We had the opportunity to attend the launch of the new Botanical/Spiced rum created by BrewDog, which was held at the Chelsea Physic Garden, where we had a chat with Steven Kersley, the young master blender behind this new spirit.
The Five Hundred Cuts Botanical rum is “distilled in the world’s first triple-bubble still, after a five-day fermentation it is then double-pot distilled to create a white rum rich in flavour of tropical fruit and dark berries.”
BrewDog have a long, but a slow and controlled fermentation, where they use a combination of rum and red wine yeasts, where the latter is added first in order to give it time to generate flavour, before the rum yeast is added. We were not aware of red wine yeast being used in rum making before, and we also found out that Algeria grows sugarcane and exports molasses. BrewDog imports the molasses to make their rum. The choice was made after trying a few molasses samples. That choice was not random. Steven and his team thought that it had the flavours that were closer to what they were after in order to achieve their end product.
Rum making methods vary from distillery to distillery, with tradition and/or innovation. In BrewDog’s case, they use a method where pressure is applied to the fermentation tank in order to extract a bit more alcohol and esters, in addition to their unique still and the unusual yeast combination.
The ferment is then distilled and once done, they then “infuse a combination of this white rum with Tonka beans, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and spices; the remainder is pot-distilled with an abundance of fresh orange peel, Schezuan peppercorn, green cardamom and cloves, over four hours, with a little unrefined muscovado added for subtle sweetness.”
Some of the other spices used were: Clove, Lavender, Cardamom, Mace, and All Spice. All are illustrated on the label.
We have enjoyed the product neat, and in some cocktails made by Georgi from Laki Kane at the launch event. We liked the flavours of the spiced rum, and it more or less tasted as it was described, maybe a bit Christmassy, but it worked really well in the cocktails created on the night.
Five Hundred Cuts took six months and thirty-five recipes to uncover. Unlike many spiced rums on the market, no artificial flavours are added, and it is bottled at 40% ABV. It will be retailing at £24, which we think is a good price point considering the process involved.
Until next time, keep rumming!