There are plenty of UK rum brands that source the rums from other countries and blend and/or bottle (even flavour sometimes), but what about the ones that are made rather than sourced? The Scottish rum industry is leading the charge for UK distilled sugar cane spirits and it looks like England is, albeit slowly, rising to the task as well.
Lazydog Distillery is one example, as they make their rums from scratch in the heart of England. They’re a small, new distillery in Leicestershire that launched in November last year and is ran by Matt and Lauren Thompson. The Lazydog concept is based on their dog, Gino, who is also their mascot/logo – adorable, eh?
They are operating a hybrid still from StillDragon and Lauren was kind enough to send me a bit of info about it: “It’s a modular unit which we configure as a 3 plate column still when we make rum. We opted for this configuration because it gives us the option to produce at a high ABV (all of our products are produced in the 85-95% ABV range) whilst still giving us a good take off speed and carry over of flavour.”.
Lazydog currently has 4 rums in the range: unaged (Silver), spiced, sloe – limited edition, and aged (Gold) – due later this month, but it is available to pre-order on their website. I have samples of the aged and the sloe, so if anyone is curious about them just DM me for my opinion – like anyone would actually do that…
I’m excited to try this for two reasons:
- As I mentioned before here, I’m trying to focus more on the ‘white’ rums category (ironically given the name of my website);
- I’ll always be keen in trying “locally” distilled rum;
- Bonus reason – I just love rum!
Now let’s get into it!
Lazydog is molasses based (or treacle if you’d like), fermented for a week and, technically, column still distilled up to around 93% ABV. Bottled at 40% ABV and without additives.
On the nose it feels pretty clean and vegetal. Saffron, salted boiled corn on the cob, bell pepper, garlic, honey and lime zest. It’s quite sharp and it has a very mezcal/tequilaish scent. Dusty cardboard, freshly printed paper, toffee and copper. Quite an odd profile.
On the palate this is sweeter than I thought. Toffee, cashews, nougat, whole milk, vanilla and agave syrup. It tastes like it spent some time in virgin oak, although I have been reassured that is not the case, the flavour is just the result of the fermenting and distilling process. Hot chocolate (but cold) with a dash of mezcal, white pepper, grapefruit zest, parma violet, coriander, green bell pepper and beetroot. The finish is medium with green chilli and milk chocolate with nuts.
I’ll have to admit the nose had me worried for a bit, but this is actually really good – sweet, nutty and vegetal. A tasty rum in a minimalistic presentation.
As a side note, their Gold is pretty moreish and nice, but I’d like to see what longer ageing will do to it, there is potential… oh, and the Sloe one isn’t too bad either, although not my cup of tea as I’m not a fan of Sloe generally speaking. This is a distillery I’ll definitely keep an eye on, they seem to know what they’re doing!
I can picture a ‘white’ Old Fashioned using the Silver, agave syrup and grapefruit/black pepper bitters (also my recipe for a Tequila Old Fashioned). You can buy it from their website for £28 for a 50cl bottle which isn’t cheap, but if you ask me, it’s worth it, especially in the context of supporting small English craft distillers by buying their delicious rum.
Lazydog Silver score:
Value for money: 12/15