Amager – Black Bart
750ml – 15.5%abv – Bourbon barrel aged Quadrupel
Born in England in 1829, Charles Boles was a New Yorker who as a young man moved west to participate in the 1849 California gold rush. Boles may not exactly have struck it rich, but he DID strike his future wife before returning east again, settling around Decatur. In 1862, however, Bart decided to go to war enlisting with the 116th Illinois Regiment. He was a good soldier, ending his military career after three years with the rank of first Lieutenant. Once again a civilian, Boles found farming life of little appeal and once more ventured west in the hope of striking it rich. He most likely never did, which may have sparked his career as a stage coach robber. For the next 8 years he would rob 28 stage coaches in California and Oregon under the name “Black Bart”. Considered a gentleman bandit with a reputation for style and sophistication, he even left behind a poem on the crime scene after some of his robberies, and reportedly never once fired a weapon during his years as an outlaw. In civilian life, however, his cover story was as a gentleman who lived in pleasant furnished rooms at Webb’s Hotel. With his luxuriant white mustache and gold watch chain, he looked every inch the successful San Francisco businessman. During his last robbery Bart was injured and fled the scene, leaving behind him a handkerchief. Using the laundry marks, a Wells Fargo detective managed to locate the now notorious robber.
Black Bart ended up being convicted for his last robbery only and served four years in San Quentin Prison. Clearly marked by prison life, he then completely disappeared from the historical records after his release. Where did he end up? And what happened to him? There are lots of stories out there, but nobody knows for sure.