D'Equatore Especial is a designation of Colour Rum. It is greatly sought after, due to it's rarity, and, occasionally, its quality.
Definition and Background
For a rum to be classified as D'Equatore Especial, it must have made at least 10 trips across the Einwimz equatorial line, and thus have a minimum age of 20 years. That is, it must have a minimum ABT rating of 20-0-10. In practice, however, D'Equatore Especial rums tend to have a much higher B rating, due to the constant struggle of the Colourbeards to capture it, resulting in many naval battles.
In the case of a Staged Battles Controversy (See below), rums with ABT rating of 21-178-10 were reported, although these were later discredited.
The highest verified rating of a D'Equatore Especial (not counting those discredited during a Staged Battles Controversy) has been 153-48-72. (This particular bottle is believed to still be in transit. See Famous Labels, below.)
In order for the ABT rating of a D'Equatore Especial to be certified, it must be accompanied not only by the distiller's records, but the complete ship lots covering the entirety of its lifetime. Thus, it should be clear why it's so important that ship logs be captured along with a shipment of D'Equatore Especial at the culmination of a battle. It's also why so many captains store complete backups of their logs every time they make landfall.
Staged Battles Controversies
Every few years, a situation arises where Colourbeard captains are found to be in collusion to stage battles and trade bottles, thus artificially inflating the 'B' rating of their D'Equatore Especial rums. (This has been known to happen with non-D'Equatore Especial rums as well, but it is far less common, since there's not as much financial incentive for doing so.)
The most famous of these occurred in the years 1402 - 1407, involving captain Joseph Paul Mebberwitch of the Chartreuse Penguin, and captain Sylvia Tiffany Ballytock of the Spirit of the Blue Sea. It was discovered that they were, several times a year, meeting in open ocean, exchanging a few well-aimed shots in order to show damage, and then trading rums and ships logs. The mandated battle observers were, of course, present, but they were "captured" early in the battle, bound and gagged below-decks, and then valiantly "rescued" when the trading was completed. The observers were never convicted of being part of the conspiracy, merely for being a little too gullible, in believing that the exact scenario would play out in excess of 48 times in the course of one particular year.
The highest-rated D'Equatore Especial resulting from this conspiracy was 21-178-10
The 5-year partnership between these two swindlers came to light in the expected way - that is, during drunken conversation between sailors, in a tavern in port on Bensaro. The sailor in question, one Walter Hugh Wummlebit (who later rose to fame unrelated to his young sea-faring years), confessed to an eolorn he had met at the bar, in the process of attempting to pay her for her services with a bottle rated 19-148-9 (not quite D'Equatore Especial, but well on the way). She immediately saw that the numbers made no sense at all, and took the bottle to the harbor master, resulting in the investigation and, ultimately, the capture and prosecution of captains Mebberwitch and Ballytock.
As it turned out, the rum from this partnership ended up being quite valuable on its own merits - both due to its notoriety, and the fact that it is reportedly quite good. This scholar in fact had the opportunity to sample some, just a few years back, and it had a complex bouquet of flowers, molasses, and salt air, with nuances of seagull.
In addition to the Mebberwitch and Ballytock rums, which are now exceedingly rare, several labels have risen to prominence.
The Grog and Sweeney Rumrunners have made quite a name for themselves over the years, having been in operation for over 300 years. This has given them the opportunity to have the most famous label, as well as having the rums with the highest A and T ratings known. There is a bottle believed to still be on a G&S ship rated at least 153-48-72 - that was the rating certified when it was last publicly displayed, and this was several years ago. Although there have been rumors of it having been privately acquired (and consumed), this has not been documented. There are also two bottles on display at the G&S headquarters that are rated 304-0-0, from the original shipment when the company was founded by Augustus Grog and Theodore Sweeney themselves. These are, of course, not D'Equatore Especial, but their value is inestimable.
Rival brands include Rhumadilloserous, Captain Pinkbeard's, and the rising star Big Blue Sea Rums. What these producers lack in age, they attempt to make up for in quality of product, and constant battles. Of particular interest is the recently released Captain Pinkbeard's 20-58-10, which is said to be particularly fine, even when you have to pick buckshot out of it.
While the most obvious collectors of D'Equatore Especial are, of course, the Colourbeards themselves, many prominent members of Einwimz society are known to hold large Colour Rum collections. It is not a great financial investment, because the ABT rating of a rum ceases to rise the moment it is purchased from a Colourbeard and stored on land. Thus, these collections tend to be held by very wealthy individuals who just really like Colour Rum.
The most impressive collections held in private hands at the moment are, of course, those of the Cariolis Family, since they're all drunkards.
Role in Politics
D'Equatore Especial plays an important role in the political processes of Einwimz. Every time an official is sworn into office at the level of city Mayor or higher, it must be solemnized by a drink of D'Equatore Especial shared between the outgoing and incoming official. In the event that the office vacancy is due to the decease of the former office holder, the incoming official drinks the rum at the grave of the former office holder. In the event of an entirely new office being established, the new official is expected to buy a round of D'Equatore Especial at the nearest pub, for whomever happens to be there at the time.
When General Maximilian Ayre was elected Prime Magnate, an enormous temporary pub was constructed next to the location of his swearing-in ceremony, and Ayre bought D'Equatore Especial for all 1362 people who crammed into it after the ceremony. It was his largest single expense during his entire reign as Prime Magnate. This is the origin of the phrase "Doing a Prime Magnate", referring to the act of drunkenly saying "this round's on me!" while not realizing how many people are within earshot.