What is a “Boston Particular?"

When I read a book review (NY Times paywalled, unfortunately) on a history called 'America and Iran’, the review quoted the book saying:

Iranians were and still are great consumers of what was called “Boston Particular (rum laced with whiskey).”

I've never heard of Boston Particular, and I cannot find anything from web research so I'm hoping someone here may know. What is it? Is it a bottled product, or is it a recipe?

1 Answer 1


What is a “Boston Particular?”

First of all here is the exact quote in question:

It is almost certain that “the first Americans and Persians to interact in person” were not missionaries but “rum traders.” Even then, in spite of public pretenses of piety, Iranians were and still are great consumers of what was called “Boston Particular (rum laced with whiskey).” - What Has Gone Wrong Between Iran and the United States?

Journalists do good work, however their English is not always the best. I believe the phrase should have been phrased in the following manner: A particular Boston rum (laced with whiskey).

This is easily explained seeing the slight faux pas. In this it is quite common to age rum in Boston in used whiskey barrels. Being aged in whiskey barrels would give the rum a taste as being laced with whiskey.

Bully Boy Boston Rum

Bully Boy Boston Rum

Bully Boy revives flavors of the Old World with their Boston Rum.

When Bully Boy Distillery opened in Boston, Massachusetts, they felt, given that the regions’ history, it was only fitting that one of their original spirits be a craft rum. You see, dating back to the 1600s, Massachusetts’ original distilleries were famous for their rum production. At their peak, there was about sixty distilleries operating in the state. As an homage, Bully Boy created an aged rum using blackstrap molasses, for the vanilla notes it imparts, and sweet molasses, for its cleaner, fruiter flavor. The combination give Bully Boy Boston Rum a unique, nuanced flavor.

Bully Boy instills its own “house” flavor in a sort of editing process. They include more of the front end of the “run” to get more banana and pineapple notes to compliment the molasses flavors. When their done, the rum goes into whiskey barrels, where it is aged. The time it spends in the barrels mellows the rum, while adding notes of chocolate, vanilla, oak and more layers of complexity.

It took a while to perfect this recipe, but the Willis brothers knew they were on the right track when the rum started evolving its way into their father’s liquor cabinet.

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