Dark Matter Distillers, makers of Dark Matter Rum was founded by Jim Ewan. He's a man more likely to be making scotch after growing up in Dufftown, right in the heart of Scotland's malt whisky country. Despite marrying a distillers daughter, the path changed with a fateful trip to the Dominican Republic in 2011. We caught up with Jim to find out more about this revolutionary rum, inspired by science.
What’s the story behind Dark Matter Spiced Rum, how did it all begin?
While holidaying in the Dominican Republic in 2011 I tried to visit the local rum distilleries with my brother-in-law but all of them said no. Over a few cocktails one night I jokingly said it would be easier to build a rum distillery than visit one and at that moment the idea was born.
It was easy to say in hindsight, but the idea seemed genuinely worth looking at. On returning from holiday I launched straight into some research and somehow convincing my brother John to come on board. We realised there was an opportunity to be the first rum distillery in Scotland and with the rise of craft distilling, the time couldn’t have been better. That is if we could get it off the ground.
It’s been a long hard battle not least because raising finance continually hit a dead end and raised lots of eyebrows. You could see it in the eyes of potential investors, 'a rum distillery in Scotland?' We ploughed on anyway, selling the shirts off our backs to pay for the equipment. In April 2015 the first rum flowed from the still.
I often get asked why nobody had done this before. I think it’s mostly down to a collective idea of what rum is; Caribbean islands, palm trees and pirates! We’ve had molasses in the UK for more than 350 years, so to me, it seems ridiculous we’ve taken this long to make rum.
How would you describe Dark Matter Spiced Rum?
Dark Matter Spiced rum is full-bodied, intensely spicy but beautifully balanced with a hint of sweetness. On the nose you get a real sensation of the oriental spices and fresh ginger. A familiar comment is that “Smells like Christmas in a glass", so it's no surprise it’s really popular around the festive period.
We took a very literal interpretation of what ‘Spiced’ meant and deliberately went for a robust flavour profile. Th strength of the profile is you can still identify it inside a mixed drink or cocktail. It doesn’t get drowned out or overpowered by the secondary components in the glass. Interestingly we get lots of feedback from the public saying they drink it straight on ice, which is unusual for spiced rums as they don’t have a reputation of being sippers.
How and where is Dark Matter Spiced Rum produced?
Dark Matter Rum is produced entirely at Dark Matter distillery in the small Deeside town of Banchory, Scotland. Blackstrap molasses is fermented and then distilled on a bespoke John Dore hybrid pot/column/retort distillation system in 1,000-litre batches. New make rum is collected in steel vats and the spices are infused directly in the rum for seven days before filtering and bottling.
Fresh ginger, Indonesian long pepper, Allspice berries and Thai green peppercorns are all freshly sourced and hand prepared for each batch. It's a very labour intensive operation. We bottle and package all our bottles on site as well, so have full control of the product from inception to delivery.
What’s the best way to enjoy Dark Matter Spiced Rum?
It's great in a Dark and Stormy! Serve it with a quality ginger beer and a thick wedge of lime, delicious!
Thank you Jim. You can find more information about Dark Matter Spiced here. If you want to stock Dark Matter Spiced, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your spirits range is a success, from free menu design and print services to barware.