The Scottish Rum Festival returns for its second year on July 16 and 17 and a host of producers will be showcasing their signature products and serving up new offerings to the Scottish rum cognoscenti. The drink is attracting a growing number of Scots keen to savour the complex and exotic flavours of this versatile spirit. Here, Erin McDermott selects six top offerings ....

1. WESTER DISTILLERY, Glasgow

The independent micro-distillery in Glasgow’s West End handles each part of the rum process from crafting complex flavours to the distribution of the neatly branded bottles. Its team of three take pride in their rum, which is fermented in open top wooden casks before being double distilled on small pot stills to retain plenty of flavour.

HeraldScotland:

Director Zander Macgregor says: “We like to keep things simple. We produce pot-distilled rum from scratch and infuse it with natural ingredients to create delicious Spiced, Pineapple and Chocolate Rums. No additives. No added sugar. Simple.”

westerdistillery.com

2. MATUGGA, Livingston

Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa were motivated to make craft rum inspired by East African flavours and influences. “We have this very interesting duality between Scotland and Africa, we like to say Scottish craft, African soil,” explains Jacine.

HeraldScotland:

“Everything under Matugga spends time in a cask, so it’s all aged rum.” Matugga’s selection is made through small-batch copper pot distillation, and, at a technical level, inspired by Jamaican styles of distillation.

matuggarum.com

3. DARK MATTER, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Dark Matter Distillers pioneered the Scottish rum movement after establishing the country’s first rum distillery in 2015.

HeraldScotland:

Brothers Jim and John Ewen decided to invest in their curiosity believing Scotland was ready for locally produced rum. Dark Matter creates its signature Spiced Rum alongside spice and flavoured liqueurs.

darkmatterdistillers.com

4. NINEFOLD, Dumfries & Galloway

After launching in 2019, Ninefold Distillery creates its rum by fermenting sugar cane molasses from North Africa for four days, before double distilling it on a handmade Scottish pot still.

HeraldScotland:

Kit Carruthers, founder and distiller, says: “Launching with our Pure Single Rum, an unaged and unsweetened Scottish pot-distilled rum, we led with a quality artisanal spirit that wasn’t hidden by flavourings and sugar. Ninefold is at the forefront of supporting and promoting the wider Scottish rum category, having been actively involved with The Scottish Rum Festival and as a founding member of the Association of Scottish Rum.”

ninefolddistillery.com

5. RUMBURRA, Fife

Founded by Garry and Shona Wilson in 2019, Rumburra offer a blend of carefully selected five-year-old and three-year-old rums, from Barbados, distilled with a combination of column and pot still distillation.

HeraldScotland:

Rumburra Orach is the signature golden aged rum. Garry says: “Tropically aged, then bottled in Scotland at 42.3% abv, our Rumburra Orach provides the best the Caribbean has to offer and marries this with Scotland’s beautiful clear water. Aged in American Oak Casks, Rumburra Orach has quite a unique, complex aroma.”

rumburra.com

6. BRASS NECK, Glasgow

As one of the latest brands of rum to be produced in Scotland, the team behind Brass Neck have set out to make a spiced rum that stands out in the market. Starting with a smooth pot-stilled rum, it is then infused with a range of Scottish and international botanicals.

HeraldScotland:

It includes the likes of tonka beans, a complex flavour with notes of vanilla, almond, and nutmeg, as well as Scottish nettles, milk thistle, cacao nibs and orange peel. Co-founder Freddy Drucquer admits: “While spiced rum can be enjoyed on its own, the amazingly versatile spirit can be used in loads of cocktails and with a wide variety of mixers.”

brassneckrum.co.uk