Ninefold is a brand that I like to keep an eye on. Dr. Kit Carruthers, the founder and master distiller of Ninefold, is actively experimenting with production and ageing methods, going to various events to promote his, periodically releasing limited edition bottlings solely destined for charity all while pretty much single handedly operating the distillery – and I thought I had a busy life.
Ninefold Distillery, which is based in Annandale, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland is a relatively new brand as it was established in 2019 so it was a little surprising when Kit told me they have added an aged expression to their permanent core range.
Ninefold also had a little bit of a rework in terms of look with some visually appealing 3D patterns on the bottle – I have to say it’s definitely eye-catching. If you look closely at the cork or the bottom of the bottle you can even see a little cameo from Watson, the distillery’s feline.
Now about the rum, Ninefold import their molasses and yeast and use them to distill on their site in Annandale. The fermentation process uses two yeasts and one yeast nutrient and its duration is around 3-4 days resulting in a 9-10% ABV wash. For the distillation they use a 500 litre hybrid copper pot still and by using the retort on the still they make a 90% ABV distillate which then is brought down to the required ABV.
Ageing wise, as I said, Ninefold is quite a fresh brand in the grand scheme of rum, but they have had some aged limited editions (of which I reviewed all). The cask aged rum they’ve added to the core range is made in batches and each batch will be somewhat different from the other, most likely the rum inside will have spent more and more time maturing in wood.
The very first batch called CA01 is a blend of two casks (#9 & #10), both 200 litre virgin American oak. The rum in cask number 9 is 2 year old and the one in cask number 10 is aged for 1 year and 9 months. Kit did slip to me that the next batch will contain rum that is at least 2.5 years old, so I’m looking forward to that. You can check the batch number on the back label of the bottle and find all the information about it on the Ninefold website here – or just scan the QR code which will also take you there.
So Ninefold Cask Aged is molasses based, pot still distilled and aged between 1.5 and 2 years in virgin American casks. Bottled at 45% ABV and free of any adulterants.
On the nose it’s Ninefold without mistake. Sweet pop-corn, toffee, agave syrup, mango sweets and candied raspberries. Sawdust, blood orange, bubblegum and a hint of cinnamon. The virgin oak influence makes it quite moreish. Cream soda and new furniture.
On the palate the (perceived) sweetness continues. Waffles, golden syrup, vanilla and biscuits. Burnt oak, white chocolate and mango. It tastes sweet (not sweetened) and smokey. Orange bitters, white grapes, corn flakes and a touch of white pepper. The finish is medium with vanilla and charred wood.
I like this, but I have too say the virgin oak vanilla influence is just a little bit too much for me. I would love to try this in a spicy Old Fashioned with some sort of hot pepper bitters or syrup. It has plenty of flavour and body, just needs a bit more complexity – still an easy sipper and definitely interesting to mix.
It’s priced at £43 on their website and it’s great if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, but don’t want any sugar in your diet. Curious how the next batch will look compared to this one.
Ninefold Cask Aged Pure Single Rum (Batch CA01) score:
Value for money: 14/15