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Rum

19 Item(s)

  • Diplomatico Ambassador Selection 47% 70cl
    An exceptional 47% ABV rum that has a wonderfully pungent nose, the subtle aromas of dried and candid fruit combining with the rich, powerful aromas of vanilla, spices and cane syrup with a little smokiness in the background. On the palate the characters from the aroma persist but give way to a p...
    £198.00
  • Ron Abuelo Centuria Reserva de la Familia 40% 70c;
    Centuria, is Ron Abuelo top rum selected from a blend of their oldest rums up to 30 years in age. These rums are usually reserved for the family, but have been released as a special edition in a wooden framed box. A very complex and rich rum which would please any rum aficionado.
    £120.00
  • Appleton 21 years old 43% 70cl
    Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum is a luxurious sipping rum that will delight the palate of the discerning connoisseur. The rums that make up Appleton Estate 21 Year Old have been aged for a minimum of 21 years. They were carefully selected for their unique character, flavou...
    £160.00
  • Caroni 15 years old Extra Strong 52% 70cl
    This rum distillery was founded in 1923 and was world renowned for its Heavy rums. It closed in 2003 as the sugar cane production also closed. This 15 years old contains rum from the 1998 vintage and has been bottled at cask strength to perfectly capture the heavy still of this famous rum.
    £150.00
  • El Dorado Rare Versailles 2002 70cl
    Demerara Distillers operate 9 different rum stills. With these 9 unique heritage stills, the distillery can produce a range of different historic rum Marques, all with unique characteristics. The Diamond Distillery is known for its three wooden stills; Enmore - Wooden Continuous Coffey Still, ...
    £137.99
  • Flor de Cana 25 Year Old Rum 40% 70cl
    An impressive, well aged Flor de Caa single estate rum, made with spirits which have been aged for at least 25 years. A stunning, radiant hue makes it a wonder to look at, and it tastes as good as it looks. Top shelf rum from the Nicaraguan producer.
    £120.99
  • Port Morant 1990 25 years old Demerara Rum 46% 70cl
    Distilled in guyana in 1990 and aged for 25 years with a finishing period in Oloroso sherry casks. The additional cask aging has given the rum a deeper fruit palate with touches of aniseed and a touch of sweetness.
    £159.99
  • Caroni 1997 Bristol Classic Rum 61.5% 70cl
    This Caroni rum is distilled in Trinidad in their column still and is a classic example of a heavy rum. This has been bottled at cask strength to show the full flavour and style of this sadly departed distillery. Buy it before it is all gone.
    £145.00
  • Ron Zacapa Edicion Negra Gran Reserva 100cl
    A limited Edicion Ron Zacapa which ahs been aged ina  double charred American oak cask, which creates a richer more intense flavours with a distinctive smoky intensity and wood notes
    £110.00
  • Havana Club 15 years old Gran Reserva Rum 40% 70cl
    Havana Club Rum 15 Anos Gran Reserva was created by selecting the best quality reserve rums of Cuba. It is the result of a lengthy and complex aging process, which has produced a rum with a flavour, that will please even the most particular palates.
    £135.00
  • English Harbour 1981 Rum 40% 75cl
    English Harbour 1981 Vintage Rum has smoky oak flavours which are well balanced with citrus and burnt sugar notes. The lingering smoky finish carries notes of tobacco, caramel and ripe balckberries. Distilled 1981 Blended September 2006. 1 of 5712 bottles only.
    £156.00
  • Rockley Still Barbados Rum 1986 Bristol Classic Rum 46% 70cl
    This rum has been bottled at different ages, with a Fino sherry finish, and now with the benefit of some time in Madeira wood. Nothing can overshadow the spirits unique style, that medicinal quality, a salty brine like flavour and long deep taste reminisant of Islay Malt Whisky all combine to sh...
    £128.95
  • Mount Gay 1703 Rum 43%
    Here it is, The RUM that invented RUM" is Mount Gay 1703. A premium Rum from a premium Rum maker that can lay claim to starting it all. Blended entirley from treasures of Mount Gay's prized reserves, each aged for 10 to 30 years, It is a master piece of perfect sumptuousness, nectar created ...
    £166.58
  • Dos Maderas Luxus Rum Limited Edition 40% 70cl
    This is quite a unique rum in that it spends 10 years aging in the Caribbean before being shipped to the Williams & Humbert Facility in Spain. It then goes into Sherry casks which previously held Don Guido 20 year old Pedro Ximenez. Unique with the flavour's of two continents combining to cra...
    £112.00
  • El Dorado Rare Port Morant 1999 61.4% 70cl
    Part of the Singel stills collection from El dorado which celebrates the unique wooden stills at its Diamond Distillery in Guyana/Port Morant has been made in a unique wooden double pot still, the only still of this type in the World. Founded in 1732 it is one of the oldest still in production to...
    £169.95
  • El Dorado Rare Enmore 1993 56.5% 70cl
    Produced at the Worlds only wooden Column still at the Enmore estate which is over 200 years old. Silky smooth with vanilla, followed by deep caramel, toffee, coconut, pecan, pumpkin with hints of clove and nutmeg. The body is medium-heavy that is perfectly balanced with long, thick caramel-sweet...
    £153.99
  • Dictador Best of 1982 Single Barrel Rum 42.6% 70cl
    Dictador Best of taps into some of the fabulous archive of single barrel rums resting in their cellars. This 1982 has been finished in Oloroso sherry casks and is 1 of just 306 bottles from Batch 82-0048 cask Ref PC099. Aged for 33 years they are hand selected bu head distiller Hernan Parre.
    £135.00
  • Ron Zacapa Centenario XO rum 40% 70cl
    This XO Rum from Ron Zacapa has been aged in their Solera system with an age of between 6 and 25 years old. They age the rum in a combination of Bourbon, sherry and Pedro Ximenez barrels, with the final blend being finished in French oak.The Result is a rum of remarkable complexity with layer upo...
    £109.65
  • Mount Gay XO Cask Strength Rum Limited Edition 63% 70cl
    Bottled at 63%ABV, Mount Gay XO Cask Strength has been created to symbolise the rich culture and strong personality of both Mount Gay and Barbados who are celebrating 50 years of independence. Featuring a blend of spirits matured for eight to 15 years, the new offering is describe...
    £140.00

