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Crossfire Hurricane.
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The Rolling Stones Fell in Love With Jamaica. Now They Have Their Own Caribbean Rum.

By: Alexander Britell - December 16, 2023

The more you travel the Caribbean, the more you feel The Rolling Stones’ footprint. Head to the Rockhouse in Negril, where the group stayed in the 70s, and you easily imagine them on those mystical cliffs. Or you can journey just past Cable Beach in Nassau, where the Stones recorded parts of several albums, including Undercover and Emotional Emotional Rescue, at Chris Blackwell’s Compass Point Studios. 

It all began with Goats Head Soup, much of which was filmed at Dynamic Sounds in Kingston in 1973.

And it’s not just for work; Mick Jagger has long had a love affair with the island of Mustique, and Keith Richards is very keen on Turks and Caicos. The band, then, certainly has a longstanding bond with the Caribbean. 

And now, a half-century after they recorded Goats Head Soup, the Stones have a new Caribbean-made product: a rum. 

It’s called Crossfire Hurricane, getting its name from the opening lyric of Jumpin’ Jack Flash: “I was born in a crossfire hurricane.”

The rum, bottled in Florida and made in partnership with Socio Ventures John Fincher, is a blend of rums from around the Caribbean: Jamaica (of course), Barbados and the Dominican Republic (The rums in the blend are aged up to five years), set in a green-and-white labeled bottle with the Stones’ iconic tongue logo. (In a nice touch, there are also a pair of snakes — seemingly an allusion to “Bite of the Snake,” one of the tracks on Goat’s Head Soup). 

With the almost frenzied pace of celebrity-backed liquor brands, it’s almost hard to imagine that this is actually the Stones’ first-ever premium spirit, timed with the launch of their first new studio album in 18 years, Hackney Diamonds.

It’s also still something of a rarity for the rum world. While Tequila, for example, has been spectacularly oversaturated with tequilas seemingly released with the frequency of cheap ham radios, high-profile, celebrity-endorsed rums remain infrequent (with few exceptions like Sammy Hagar and Kenny Chesney) — a nod to rum’s still-growing place in the spirits world. 

That means far beyond the taste, for a truly legendary rock band to enter the space is a rather good thing for the rum world. 

It doesn’t hurt, though, that the rum is actually quite good. 

So what is Crossfire Hurricane like? 

The aroma has notes of confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and tropical fruit — most notably banana. 

The flavor profile is dominated by citrus peel, mango, pineapple, a whisper of coconut husk and a hint of fennel. 

The finish is the strongest point: you’ll find a clean, rounded expression of fresh cane stalk. 

This is a very good rum; while it’s not super aged, it’s exceptionally drinkable: it’s tailor made for a cocktail, particularly a daiquiri; but it’s also easily sippable: it’s fun, it’s got an edge, and, most importantly, it’s serious. Even better? It’s retailing at a very good value — about $37 on the retail shelf. For rum lovers of a certain vintage, the flavors remind quite a bit of the cult-favorite 10 Cane Rum, which was similarly mixable and sippable.

I’ve long said rum is a transportive spirit; it can take you somewhere, bring you to some far-off, exotic corner of the world without ever leaving the bar counter. It’s that romance that makes rum so special.  

And with Crossfire Hurricane, you can take a sip, close your eyes and imagine yourself at the edge of a frothing wave in Negril or Nassau, and say to yourself, “it’s all right now.”

Rum Journal Review: 93 Points

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