By Ian McConnell

The first dedicated rum distillery on Islay, an island famous for its single malt Scotch whisky, has secured a premises licence.

The licence will allow the Islay Rum distillery to facilitate remote orders and despatch its product direct to customers in addition to trade sales, allowing it to reach consumers all over the world, its legal adviser, TLT, noted.

UK law firm TLT helped the distillery secure its premises licence.

TLT partner and head of licensing for Scotland Stephen McGowan appeared at the Argyll & Bute Licensing Board hearing last Thursday to secure the licence for Islay Rum. The new distillery started production of its inaugural release of 1,200 bottles of Geal White Rum in January 2022, and the first batch sold out at its launch during the Islay Festival in May.

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The Port Ellen distillery is “already taking orders from all over the world” and is now working on the next batch, TLT noted.

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Mr McGowan said: “Islay is world-famous for its reputation in Scottish spirit and it was a pleasure to represent our clients here, especially with this being the first rum distillery on the island. The licensing board were very supportive and wished them well with the business. The licence was granted unanimously.”

Caroline James, director of Islay Rum, said: “We are very grateful to the licensing board in allowing this licence so we can move to the next stage of our journey and grow the brand across the globe. Stephen’s knowledge and expertise in the sector were instrumental in guiding us through the process from start to finish and securing this important licence.”

TLT, which represents independent distilleries and breweries across Scotland, worked pro bono during the pandemic to secure temporary licences for various businesses, allowing them to sell directly to the public at a time when their traditional supply chain through trade channels was closed down.