Rum Facts

Rum is a very popular spirit and has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. Once viewed as the preserve of old salty sailors, a new generation has embraced this ancient spirit. As provenance and flavour have become more important to millennial's, rum has been allowed to show its varied styles to the masses once more. This was facilitated by the heightened interest in the cocktail scene and by some pretty aggressive marketing by brands like Captain Morgan's and Kraken. Here are some fun facts about rum;

  • Rum was discovered by slaves in Barbados sugar plantations during the 1620's. This makes it the oldest spirit and it is also the oldest branded spirit to be sold commercially.
  • It was the first spirit to be distilled purely for having fun and not for medicinal purposes.
  • Sailors during the 18th century were often paid in rum the lucky devils!
  • Ratings in the British Navy were allowed rations of rum each day until 31st of July 1970. This was known as 'Black Tot Day'. After this, beer was issued instead.
  • It was believed that rum helped prevent scurvy whereas, in fact, it was the lime juice that was drunk with it that helped stop it.
  • To test whether the rum had been watered down, sailors doused gunpowder in it. If it ignited, then it was of the correct strength. Hence the name Gunpowder Proof Rum.
  • Mount Gay Distillery on Barbados is the oldest rum brand in the world and has been going since 1703.
  • It has been known by many names including Kill-Devil, Nelson's Blood, Pirate's Grog, Rumbullion and Demon Water.
  • 80% of the world's rum is produced in Puerto Rico due to Bacardi having the world's largest distillery there and the vast amounts of sugar cane the country produces.
  • There are many distinctive styles of rum including dark, black, spiced, golden, white and Agricole. The colour comes from how long it spends in wooden casks.

Rum History

Unfortunately, rum has a dark history that is closely linked to colonialism and the slave trade. The all-important sugar cane grew naturally throughout Asia and China and it's believed that it was harvested and used for human consumption as early as 4000 BC. The first recorded mention of its use was in 1129 AD in an Indian text detailing its use in a fermented cane drink. In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean Bahamas and it's here that the story of modern rum begins. Soon after this, South America was discovered and the gates to the New World had been opened. What followed over the next century was several ground-breaking voyages that made it possible for Europeans to travel the globe with relative ease.

By the beginning of the 1600's, trade was swiftly becoming the key to be a global superpower. The old Islamic cultures of the world were waning in strength whilst Christian Europe was in ascendancy. The main European players, namely Holland, England, Portugal, Spain and France, formed huge merchant companies that plied their trade on the new frontiers of the West Indies and East Indies. The Spanish initially had a foot hold the Bahamas thanks to Columbus, but it wasn't long until they were muscled out by the might of the English and Dutch.

The first sugar cane plantations were constructed in Brazil in 1520 and they spread to Jamaica and Cuba by 1595. The Portuguese used slaves from Africa to work the plantations as they were used to the heat and less likely to escape than indigenous slaves. Soon the British, French and Spanish were also purchasing slaves from Arab and African traders and a truly despicable trade was established. This abhorrent practice spawned a market that was hugely profitable and countless individuals were traded like cattle. It was however, the slave population that was responsible for the creation of rum as we know it today.

