25 February 2015

A Black Squirrel History Lesson: Molasses Act, Rum, the American Revolution, and the Birth of the Finest Craft Spirit

Part 1: The American Revolution

Many have argued that rum laid the foundation for the American Revolution. What is undeniable is that the legacy between Black Squirrel and rum cannot be separated. The story goes like this.

The Molasses Act was passed by Great Britain in 1733 to curb the trade of rum between the French Indies and the American colonies. The intent was to force the colonies to instead trade with Great Britain for molasses and ultimately their production of rum.

With little enforcement however, American smugglers (perhaps fueled by an American spirit with an inherent problem with authority) were still able to sneak sugar and molasses into New England and continue their production. The rum, it seemed, would continue to run despite Great Britain's efforts.

All that changed however in 1764 when Great Britain began enforcing the Molasses Act--effectively cutting off the supply of rum in New England and the colonies.

The American spirit persevered however and New Englanders turned to what they had--an abundant supply of maple. This maple was used to satisfy their desires--ultimately creating one of the finest spirits the world has ever seen.

Rum and Black Squirrel aside of course, conflict was inevitable. Great Britain retaliated to the colonies insubordination (we may have burned a British ship or two) by increasing taxes and tariffs on the American colonies, eventually resulting in the American Revolution in 1776.