Review: Sugar House Blood Tub Rum (Batch 2)

Sugar House is a brand from Glasgow, Scotland established in 2017 that produces their own rum. I have previously reviewed their first batch of Blood Tub Rum and I found it absolutely stunning, so I’m very much looking forward to this one.

Their brand name takes inspiration from the Glasgow Sugar Houses which were Scotland’s original rum producers in the 17th century. As for the “blood tub” moniker for this rum comes from the type of barrel used to age it – a roughly 50 litre virgin oak cask.

While the previous release was a 3 year old fully aged in the aforementioned cask, this one is actually a blend of a 4 year old blood tub aged and high ester unaged rum with the ratio being of about 70:30 for of aged to unaged. Ross Bradley, the owner of Sugar House, mentioned that he added the unaged component in order to balance the intense influence of the small virgin oak cask and to add more layers and complexity – I’m very curious how it turned out.

The bottle itself is gorgeous, but it also came with a little old-school looking travel bag and an envelope containing a small certificate of authenticity which is a nice touch if you ask me. The certificate once again contains tasting notes provided by Steven James (Rum Diaries Blog). I like the dark red wax seal, but I will be honest, it took me a knife and a bit of patience to unseal it.

The Blood Tub Rum Batch 2 is molasses based and pot still distilled. The blend is composed of a rum aged for 4 years in a small virgin oak cask for 4 years and a high ester unaged rum. Bottled at 57.3% ABV without any additions and with a very limited number of only 61 bottles being available, mine being number 35.

On the nose it feels fruity and bold. Strawberries, candle wax, overripe pineapple and rotten red apples. Raspberry jam, allspice, cognac and blood orange. It’s an amalgam of estery flavours and oak spices. Nail varnish, new leather shoes, hot chocolate and dusty cardboard. Sponge cake, sour cherries, vanilla, melon and a touch of star anise.

On the palate it reminds me of aged funky Jamaican rums. Sour cherries, cocoa biscuits filled with vanilla cream, blackberries and a drop of absinthe. Strawberry syrup, hot chocolate, sponge cake and overripe bananas. There’s a lot going on and it reminds me of my childhood sweets. Eggnog, almonds and Earl Grey tea. Creamy oak and white chocolate. The finish is long with whipped cream, overripe pineapple and vanillin.

Absolutely amazing, a Scottish rum that is complex and as intense as other high ester rums from Jamaica. I can taste the blood tub influence and I can see why it needed balance, otherwise it would’ve been a little bit of a woody vanilla bomb, but the unaged component adds a lot of fruity notes that just fit. I love to see this kind of releases from small producers, especially when they come from nearby places such as Scotland – I’m wondering if there will be a 3rd batch because I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it and so should you!

Unfortunately this is already out of stock which is not a surprise given the number of bottlings has just 2 digits. It was priced at £65 which a steal really.

Sugar House Blood Tub Rum – Batch 2 score:
Flavour/taste: 61/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 91/100


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