The earliest recording of sugarcane distillate was in 1552. It was reported that the slaves were more co-operative if they could imbibe cachaca, a spirit made from unprocessed cane juice. This was in a report from a Brazilian Governor and cachaca is still Brazil's national drink. Nowadays it's commonly used to make a cocktail called a Caipirinha. Back then it was popular among the slaves as it was easy to make and there was an abundance of sugar cane to work with. We suppose that being constantly intoxicated was certainly preferable to the harsh reality of life as a slave. Whilst cachaca is technically a type of rum, today the classification states that rum is made using molasses, the by-product of crystal sugar production.

The First Molasses Rum

There's sound historical evidence that the first molasses-based rum was produced by Pietr Blower on Barbados in 1637. He was a Dutchman who had come from the plantations of Brazil to settle in a new British colony on the island. He came prepared with seeds to grow sugar cane and a pot still required for distillation. With previous attempts to grow plants for valuable dye a failure, the residents of Barbados turned to producing sugar for export. Pieter encouraged the slaves to save the molasses and distil them into rum. By 1651 rum was being widely consumed on Barbados.

It was a comparable situation on the French island of Martinique and Cuba, with records of molasses distillation being recorded around the same time. With the sugar plantations being in operation since the previous century, it wouldn't be surprising if someone had already distilled a rum before this. This spirit, still regarded as the tipple of slaves and brigands, was never actually called rum. Instead, it was given monikers such as Kill-Devil, Barbados Liquor and Devil Water. The first printed example of the name wasn't until 1751 in a French Encyclopaedia of Sciences and Art.

Rum, Sailors and Trade

Rum and sailors have a long and well documented relationship and the first rum rations were given to British mariners in 1655. This was under the orders of Vice Admiral William Penn after he captured Jamaica from the Spanish. Sugar cane spirit was being produced there and, with the beer rations already well depleted, he started a tradition that would remain with the British Navy until 1970. Rum was the go to drink for both privateers and pirates that plied their trade around the Caribbean and this didn't help its reputation as a drink for rogues. There wasn't really any difference between a pirate and privateer back then, just the flag that you sailed under.

By the beginning of the 18th century, Britain was getting rich from rum. That and molasses were the biggest source of trade income for the UK and the most profitable commodities to come from the West Indies. The molasses from the Caribbean was traded to the American colonies for rum. More rum was then distilled and exported to Africa in exchange for more slaves to work the Caribbean plantations. This was known as the Trade Triangle and it made merchants very rich indeed.

Due to the vast amounts of money being made trading slaves and rum, the British were ashamedly the last of the European powers to abolish slavery in 1833, some thirty five years after the French. Despite this, Britain still retained a monopoly on rum production and trade. Eventually, dedicated rum distilleries started being developed and the spirit was no longer just something that was a by-product of the sugar trade.

How Rum Is Made

As you have probably gathered by now, rum is made by distilling the molasses that come from making sugar crystals. It might surprise you to know that sugar cane is still harvested by hand in many parts of the world. This is extremely physical work that requires a sharp machete and a strong back. Once the cane has been cut, it's transported to the plant where it's crushed in a large machine. The precious juice is collected and the waste pulp is either discarded or burnt as a fuel for heating the stills.

Once the juice has been collected, it's then made into sugar crystals which leaves the molasses behind. The sugar will be sold and the molasses taken on to the next stage of distillation. This is when the molasses is fermented and is by far and away the most common method of making rum today. Other methods include fermenting and distilling the pure sugar cane juice; this is how Brazilian cachaca is made.

The fermentation process can be undertaken in a variety of ways. The simplest and most natural method is leaving the molasses in an open vat and letting natural yeasts react naturally with them. On the other end of the spectrum, some distilleries use state of the art equipment and scientific apparatus to complete the process. Most modern distilleries fall somewhere between these extremes and often add the yeast that they want whilst ensuring environmental issues are kept optimal. The fermentation process can be as short as half a day or take weeks to complete.

With the fermenting done, it's now time for the exciting stage of distillation, where the fermented molasses are placed into a still. The still is then heated, releasing the alcohol from the liquid in vapour form which is then re-condensed and collected. What's left over is the pure spirit. Sounds simple right? Unfortunately, there are a multitude of factors that can affect this process and it takes time, dedication and skill to become a master distiller. Another crucial factor is the stills themselves which are either copper pot stills or continuous stills. Every still is handmade and unique, with some being extremely simple whilst others have complex features that allow various parts of the rum to be separated. Each still has its own quirks and secrets that only practice and patience will reveal. Between the Master Distiller and the still used, each rum is unique and its character is determined by the aforementioned factors.

After the distillation process is complete, the rum is run off and collected. It's usual for this to be blended with other rum from the distillery and watered down to around 40% ABV. Some rums are bottled straight after distillation and sold as are, especially for the Caribbean market. Others are aged in wood casks, dramatically altering their flavour profile. Some have various spices, fruits or other juices added either before or after maturation. As you can imagine, this leads to a huge possible range of flavour profiles in the finished product.