrible. I know usually TWE are reliable and I’ve heard good things about Privateer, but this is just bitter burnt wood mostly. Bottles are still available on the TWE website for £80, but I can’t recommend it – definitely better offerings out there that you can get for the same amount of money.

Privateer Thick as Thieves Rum score:
Flavour/taste: 42/70
Value for money: 8/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 65/100


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