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Saying no to family is always hard, even if they are trying to convince you it's a god idea to set up a dedicated rum distillery in Scotland! That's the obstacle former petroleum economist (I'm not sure what that entails exactly!) Jim Ewen had to overcome this very issue when he touted the idea of creating a Scottish rum to his brother John Ewen. Jim noticed the recent surge in craft gin distilleries opening and saw a gap in the market for craft distilled Scottish rum. Suffice to say that Jim managed to convince John of the merits of such a venture and the duo have recently released the first ever Scottish rum! Dark Matter Spiced Rum is distilled onsite at Britain's very first purpose built rum distillery in Banchory, Aberdeenshire from sugarcane molasses. Jim and John have really embraced the science of distillation and have spent the last couple of years experimenting with various yeast strains, flavours and distillation processes to arrive at a recipe they are happy with. You wouldn't expect no less from two guys who's moto is; ""Our curiosity drives us while science inspires us. Combining knowledge and imagination we obsessively pursue flavour through systematic study, observation and experiment."" The still they use is not run of the mill either; it's designed to allow the liquid as much contact with the copper as possible and even has a botanical tray, the likes of which you'd normally find in gin distilleries! The bottle that the rum is presented in is reminiscent of a vessel you would find in a science lab; this is extremely apt due to the pair's love of experimentation mentioned previously. This is a rum that is clearly aimed at the discerning drinker, a rarity in the spiced rum market with the usual offerings being very commercial and full of false flavourings. I'm not expecting that when I try this little beauty! My first sip of the rum doesn't disappoint; there are no artificial flavours present and the spice is intense. The palate warms up under the assault of cloves, ginger and mulled fruit. The ginger is initially prominent but is followed swiftly by pepper and possibly a hit of chilli. This mellows out as the fruit comes into play, creating a well balanced drink that is perfect for sipping; I wouldn't consider putting a mixer with this at all. The finish is smooth, amazingly so for a rum that is so young. This is, without a doubt, a great rum that could really shake up the spiced category. The brothers are planning on ageing rum in the future so I'll definitely be looking forward to that after tasting this delight. There will also be a white rum coming very soon plus a couple of other undisclosed projects that the distillery call 'unusual'; I can't wait.