Earlier this month, in association with the renowned Trailer Happiness, I managed to bring to life one of the projects I’ve had on my mind for a while now. The British Rum Expo was born from an idea to gather together some of the many rum distilleries in the UK under the same roof in order to bring awareness to the fast-growing British rum scene. There are over 30 distilleries in the UK (and Isle of Man) involved in making rum from scratch and there’s no doubt there will be even more hence why I believe it’s important to shine a light on all these amazing craft producers.
The event took place at Trailer Happiness just ahead of the UK RumFest on the 13th of October between 12pm and 4pm and it featured 9 brands – Dropworks, Goldstone, Lazydog, Cotswolds, Outlier, Distinct, Two Drifters, Portsmouth and Ninefold. With over 30 rums to try, the people attending also had the opportunity to enjoy their favourite British rum in a Daiquiri, Old Fashioned or simply with a mixer.
I can proudly say there were a few firsts at the British Rum Expo this year:
- first time Distinct Distillers presented their rums to the consumers;
- Goldstone launching their Sussex Overproof;
- Dropworks featuring their Dark Drop ahead of their official launch at the UK RumFest;
- first look at the 2023 Cotswolds Treacle Rum before being available on the market later this year.
As if that wasn’t enough, there were also some exclusive samples to try that otherwise wouldn’t be readily available:
- Dropworks Super Funk Drop, their step-up from the Funk Drop that was made to showcase what they can do in terms of ester levels;
- samples of Cotswolds rum aged in STR and Cotswolds Single Malt casks as well as a sample bottle of their unaged cane spirit;
- samples of Outlier rum aged in virgin oak, Ardbeg casks and Sauternes casks;
- Ninefold Watson’s Reserve, a rum aged in virgin oak and ex-sherry barrels that’s only available to buy at their distillery.
I’ll have to admit, this is the first time I’ve organised an event of sorts and it wasn’t as busy as I was hoping it to be, but the people that attended were very much pleased with the brands and the diverse selection of rum. I could also see the joy of the brand owners and representatives showcasing when they were interacting with each other, conversating, sharing ideas, opinions and, of course, rum.
To my knowledge this is the first time so many British rum brands gathered for an event and it looks like this will be the beginning of something bigger. I’ll aim to do this every year, so stay tuned to The Rum Barrel in order to get updates and, obviously, more British rum reviews.
Many thanks to all the brands that traveled in order to showcase, many thanks to Trailer Happiness who helped me pull this off, and of course all the thanks to the people attending and supporting it! Hopefully see you next year!
Now for a photo dump: