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Colonel Bourbon's Best Whiskey T-Shirts Part 2 Nautical

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In this series, our designers discuss and recommend their best whiskey t-shirts at Colonel Bourbon.

We interviewed our artist Jack G, who has focused on the nautical passion.

CB: Bourbon, and whiskey in general, is not known as a drink served on the seas. One thinks of rum.

JACK G: "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum." We aim to change that legend a little bit, or at least have some fun with it. I've always loved the ocean. 

CB: You've headed up our Nautical Whiskey Tees Collection of t-shirts. Tell us about it.

JACK G: (Reading from the description of the collection):

"Our Nautical Whiskey Collection is for those who love the ocean; seafaring bourbon drinkers.

"Historically, rum has been the drink of those who have sailed the seven seas. We aim to say that whiskey is a good choice."

One of the first tees we created was a nod to all those classic, vintage black label bottle designs. Jack Daniels and Evan Williams carry on the tradition. We created a tee with the skull and bones of a pirate, with a unique bloody red-colored design.

 Colonel Bourbon Best Whiskey T-Shirts Part Ii:

(PIctured: The Cross Bones Whiskey Black Label Vintage T-Shirt.)

CB: We have an entire collection of Black Label tees.

JACK G: Yes, another particular favorite of mine from the Black Label collection is the Boneyard tee, with the moonlit blue. Love it.

Boneyard Whiskey Black Label Vintage T-Shirt

(Pictured: the Boneyard Whiskey Black Label T-shirt.)

CB: Going back to the Nautical tees. Any other stories about the tees:

Prohibition in the Navy

JACK G: I was fascinated by the buzz kill in the United States Navy that prohibited drinking alcohol, with a few exceptions. I created a t-shirt about it:

"On July 1, 1914, infamous buzzkill and then-Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels implemented General Order 99: “The use or introduction for drinking purposes of alcoholic liquors on board any naval vessel, or within any navy yard or station, is strictly prohibited, and commanding officers will be held directly responsible for the enforcement of this order.” 

-- We Are Mighty, 2021

CB: And that rule stands today?

JACK G: Yes,  the Navy Secretary in 1914 was a prohibitionist. Today, there is Beer Day on US Navy vessels. But that's about it.

It seems  a bit old school prohibitionist, if you ask me. Drunken sailors running weapons of war is of course not a good idea but it seems there's room for some common sense.

Recently the Navy released a rather hard one policy on hemp products -- not THC, mind you -- simple hemp. Truly rather weird since hemp was an important matériel during World War Ii. Hemp was used to make much-needed ropes, for example.

The 1942 film, Hemp for Victory, encouraging American farmers to grow hemp for the war effort.)

CB: Do you know offhand any countries that still allow alcohol on their Navy ships?

JACK G: It's an interesting question. If my memory serves, the Royal Navy provided a ration -- also known as a tot -- up until the 1970s. I think British sailors can have up to two beers a day, at least eight hours before their shift begins. The French have a similar rule. But I'm not certain. The Canadian Navy recently went dry, like the U.S. Navy. Someone told me the Greek Navy has beer vending machines on their vessels.

CB: So you've done the research, we see.

JACK G: (laughs) I suppose I have.

CB: So why rum? To prevent scurvy is what they say.

JACK G: Well, it was grog, a drink of rum, sugar, and lime juice. So it was the lime juice. (Laughing) I read somewhere that pirates drank it because they needed their teeth to bite their adversaries! 

CB: So maybe the whiskey alternative to grog would be a whiskey sour.

JACK G: Good point, although those have egg whites, which might be in short supply. I'm thinking maybe a bourbon sidecar is your answer. (Smiling.) Anyway, it was also a morale builder back in the day.

 John Wayne

CB: You were also inspired with nautical themes by John Wayne stories.

JACK G: The Duke, at one time, drank Wild Turkey bourbon whiskey. He was what they called a "situational drinker," in that his preferred drink depended on the circumstances. In later years, he enjoyed tequila.

But what was interesting  is that while Wayne and his film director John Ford made classic western movies, they both loved the sea. The Duke had a yacht, the Wild Goose, that was an old U.S. Navy Minesweeper and Ford had the Araner. During WW2, Ford was an Admiral in the Navy Reserve, and the Araner was used to patrol pacific coastal waters. There's a great book about the Duke's Wild Goose.

CB: What's next for the Nautical collection?

JACG G. We uploaded our Lighthouse Whiskey Black Label tee.

Lighthouse Whiskey Black Label Vintage T-Shirt

(Pictured: The  Lighthouse Whiskey Black Label tee.)

CB: It's very popular.

JACK G: It's a classic. In fact, this specific whiskey design was used in a quality control test, where we checked the quality of several manufacturers and their printing expertise. Some were good or okay; a few were unacceptable, and of course we picked the best. Our customers know Colonel T-Shirts are the best.


Our tees are the highest quality you will find. 100% combed and ring-spun cotton by Bella Canvas, a USA-based company. Feels soft and lightweight, with the right amount of stretch. It's comfortable and very flattering for both men and women.

• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (Heather colors contain polyester)
• Ash color is 99% combed and ring-spun cotton, 1% polyester
• Heather colors are 52% combed and ring-spun cotton, 48% polyester
• Athletic and Black Heather are 90% combed and ring-spun cotton, 10% polyester
• Heather Prism colors are 99% combed and ring-spun cotton, 1% polyester
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
• Pre-shrunk fabric
• Side-seamed construction
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping

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