Review: Two Drifters Signature Rum

Two Drifters was established in 2019 and is the brainchild of Russ and Gemma Wakeham, a husband and wife team from Devon, UK. The idea behind it is to create a company that seeks out to constantly search and use new or improved sustainable technologies and to inspire others to be more sustainable while making good quality rum.

Labeled as a Carbon Negative Rum, Two Drifters uses Climeworks to remove the carbon they produce, but because the technology is quite costly to use, it’s being treated as a Carbon Tax which pushes the company to do their best to avoid creating as much CO2 as possible to begin with. Their distillery runs on 100% renewable energy, they use carbon neutral packaging and courier, sustainable merchandise, closed loop chilling system and more. Even their bottles are designed to use less CO2 with a natural cork, 100% compostable seal, British made light glass and label composed of 95% waste sugarcane fiber and 5% hemp & linen.

Two Drifters mission is to capture 1% of the UK rum market by 2025 and to have 1% of the Global rum market by 2030. We aim to achieve this without harming the earth by producing all of our rum with a carbon negative footprint.

Two Drifters website

As mentioned, Two Drifters is made in Devon from scratch using imported molasses. They ferment for 7 days and even add a percentage of dunder from the previous fermentation – the waste molasses is sent to a local farm. Depending what rum they are making they double distill using their pot still, or triple distill using a column still for the last run. They mention they use burnt sugar (well, caramel) to colour their Signature Rum – wonder what impact it has on the taste.

Two Drifters Signature Rum is molasses based, fermented for 7 days using dunder and pot still distilled. Aged for 1 year in ex-Madeira casks, coloured with caramel and bottled at 40% ABV. My bottle comes from batch C2, and a nice little touch is that they write on the label how much carbon the distillery has removed from the atmosphere so far – 35952 tonnes.

On the nose it does feel young. Toffifee Pralines, clementines, guava and iron. It has that toffee note typical to most English rums. Sandalwood, pencil shavings and a smidge of liquorice. Black tea, mango and ripe bananas. Has a shadow of resemblance with a Port Mourant. Some smokey charred oak too.

On the palate it tastes quite woody. Vanilla, chewy oak, nutmeg and tobacco. Burnt brown sugar, cinnamon, grapefruit peel and dry vermouth. Black pepper and liquorice. There’s a slight bubblegum-y note in it. Candied banana and raw cacao nibs. The finish is medium to long with vanilla and nutty flavours.

When I saw an English rum being aged in former Madeira casks I was quite intrigued to try it, but I ended up a bit disappointed. It seems that the maturation period was too short for the cask to impart any noticeable Madeira influence. The rum itself is fruity, woody with some smoky layers and a bitter note I’m not fond of. It does have potential, I can see that, but I believe it needs more time ageing in order to reach its potential – still a nice drop!

Two Drifters is a great brand with amazing ethos and are definitely moving in the right direction so I’m looking forward to see what they release in the future. You can buy their Signature Rum from their website for £40 or from Amazon for £37 which is a bit pricey, but nothing too outrageous.

Two Drifters Signature Rum score:
Flavour/taste: 47/70
Value for money: 13/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 75/100


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