Think Scotland’s national drink and you think whisky, right? Right…although gin is fast becoming one of the country’s top food and drink exports. BrewDog is one of the brewers currently leading the craft beer revolution. But could rum be Scotland’s next great export? Yes, rum. Aberdeenshire might not resemble the hot climbs of the Caribbean, but Dark Matter Spiced Rum is currently leading the charge for Scottish rum industry.
Dark Matter Spiced Rum is the brainchild of Jim and John Ewan – two brothers who quit the oil industry and used their skills to create Scotland’s first rum. The idea was first born whilst Jim was on holiday in the Dominican Republic and, after convincing John to come on board, the distillery was opened in Banchory in 2014, with production starting in April 2015.
I’ll be honest and admit that I know very little about the production of rum, and the brand’s website isn’t giving very much away. However, the science-like branding of both the website and the bottle are a nice nod to the distillery’s youth, as well as the brother’s scientific background.
The siblings have exciting plans for the future, with a 201 litre American oak casks currently maturing in their warehouses and the Facebook page also mentioning a white rum prototype, which will hopefully be appearing soon. But how does their debut product measure up?
On the company’s website, the Dark Matter Spiced Rum is described as the “taste equivalent of warping into a liquid black hole but without every atom in your body being crushed to an infinitely small point”. Perhaps not quite what I experienced when tasting it of a Monday night but it was still a cracker.
The nose is extremely sweet, but elbowing past that, there’s the smoothness you’d normally associate with Scotch whisky. The spice comes in the form of ginger, allspice and a hint of pepper. The rum washes across the palate, but thankfully, it’s not clawing – more like the sticky sweetness, which you’d expect from molasses (which Dark Matter uses as a base). I found it to be extremely peppery; almost mace like. But there was some crystalized ginger running through the aftertaste too.
Sugar, spice and all things nice – Jim and John have moved the Scottish distilling interesting in a new direction with Dark Matter Spiced Rum.
You can find out more about Dark Matter Spiced Rum over on its website.