Sugar House White Rum

Sugar House White Rum Review by the fat rum pirate Sugar House White Rum. I wrote a couple of years back now on the “Rise of the Micro Distiller” in the UK. A number of companies were setting up small, often one pot still operations and producing rum, with varying degrees of success. Some have long since left the game, meanwhile others are doing quite well for themselves. The English Spirit and Dark Matter are two of the success stories.

I began to notice a few rum companies being set up in Scotland. Which I found quite unusual. I will give you more details on these companies, when they begin releasing things commercially.

One producer however is a little ahead of the game. This is Spirit of Glasgow headed by its owner Ross Bradley. Ross distills his Sugar House White Rum on a Copper Pot Still at the Strathearn Distillery. Strathearn proclaims to be the smallest distillery in Scotland. It is situated in Methven, Perth.

Premium Cane molasses is used for the rum fermentation. The molasses is sourced from several countries in South America such as Guyana (this will be interesting going forward as DDL are now importing their molasses from Nicaragua!) and Guadeloupe. It is mixed with naturally soft Scottish water and a commercial yeast which was developed for producing rum. The fermentation lasts for approximately 2 weeks due to the less than Tropical climate in Scotland. It is then double distilled using a Copper Pot Still.

Spirit of Glasgow first approached Strathearn Distillery as a site to produce their rum back in April 2016. They developed the rum “recipe” themselves. Strathearn had only made Gin and Whisky at this point. The first batch got under way in October 2016. We can then fast forward to June 2017 when Sugar House Rum was finally launched in its home city at the Glasgow Rum Festival. It seems very fitting it being the first Rum in Glasgow since the original Sugar House of Glasgow produced the spirit over 300 years ago.

Sugar House White Rum is produced in small batches. Production has been a little stopSugar House White Rum Review by the fat rum pirate start, so you might not always be able to pick up a bottle. Keep an eye out for it though on The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and on their own Spirit of Glasgow website. It retails at around the £30-35 mark. It is bottled at 43% ABV. Sugar House White Rums comes in a modern angular bottle with a very clean and equally modern presentation. It is sealed with a synthetic cork stopper. It certainly stands out alongside other white rums with a more generic styling.

In the glass we have crystal clear white rum. Sugar House White Rum has a very full and very fruity nose. It is unmistakably a Pot Still heavy rum (100%) but it has a fruitiness which has developed which makes it much more approachable than some other pot still rums.

Notes of red and green apples, slightly fermented pineapple juice, aromas of coconut water and a large amount of estery funk are all present and correct. I tested this out blind on a few people at Rumfest in October last year. No one guessed it was a rum from Scotland, all were very impressed with it and a few bet it was from Jamaica.

Which is not a bad compliment to pay this rum. Further nosing reveals some light toffee alongside some gluey notes a la Pritt Stick or wallpaper paste. Solvent like. It certainly packs a punch on the nose. The 43% ABV does deliver an extra hit over standard white rums which are often bottled at 40% ABV – some slip to 37.5 or 38%.

Sipping Sugar House White Rum is also a pleasant surprise. It’s very fruity with a lot of red apple and pineapple juice. There seems an extra layer of spiciness when sipped as opposed to nosing. Ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and a touch of chilli spice add a really good heat. Once again I feel like I’m drinking something far stronger than the ABV suggests. It’s intense and full flavoured. And surprisingly enjoyable to sip on for a white rum. It’s a bit like a super charged Appleton White.

Sugar House White Rum Review by the fat rum pirateMixed it can more than cope with any mixer. Ginger Beer is perhaps its best companion. This allows the spicy and fruity notes in the rum to really shine. The Jamaican like Pot influence gives you a very chunky and vibrant Rum and Ginger Beer. Likewise with coke it stands up to the coke and gives you a very substantial and full flavoured longball.

It is in all fairness much, much better than I expected. A young white rum from Scotland is not exactly top of anyones Rum shopping list. Sugar House White Rum proved my preconceptions wrong (yet again). It shows once again the wonderful diversity that is available in rum.

Well worth looking at if you want to step up your white rum game from the usual entry level fare. A real surprise from Scotland. Who knows what they will do next? Qualify for a World cup maybe?

 

 

 

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