BrewDog to ‘save rum’ with botanical bottling

7th October, 2019 by Owen Bellwood

Scottish spirits producer BrewDog Distilling has launched Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum, designed to be an “interesting bridge” between rum and gin.

Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum is inspired by 18th century author Elizabeth Blackwell

BrewDog Distilling Co’s latest release is made using sugar cane molasses that has been fermented using red wine yeast. The spirit is double-distilled using the brand’s copper pot stills and is infused with whole botanicals to produce a rum that tastes like “like Christmas cake in a glass”.

David Gates, MD of BrewDog Distilling Co, said: “Our mantra was to rescue rum from the pirates, because it’s a very unregulated category and there are lots of people who are potentially abusing.

“We wanted to kind of rescue rum and make a genuine, authentic spiced rum. So we get our spirit and we get those botanicals and infuse and macerate the liquid with those botanicals – we are calling it botanical rum because that’s what it is.”

After distillation, Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum is aged in casks and is bottled at 40% ABV without artificial flavourings.

The new rum’s branding and label design was inspired by Elizabeth Blackwell, an 18th century author who wrote the reference book A Curious Herbal. The book was a collection of illustrations of 500 botanicals found in Aberdeen and its surrounding countryside.

Gates added: “Elizabeth wrote this book and she illustrated all these botanicals, it’s a beautiful book. She worked on it to pay off her husband’s debts and get him out of debtors’ prison, and she got him out of debtors’ prison but then he went over to Sweden and got involved in some kind of coup attempt and ended up having his head cut off – which is a little bit unfortunate.”

Bridging the gap to gin

According to Gates, Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum forms an “interesting bridge between gin” that could encourage drinkers to sample the new spirit.

He said: “Gin is a category that is well understood, and a lot of people are asking when that bubble is going to burst and where are people going to divert their attention to if it does.

“Some people think it might go to whisky and there are some that think it might go to rum, so strategically creating a bridge between people that understand the language of gin and transferring that to rum could be helpful.”

Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum will be available for purchase later this month.

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