Hayman’s moves into rum with Charles Merser & CoBy Melita Kiely
Gin producer Hayman’s has launched what it claims is London’s first rum blending house for more than a century, called Charles Merser & Co.
The new firm will release its first rum in the UK in October – Merser’s Double Barrel (43.6% ABV) – which will be available from supermarket Waitrose for an RRP of £38 (US$47). Symposium will distribute the brand in the UK.
Charles Merser & Co will source, blend, marry and bottle mature Caribbean rums from its four-storey merchant’s house off the Strand in London.
James Hayman said his family was, at one point, involved in London’s rum trade for some time and sourced liquid from West India Docks to create its own proprietary blends.
Hayman added: “We have taken great pains to make our London rums the same way they were made here over 100 years ago. We source the best Caribbean rums we can find, we blend them to create balance, nuance and layers of flavour and then we marry them in a cask – right here in London – for a period of months just as our predecessors did.
“We do not add sugar, flavours or colour. What you see is a natural product of distillation, careful blending and cask maturation – distilled in the Caribbean but very much made in London.”
Charles Merser & Co’s blending house will open for trade and consumer visitors from mid-October.
Jonathan Gibson, brand director, said: “Over recent years, people have come to understand the important role that gin has played in London’s social history but rum’s story remains untold.
“London was for a long time at the heart of the global trade in rum, with blending houses playing a vital role in creating the finished rums that were widely enjoyed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
“With Merser’s we aim to explore that history, to bring back those lost traditions and to encourage a renaissance of interest in London rum.”
In July, Hayman’s launched Small Gin, said to be “so rich in botanical character” only 5ml is needed to create a gin and tonic.