Ninefold Distillery is located in South of Scotland in Dumfries & Galloway and it’s ran by Dr. Kit Carruthers. With no previous experience in distilling he set up the distillery in 2019 as business decision. If you’d like to know more about Kit just check out an interview with him by thefatrumpirate.
Ninefold uses a 4 day fermentation time for its rums, and distills using a hybrid copper pot still with a rectification column. There are currently a few barrels aging at Ninefold, but its white rum has gotten plenty of positive reviews and praising – to my embarrassment I have yet to try it, but I will fix that soon.
My bottle is pretty darn special as it’s the first aged expression of Ninefold sold and it’s a unique blend limited to 10 bottles only – all the proceeds from these bottles went to charity. Bottle #1 was sold in an auction and the other 9 went for £125 each, bringing it up to a total of £1725 which was split between two charities: “the Food Train, which is a local charity that delivers groceries, among other services, to those who are not able to manage independently; and The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society (“The Ben”), who support those in the hospitality and licensed trade in Scotland who are facing hardship”. – from the Ninefold website. The rum also comes with a ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ to prove its uniqueness.
This is a blend of 5 different casks sampled in equal parts, 4 of them virgin oak and 1 of them ex-Bourbon (or ex-Tennessee whiskey, but I ain’t having that argument here). I emailed Kit about this and he said there are about 12 different batches of experimental rums he filled the casks with: “so there’s a mix of traditional pot distilled and pot + column hybrid distilled, different yeasts, fermentation times, etc.” – from Kit.
So fermented for 4 to 6 days from North African molasses, batch distilled and aged for 8 months in Scotland in the aforementioned casks. Bottled at 59.2% ABV without any additions, with my bottle being number 5 out of 10.
On the nose the virgin oak jumps right out. A lot of vanilla, toffee, toast and biscuits. Custard, honey and orange juice. Some rubber and hints of petroleum. Faint strawberries, mangoes and pears with a pinch of cinnamon. Smells very oaky, but not in the woody-tannic-dark-spicy way, but the virgin oak definitely imparted a lot of vanillin and sweetness.
On the palate it becomes a bit ‘darker’. The high ABV definitely adds more spice to it, but the toffee and vanilla flavours are still predominant. Velvety honey, pinch of salt with some maple syrup as well. Sponge fingers, triple sec, white chocolate and creamy white oak with sprinkles of pink pepper. Some charred oak smokiness appears mid palate and towards the end. The finish is medium with toffee and the said smoke.
I have to say, I’m not keen on how much the vanillin overpowered the flavour profile. It feels like the rum actually struggles to express itself, as in a blind tasting I wouldn’t be able to tell the base spirit that was aged, just that it’s clearly very young. I don’t know if there’s too much virgin oak aged rum in the blend or simply due to bottling it at a young age the distillate didn’t have time to extract all the spices and tannins needed to balance the sweetness (I am definitely not an expert on the ageing process).
That being said we have to keep in mind this was released solely to raise money for charities, no money actually went in Kit’s pocket. So he might’ve rushed sampling those casks, but it was all for a good cause and I’m definitely not disappointed with my purchase – especially that it came with a couple of perks. Also, this was a limited run of 10 bottles that sold out immediately and it’s more of a collectible. I am making this review just to give those that haven’t opened their bottles and the ones that are simply curious about it an insight – yea, I am not a collector.
Ninefold Cask Aged Pure Single Rum Edition #0 score:
Value for money: 20/15