“La Buse, l’or maudit des Pirates de l’océan Indien” is a two-part (i.e. 2 x 52 minutes) documentary with fictional re-enactments (you get the idea) made by Kapali Studios, and due for release around January 2019 (so no need to get too excited just yet).

If (like me) you’re a pirate museum trivia fan, you’ll be interested to hear that the film-makers did their talking heads interviews in the Musée de la Marine and the Musée Cognacq-Jay (both in Paris), as well as on “L’Étoile du Roy“, a 46m replica of an 18th century British sixth-rate frigate that is a well-known tourist attraction in Saint-Malo (it was previously used as HMS Indefatigable in the TV series “Hornblower”).

Of course, as a cipher historian who cannot for the life of me see any actual connection between La Buse and “his” cryptogram, there could be no place set for me at that particular table – for realistically, where would the mystery be without the cryptogram? But while I don’t hold out a lot of hope for cryptological accuracy here, I’m sure the production will look beautiful. 🙂

The Eye Candy Bit

There are some nice behind-the-scenes images on the Kapali Studios website which I thought it would be nice to share here:

There were some other images here:

There’s a big controversy at the moment about bloggers and vloggers who get paid to promote products but who do not declare it (or, perhaps more often, do declare it but in what can easily be perceived as misleading ways). For the record: though I have been given a small number of books to review here, arguably the biggest favour I’ve ever returned is that of tactical silence, i.e. not posting a review at all when I really couldn’t comfortably say a good thing about the book.

But all the same, I must confess that there’s a tiny evil homunculus deep inside my psyche that secretly yearns – much as Britten’s Ploughboy dreamt of – to sell off my Ayes and Nos to the highest bidder. Though I’d never actually do such a thing, when certain objects contrive to present themselves before me, I do find my homunculus jumping up and down like crazy

La Buse Vanilla Rum

A few days back, I was delighted to stumble across a German drinks site offering a “La Buse” pirate-themed rum distilled in Réunion by J. Chatel S.A.R.L. [history here] (image from drinkology):

Here’s my translation of their effusively rum-soaked copy:

La Buse Vanilla Rum embodies rum’s typical character yet in a stylish way. A white rum from Réunion, it impresses with its clear line and simplicity: light and pleasantly sweet, it brings a summery feeling to your home. Indispensable for the bar and for the kitchen, it instantly refines desserts, cakes, drinks and cocktails. Drunk straight on the rocks, it refreshes the stomach and cools the head.

OK, I’m sold already. But the copywriter, clearly licking his or her lips in a very old-fashioned way, continues riffing on its ‘real vanilla’ USP:

La Buse Vanilla Rum has been flavored with real vanilla to make it unique. For gourmets, it is in great demand for use in high-end kitchens and is often used to add the ‘final touch’. Bright, clear and freshly fruity, it is particularly well-suited as a basis for great cocktails. The bottle is particularly elaborate and stylishly decorated, with a large picture of an old pirate reminiscent of the origins of rum: for old sailors and seasoned men would have lost all control at the sight of this noble drink. La Buse Vanilla Rum continues this tradition and would certainly have been a favorite drink of pirates and sailors. Anyone today who does not want to be able to drink tough sailors under the table would prefer not to drink it neat, because it is good and strong and heats the throat and stomach powerfully. And there’s no need to miss out on cold winter days, because a slug in your cup of black tea refines it splendidly.


However, before you get too excited, I should add that it seems that J. Chatel has stopped making this particular rum, which is a huge shame (particularly because I was going to order a case, in the interests of cipher research, of course). But I thought you’d like to see it anyway. 😉