Liquid Diet: Twenty Boat Spiced Rum

Cape Cod's Truro Vineyards launches a small-batch spiced rum you'll want to get your hands on (if you can).

Twenty Boat rum

Twenty Boat, a new hand-crafted spiced rum made in Cape Cod. Photo provided.

We’ve been in a rum renaissance over the past couple years thanks to a resurgence in classic tiki cocktails, but spiced examples have all too often been relegated to black sheep status. Sure, spiced rums aren’t traditionally a part of the lauded Trader Vic canon, but there are plenty of classic cocktails (Cable Car, Spiced Dark and Stormy) as well as punches, grogs, and hot drinks where spiced offerings are absolutely crucial. Besides, who has time to brew their own labor-intensive tinctures when a standout pre-spiced spirit is is now being distilled on the local scene?

Produced by Truro Vineyards on the Cape, Twenty Boat hand-crafted spiced rum, is a small batch rum that combines organic molasses with cardamom, vanilla bean, cinnamon, rose hip, anise, lemon peel, orange peel, allspice, nutmeg, and chai, all from  North Truro’s Atlantic Spice Company. Made by co-owner and distiller Dave Roberts Jr.—who began his career as a brewer at Sweetwater Brewing Company in Atlanta—Twenty Boat is off to an extremely fast start. First released on May 22, the initial production of 756 bottles in Batch #1 sold out within days on the company’s website. Now Roberts Jr. is almost doubling production, with over 1,200 bottles soon to be available in Batch #2.

Built in 1813, the Truro Vineyard has been producing wine for almost two centuries. The idyllic property, the basis for Edward Hopper’s painting “Rich’s Barn,” was purchased by Dave Roberts Sr. and his family in 2007. Along with his extensive selection of environmentally sustainable wines, Roberts Sr. has been eager to get in on the spirits side of the industry. Twenty Boat is the first product in Truro’s new South Hollow Spirits line, an obvious extension to the company considering Roberts Sr.’s background at Massachusetts-based distributor, United Liquors.

It’s easy to see why restaurants and bars such as Deuxave and Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon are lining up to carry Twenty Boat. Unlike more familiar commercial examples, it has an intensely fragrant nose of chai, pepper, and cardamom, which is balanced out by the tart acidity of the orange peel and the creaminess of the vanilla bean.

Due to the small-batch nature of the project, the Roberts family intends on limiting distribution to on-site sales as well as select on-premise accounts. Batch #2 will be available in June for which Truro Vineyards is currently accepting customer pre-orders via their website.