HOT OFF THE HEELS OF THEIR FIRST ORIGINAL STUDIO ALBUM IN NEARLY 20 YEARS, ENDURING ROCK GODS THE ROLLING STONES TRY THEIR GUITAR-PICKING HANDS AT RUM, RELEASING THE HYPER-ARTISANAL SPIRIT CROSSFIRE HURRICANE

BY DAN SALAMONE

The last 12 months have proven to be surprisingly productive for those beloved arena rock war horses, ­ The Rolling Stones. Just last October, they released their first studio album with original/new material in nearly 20 years, the widely celebrated Hackney Diamonds (the last was 2005’s A Bigger Bang). Critics have almost universally marveled at the spirit and vitality of the new tunes, featuring terrific collaborations with music legends like Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder. How many 80-year-olds and yes, both Mick and Keith are now 80 can boast about a number one album? ­That’s where the new record landed on the UK charts, and it landed near that (#3) on the U.S. charts as well. Add to that another current world tour that is filling stadiums far and wide, and the Stones are practically without peers

­This ongoing commitment to greatness and unimaginable success was poured into every step of the brewing process in the band’s just-launched artisanal rum: Cross fire Hurricane. A partnership between the Stones, Universal Music Group, and Socio Ventures, this adventurous liquor pays homage to the band’s deathless 1968 hit, “Jumping Jack Flash.” Aged rums from Jamaica, Barbados, and the Dominican Republic mingle in perfect confluence, laced with a soupcon of smoky texture from the charred oak barrels that birthed it. Tastemakers have remarked on the spirit’s rich golden color and the deep Caribbean character of its flavor.

­The Stones (and Mick Jagger in particular) have always held a special affinity for the Caribbean, going all the way back to Jagger’s Caribbean patois on the standout track “Sweet Black Angel,” on what was perhaps the Stones’ most revered expression of pure rock and roll: the 1972 album Exile on Main St. Their celebrated 2019 return track, “Living in a Ghost Town,” also carries distinct reggae influences. Cross fire Hurricane, noted the band, is their way of saying thank you to the region for providing so much great music and so many beautiful experiences over the years.

­The Stones might no longer be the fearless rebels of their youth, but they’ve managed to retain that fiery spirit in the many decades since they first took the stage. Cross fire Hurricane reflects the balance of hedonism (where they came from) and wisdom (where they are now). Yes, the rum is playful, much like a band’s untamed youth, but it’s also a liquor dedicated to sustainable practices and supporting local communities, both in the Caribbean and right here in the United States. (Cross fire Hurricane is bottled in Florida.)

Ultimately, the taste of Cross fire Hurricane is a bit like the feeling of curling up on a sublime stretch of beach in Saint Lucia, nothing but you, the sand, the sun, and the roiling waters stretching out to the distant horizon. crossfi­rehurricane.com