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Rum

23 Item(s)

  • Plantation Panama 2004 Old Reserve 42% 70cl
    The award winning rum from Panama is elegant in style with aromas of mint, banana and pineapple. It has a smooth taste complimented by vanilla and honey sweet notes on the finish. Plantation Rums are a collection of unique Caribbean treasures. Every barrel is individually sampled and only those t...
    £43.99
  • Kill Devil Guyana Diamond Distillery 18 years old Rum 46% 70cl
    In the 17th and 18th century Islanders referered to their locally made distallates as kill devil. This single cask rum was produced at the diamond distillery in Guyana in May 1998 in their column still. Bottled at 18 years old it is 1 of 300 bottles.
    £69.99
  • El Dorado 12 year old Rum 40% 70cl
    The Demerara twelve years old is one of the premium rums with a superb colour, smooth taste and full fragrant aroma. The twelve years old rum has been judged the number 1 rum in the premium category from a list of 40 rums from the Caribbean, Central and South America in the annual rum tasting com...
    £40.99
  • Skipper Rum 40% 70cl
    A traditional Guyanian dark rum with the unique stamp of quality Demerara Distilled from sugar-cane and molasses, aged in oak casks before blending. Packed full of caramel, treacle, vanilla and toffee flavours. A bartenders secret, probably makes the best rum...
    £20.99
  • El Dorado 3 years old Blanco Rum 40% 70cl
    The world famous El Dorado Rums are produced from the diamond distillery on a large expanse of land, once a sugar plantation, on the East Bank of the county of Demerara, Guyana. The story of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) begins in 1670 with the amalgamation of local sugar cane producers under...
    £23.29
  • El Dorado 5 years old 40% 70cl
    A rum of supreme quality. El Dorado Special Reserve is the finest 15 years old on the market. In this blend of select aged rums, each of the constituent rums is at least 15 years old. Some are much older. To achieve the superb colour, smooth taste and full fragant aroma, the rums are matured in ...
    £25.50
  • El Dorado 8 year old Rum 40% 70cl
    El Dorado 8 years old rum is an exceptional medium bodied Cask Aged premium amber Rum. This superb recent addition to the El Dorado portfolio is the result of the skillful marriage by our Master Blenders of aged rums from no fewer than four of the traditional Stills preserved by Demerara Distille...
    £30.50
  • Plantation Guyana 2005 Old Reserve 45% 70cl
    This classic Golden rum under the Plantation rum label is from Guyana. Made from 100% molasses, this is robust and full flavoured rum with smoky notes and baked banana. A great after dinner sipping rum.
    £49.99
  • Pyrat XO Rum 40% 70cl
    Pyrat XO Reserve is a blend of nine unique Caribbean rums aged upto 15 years in limousin oak and American sweet oak barrels. It has a toasted apricot amber colour and smooth but gentle palate which is soft to taste.
    £42.99
  • El Dorado Rum 15 years old 43% 70cl
    The 15 year old is also highly decorated, International Wine & Spirit Competition awarded it a Gold Medal and the IWSC Trophy for Worlds Best Rum in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2008. Imbibe Magazine ICE Awards also awarded it Best Rum in the UK in 2009. El Dorado 15 Year Old
    £51.99
  • Trawler Rum (watsons) 40% 70cl
    Fine dark rum of particular smoothness and quality. Before blending, each rum is fully matured in oak casks in its country of origin to bring out its full character and flavour
    £19.25
  • Watsons Demera Rum 40% 70cl
    Watsons Demerara rum is a dark rum produced by Ian Macleod distillers. Smooth and mellow with a lovley burnt fruit finish.
    £19.25
  • Red Bonny Dark Rum 40% 70cl
    Named after the famous Pirate flame haired Anne Bonny who was a free spirit and lived for adventure. This Guyanese dark rum is full bodied and smooth and has been aged for over 3 years.
    £23.50
  • Woods 100 Navy Rum 57% 70cl
    Wood's 100 is made from the finest Demerara Sugar, produced from the finest sugarcane, the sweetest in the Carribean, grown on the banks of the famous Demerara River in Guyana. The rums from this region are renown for being dark, aromatic and for their richness of flavour. Wood's ...

    Regular Price: £29.50

    Special Price £26.50

  • OVD Demerara Rum 40% 70cl
    Scotland's No 1 Dark Rum and the best selling Demerara rum in the world, O.V.D. was originally imported from Guyana in 1838 by George Morton, a Dundee based brandy and whisky bottler and blender - since recognised as Scotland's leading rum specialist. OVD is made from the finest Demerara ...
    £21.99
  • 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
  • Port Morant Demerara Rum 1999 Bristol Classic Rum 46% 70cl
    The Port Morant Estate in Guyana was established in 1732 and was one of the earliest to produce the unique Demerara style of rum for which the country became so famous. The Demerara Vat Stills used at the estate were moved to Georgetown as part of the reorganization of the industry some years ago...
    £58.50
  • Plantation Nicaragua 2004 Rum Old Reserve 42% 75cl
    This rum from Nicaragua is incredibly soft and smooth, with rich toffee notes and delicate troical flavours. Made in a colum stills which helsp to create the softer style.
    £37.99
  • El Dorado 25 years old Rum 43% 70cl
    A very special limited edition rum from Guyana distillery, El Dorado. Distilled in 1986 and aged from 25 years, to produce one of the finest rums on the market today. This vintage rum possesses a silky smoothness, which is rich, smooth and mellow with viscous mouth-feel and subtle notes of caram...
    £395.00
  • El Dorado 21 years old 43% 70cl
    A Rum of supreme quality. El Dorado 21 year old is an exquisite rum. In this blend of select aged rums, each of the constituent rums is at least 21 years old. Some are much older and can be as old as 25 years. To achieve the superb colour, smooth taste and full fragrant aroma, the rums are matur...
    £78.99
  • 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
  • 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
  • Diamond Distillery 1998 Bristol Classic Rum 40% 70cl
    Distilled at the diamond distillery in Guyana. It displays soft fruit, good length and an easy drinking style.
    £54.25

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.