Based in a four-storey merchant house moments from the River Thames, Charles Merser & Co. will be the destination for rum-lovers and novices alike
|Once a bustling trade in the streets of 17th century London, rum blending houses have been non-existent in the capital for over one hundred years, until now. Charles Merser & Co. – soon to be London’s only operating rum blending house – will blend, marry and bottle a range of delicious Caribbean rums in the heart of the city. Set over four floors of a period townhouse, the blending house will take guests on a journey of London’s merchant history, offering rum tastings and bespoke Merser & Co. cocktails to whet guests palette for an interactive tour of the tasting, blending and bottling rooms. |
The blending house will be open to tours every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from the 31st October, bookable in advance online. Tickets cost £35pp and are available via https://charlesmerser.com/
Wander the streets of Central London’s opulent Temple district, and you may be lucky enough to come across the sign of The Post & Hound; the discreet marker of Charles Merser & Co; harking back to a time when many Londoners were illiterate and would find their way to merchant houses by means of symbols. Continuing the sense of mystery, guests must use the door’s heavy brass knocker to gain entry into the world of rum that awaits them.
Once inside, guests will be immersed into the traditions of the past, joining an interactive tour of the four-storey townhouse, which has been fully restored and set up to make rums the same way they were made in London over one hundred years ago. On the ground floor, guests will find a reception room and lounge, where they will be greeted with rum punch and introduced to the Merser brand. Upstairs the tasting and blending rooms, finished with decorations alluding to London’s rich history of rum making, where guests can enjoy Merser & Co. signature cocktails, a tasting of not only Merser & Co’s first blend, ‘Double Barrel’, but also the different components it’s made up of and a glimpse into how the different rums are blended together. Downstairs in the basement, guests will get hands-on with some of the tools, looking at cask-maturation.
Explaining the motivation behind the new brand, James Hayman comments:
“For over one hundred years, the streets of London were home to a bustling network of merchant rum blending houses. The merchant’s skill lay not in distilling but rather in the sourcing, blending and secondary maturation of the rum. Our family was involved in the trade for some time, and we’re now proud to play a role in bringing the lost craft of rum blending back to the city.”
Charles Merser & Co. has been a major development by the Hayman family, best known for their eponymous range of gins. Their connection to rum blending goes back to the mid-19th Century, when they would source stock from West India Docks to create their own proprietary blends.
Tours of Merser & Co. cost £35pp and must be booked in advance. For more information and tickets, visit: https://charlesmerser.com/