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The Islay Rum Company

To make an original Scottish island rum, you need to go to the island where the most distinctive Scotch whisky is made.

That’s the belief of the Islay Rum Company, the first and only rum distillery to date on the Jewel of Hebrides, situated between Kilnaughton Bay in Port Ellen and the Borraichill. The distillery is housed in a building that once belonged to Hastie's Lemonade and is referred to by locals as "The Old Lemonade Factory". In January 2022 the transformation of the building was complete by a local company whose family built the original factory by hand in 1959.

The distillery boasts a pot and twin retort still unique in the UK that was designed by head distiller Ben Inglis and created by Speyside Copper Works. The aim is to create a smooth, high ester, effectively triple distilled spirit, all from a single distillation run.

The Islay Rum distillery also runs on 100% wholly renewable electricity and features a closed loop cooling system to preserve water. The green credentials of the Islay Rum Company then extend to its re-use of a significant proportion of the pot ale to start the next fermentation, which not only saves on water and heat energy, but helps to create a more intense flavour. The brand jokes that it’s their dunder, while acknowledging that it’s a far cry from the mysterious dunder pits of the old Jamaican distilleries.

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