We had the chance to attend the Matugga Rum Appreciation Masterclass at the Library private member’s club in London.
If you haven’t heard of Matugga rum, it is fairly new to the UK rum market, and available online, and in popular stores in London such as Gerry’s and The Whisky Exchange. Matugga Rum was created by very friendly husband and wife team, Paul and Jacine. They describe the rum creation as:
“Using the finest ingredients from the easterly region of Africa, our sipping spirits are carefully crafted in the U.K. through small batch copper pot distillation. Our proud heritage, combined with playful innovation, allows us to capture the most adventurous and unique flavours of Africa.”
“It’s a very complex process, which begins with importing our high-quality molasses from East Africa. Under the watchful eye of our Master Distiller, the molasses are handcrafted through small-batch copper pot distillation in Cambridgeshire. During the three rounds of distillation, the heads and tails are cut to extract the ‘heart’ of the spirit, ensuring complexity and smoothness.”
The masterclass was held on Tuesday evening from 19:00 to 21:00, and was hosted by rum expert Peter Holland (from the TheFloatingRumShack.com), who we can consider as one of our rumming buddies, and a very well known figure in the rum circle.
The masterclass was held in a small room of about 10 seats in capacity, which was fully booked. On our table, each of us had five rum glasses, each containing a different type of rum, which were categorised as:
• Unaged multi-column still
• Unaged column still
• Lightly aged column still
• Lightly aged pot still
• Lightly aged spiced
Peter went through each rums (from left to right), explaining a little bit about each rum; how they are made, where they are from, and he also showed us the images of a typical distillery for each type: big industrial operations to the single pot still.
The first and second were your standard white rums, the 3rd was a lightly aged rum, with no age statement. The first three were more suited for rum and coke or rum cocktails, rather than for sipping… Having gone through the column still rums, we got to the pot still rums, the stars of the show!
The fourth rum was the Matugga Gold, which was more of a sipping rum, but it could be enjoyed with ice, and would be great in a cocktail too. Indeed, we had it in our welcome daiquiri, which really brought out aromas of sugar cane. After the first taste, we got notes of oak wood, caramel, and a bit of smokiness. We were pleasantly surprised when we were given some really nice award winning Rococo chocolate to pair with it, which worked really well!
To finish the masterclass, we tried the Matugga Spiced, which is more or less Matugga gold infused with African inspired spices. With the spiced, we could get notes of ginger, caramel and cinnamon. Both rums are quite unique in how they taste, which is a good thing, and you can definitely see the influence of Paul’s interest in whisky.
My favourite at the time was the Matugga Gold rum, but the majority went for the Matugga Spiced rum. After having tried both rums again a few times after the masterclass, I think I like the spiced a bit more now!
At the end of the masterclass, a selection of nibbles was kindly provided to us, and the group chatted and took pictures afterwards. We left the venue about an hour later, early enough to get the train back home.
I would highly recommend attending such an event, and Matugga is likely going to host such type of events in 2016. Follow @matuggarum and @thefloatingrumshack on twitter for updates on future events, if you haven’t already done so.
Until next time… keep Rumming! Follow @_rumming_ on twitter for more rumming goodness!