Our Derbyshire rum project took over 12 months to come together but in early 2020 we produced our first batches.
In late 2018, we decided we wanted to take the whisky-making skills we’ve honed in producing Derbyshire’s first single malt whisky and look at creating an authentic, small-batch rum. We’ve used traditional methods to create a couple of different styles and have steered clear of using added sugars (which is more common than you might think).
There are lots or rum styles on the market with many brands buying in base rum from the large Caribbean producers and blending or adding spice or other flavours – often with great commercial success. We were clear from the outset that we wanted to create the alcohol here in Derbyshire, in the same way that we do for our single malt whisky i.e. getting back to the basics of craft distilling.
In our whisky-making, we place enormous emphasis on raw materials, mashing, yeast and fermentation. As we have learned more about making rum, it became clear that a similar focus is adopted by some of the world’s great rum producers. At a high level there’s some real parallels between whisky-making and rum-making but the details are very different. And so we reached out to international craft rum producers that we respected and set out to learn all we could. Of course, there are some secrets that no-one wants to offer up but we’ve been fortunate to get some great advice from a number of distilleries in North and South America.
The first decision we took was not to base our rum recipe on commercially available molasses, effectively a waste product of the sugar refining process (molasses still contains fermentable sugars, which means it’s suitable for making alcohol). We wanted to use the best raw materials we could source and get as close as we could to the sugar cane where it all starts. Through partners in South America, we’ve sourced high quality ‘panela’ (or ‘raspadura’) which is a solidified form of sugar cane juice that has not been through any commercial refining process. This panela is at the heart of our Derbyshire rum.
Most of the rum we’ve produced so far has been laid down in oak casks to mature for a while but a limited number of bottles of our unaged, white rum will soon be available to purchase via our website (whilst stocks last).
To get the latest news on when our rum will be available please sign up to our mailing list via our website!