Historic trading ketch, the Bessie Ellen, has set sail from Cornwall with a barrel of Cornish distilled Rathlees Rum in her cargo hold where it will remain for the duration of her sailing season.

Heading north, the barrel will spend its time gently rolling with the lull of the waves as Bessie voyages to Scotland. Once here she will spend the summer months cruising around the Hebrides and out to St Kilda.

This constant movement is said to allow the rum to absorb the flavours from the wooden barrel – which will also experience a couple of dips in the sea, soaking up the sea salt to leave a “lingering taste of salinity on the lips” when drunk.

Additionally, this particular barrel has travelled across from America where it previously held Tennessee Bourbon, adding an extra flavour level to the finished product.

This isn’t the first time the Bessie Ellen has transported cargo, in fact it is the very thing she was originally built for back in 1904 and remains an intrinsic part of her spirit to date.

Skipper Nikki Alford explained “Transporting cargo is a part of Bessie’s heritage and we continue to embrace the idea of slow travel as an eco-friendly and non-commercial way of supporting locally sourced premium goods.

Rathlees Rum is a high-quality Cornish product and we, and our guests, are excited to be a part of their story.”

On Bessie’s return to Cornwall, the barrel will be unloaded to produce 50 bottles of sea-age, cask-strength rum, at 50% proof.