Rum

17 Item(s)

  • Santa Teresa Claro Rum 40% 70cl
    Santa Teresa Claro is a blend of carefully selected rums aged in white American oak for an average of three years. Claro mixes well in cocktails, its combination of light fruit and depth mixing well with fruit juices like cranberry or pineapple with some light woody notes.
    £17.99
  • 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
  • Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum 40% 70cl
    Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is an unbelievably smooth golden rum hailing from Venezuela. This is a sweet, exquisite sipping rum that has consistently been one of our highest selling products for many years. Blended by renowned Mast...
    £37.99
  • Diplomatico Single Vintage 2002 43% 70cl
    This is the new 2002 release of single vintage from Diplomatico. Presented in a lovely decanter style bottle and gift boxes. Hand selected casks from the 2002 vintage were selected for this superb rum. The growing conditions for the sugar cane was said to be one of the best in Venezuelan history...
    £86.99
  • Pampero Aniversario Rum 40% 70cl
    A delicious premium, continuous-still golden rum from Venezuela. Double Gold Medal - 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Dark chestnut. Full bodied. Reminiscent of butterscotch, pipe tobacco, coffee, black walnut. Rich, creamy texture. Dark amber color; fragrant and toasty with sweet mo...
    £40.99
  • Pampero Anejo Especial rum 40% 70cl
    Pampero is a premium rum from Venezuela. Ccomplex spicy and rich aroma with a robust, sweet, smooth and warming taste. Apparently this is often drunk "El Ritual": rum with lime, sugar and coffee.
    £21.99
  • Diplomatico Liqueur de Rhum 35% 70cl
    Diplomatico Liqueur di rum is a smooth rum based liqueur using aged Diplomatico rums with sugar cane syrup. Luscious and sweet with cane sugar notes and some spice.
    £27.50
  • Diplomatico No.1 Batch Kettle Rum 47% 70cl
    Diplomatico has released a new range of limited edition rums showcasing Diplomatico's differing distillation processes. Kettle No.1 is a batch distillation, which means that a a volume of fermented liquid is introduced for distillation, as this is gradually depleted, it leaves a residue of wat...
    £72.99
  • Santa Teresa Gran Reserva Rum 40% 70cl
    The product of the ingenious blending of first quality rums, aged in oak barrels and casks for 2 to 5 years, Gran Reserva is emblematic of Santa Teresa rums in Venezuela and the favourite of the younger consumer. The high purity and quality of the process endow this smooth aged gol...
    £20.99

    Out of stock

  • Santa Teresa Ron Selecto Rum 40% 70cl
    The result of a careful selection of first class rums, aged between 3 and 10 years, Selecto is the extra-aged premium rum par excellence. First marketed in 1983, its satiny body is attributed to the blend of light and heavy rums. The ageing in hogsheads of white American oak gives it the splendou...
    £21.99

    Out of stock

  • Diplomatico Anejo Rum 40% 70cl
    Joining the Reserva and Reserva Exclusiva the Anejo which is aged for a maximum of 4 years. Pot stilled is added to colmn stilled rums to produce a fantastic smooth rum with brown sugar, cocoa powder and raisins on the nose; the palate shows the same as the nose with chocolate and sweet coffee an...
    £22.50

    Out of stock

  • Santa Teresa Rhum Orange 40% 50cl
    Made using the finest Rums from Santa Teresa in Venezula and then macerated orange peal. The result is a refined orange liqueur with the robust rum flavour, but then sublime velvety orange zest..
    £26.25

    Out of stock

  • Diplomatico Blanco Reserva Rum 40% 75cl
    Diplomatico aged rums are produced in Venezuela by Destilerias Unidas and are ranked consistently among the finest South American rums. With a total of seven stills (three potstills and four column stills) the distillery has been producing top-quality spirits for over 45 years by distilling sugar...
    £29.99

    Out of stock

  • Diplomatico Reserva Rum 40% 70cl
    Diplomatico aged rums are produced in Venezuela by Destilerias Unidas and are ranked consistently among the finest South American rums. With a total of seven stills (three potstills and four column stills) the distillery has been producing top-quality spirits for over 45 years by distilling sugar...
    £28.25

    Out of stock

  • Santa Teresa Rhum Orange 40% 75cl
    Made using the finest Rums from Santa Teresa in Venezula and then macerated orange peal. The result is a refined orange liqueur with the robust rum flavour, but then sublime velvety orange zest..
    £35.00

    Out of stock

  • Santa Teresa 1796 Rum 40% 70cl
    Santa Teresa 1796 is a unique rum, standing above its peers in both quality and process. One of the secrets to this very special rum is the age-old 'Solera' method used for centuries by Spain's brandy and sherry producers. A careful selection of aged rum is put in the Solera, whic...
    £48.75

    Out of stock

  • Diplomatico Mantuano Extra Anejo 70cl
    Mantuano is the new expression from Ron Diplomatico and has been aged for up to 8 years. It is a dryer style than, others in the range with dry fruits and nuts, wood spice and vanilla.
    £29.99

    Out of stock

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.