Blacktip Island’s wild chortleberries are the key ingredient in Seaberry, the new hallucinogenic whiskey being distilled on the small Caribbean Island. (photo by Paloma Fairlead/BTT staff)
Blacktip Island’s sole distillery, attempting diversify its product line, this week inadvertently created a batch of rye whiskey with hallucinogenic properties, distillery owners said.
“We were trying to come up with an island-themed, flavor-enhanced whiskey to appeal to a niche market,” Bunghole Distillery owner Lefty Wright said. “Rosie Blenny suggested we use native Blacktip chortleberries, since the birds and iguanas love ‘em, so we added a handful to one of our ageing barrels. It taste’s phenomenal. We call it ‘Seaberry Rye.’
“What we didn’t know is Caribbean chortleberries are a natural source of psilocybin—that’s why wildlife likes ‘em,” Wright said. “And apparently the distilling process enhances the effects. First hint we had something was amiss was Alison Diesel complaining her left hand had stopped breathing. Then Gage Hoase belly-crawled onto the road and just lay there, soaking up the heat with the iguanas. Our marketing folks are in high gear figuring the best way to promote this stuff.”
Island residents praised the new whiskey.
“Seaberry’s quite lovely,” Reg Gurnard said. “It tastes of a nice, dry, small-batch rye, then it takes one on a brief holiday. No telling where you’ll be when the berries wear off. That’s part of the allure. When I came back down this morning, I found myself sitting on the edge of the bluff, staring down at the sea. That was quite the eye opener!”
Local authorities had a dimmer view of the new product.
“This is precisely what we warned about when Lefty got that liquor license,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Lack of oversight leads to irresponsible brewing, and distribution of dangerous substances. It’s a public menace. People who consume this hooch put themselves and others in danger.
“Just today I found Jessie Catahoula perched on top of a power pole, with her shorts on her head, insisting she was a kingbird,” Marquette said. “She said she flew up there. I had to fly up and get her down. We need to shut that distillery. Yesterday.”
Distillery owners, however, plan to step up production.
“Folks can’t get enough of Seaberry. We’d be crazy to stop making it,” Wright said. “We’re not doing anything illegal. People just need to partake in moderation and exercise some personal responsibility. Worst case, tie yourself to a tree before taking a drink.
“There’s an upside to all this, once you know what to expect,” Wright said. “Just yesterday Elena Havens spent the afternoon watching a giant eye on the ceiling chant, ‘love, love, love’ at her. What could be more positive than that? We didn’t mean to make a hallucinogen, but now that we have, we’re gonna keep catering to Blacktippers wants and needs ‘til somebody makes us stop.”