Shakespeare Distillery, based in – yes you guessed it – Stratford upon Avon, has launched a new White Rum named ‘Jester’ to accompany its portfolio of handcrafted premium products. The independent artisan spirit producer has successfully been distilling gin for the last five years.
Its products are inspired by the Tudor period, which is ingrained in the history of the town – the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
The name ‘Jester’ is taken from the famous sculpture of a Jester which sits in Henley Street, just yards from Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Almost all of Shakespeare’s jesters were fond drinkers, and known to be bold, memorable, and popular characters – the ideal traits for a new British-made spirit.
Most of the rum on sale in the UK has been imported. Distilling rum requires patience, experience, and a palette for perfection which is why many British rum distillers choose to import their base spirit before spicing it themselves. Shakespeare Distillery is one of only a handful of distilleries in the UK to create the rum in its entirety onsite.
The big misconception with rum is that it is assumed that the alcohol and flavour are both created during the distillation process – this is not the case. Gin gets it flavour from being distilled with botanicals whereas rum’s unique flavour and alcohol comes from fermentation.
By importing the base rum, a distillery will have no control over the flavour of the fermentation. Shakespeare Distillery’s own fermentation is a 7-day process in which the unique combination of yeast, water and sugar creates both flavour and alcohol, bubbling away slowly in ‘Titania’, its new aptly named fermenter.
The distillers ferment sugar cane molasses to craft this base. By using molasses, a superior and more characterful flavoured rum can be produced. The rum is distilled twice, producing a final bottled white rum of 40 per cent ABV. The rum combines tropical fruits with a hint of citrus and buttery smooth molasses make for a rich, yet mildly sweet finish. The rum can be enjoyed sipping neat or alternatively as a rum cocktail.
Peter Monks, Director at Shakespeare Distillery said “Having established our business five years ago, our gins have gone from strength to strength. We are passionate about experimenting with quality spirits and wanted to create a new spirit that was different and bold. We are delighted to launch our first brand of premium, handcrafted White Rum and I am so proud of the entire team, who have worked hard during a year of lockdowns, to produce this truly delicious Warwickshire made Rum. We’re very much looking forward to our loyal customers getting to taste it and I know they won’t be disappointed!”
Shakespeare Distillery will also be launching a spiced Rum in mid-May and has begun aging rum in barrels for release at a later date. The distillery aims to establish itself as a producer of UK Rum, own brand and white labelled over the next 3 years.
The company also offers distillery tours to discover how gin is made as well as offering a gin school, shop, seasonal gin tasting river cruises and cocktail masterclasses. In February 2020, the company won the New Tourism Business Award in the West Midlands Tourism Awards for their destination distillery experiences.