The UK Spirits industry is on a roll, and one particular sector that is gathering a considerable amount of momentum is rum production. In light of this, we’re looking at a relatively new entrant into the UK spirits market, and it goes by the rather intriguing name of Devil’s Bridge Rum.
Most people probably feel that for something to be lauded as the best, it needs to have been around for a while, developing a track record of some form or another. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the spirits industry. Those canny spirits experts out there know a good thing when it crosses their path, irrespective of how long something has been around.
The Irish Whiskey market is an excellent example of this. Some first batches from Irish distillers have achieved record-breaking prices at auction, and we’re not talking about £100’s. We’re talking about numbers approaching and in some cases in excess of ten thousand pounds, and yes, that is for just a single bottle!
Although the UK spirits industry is somewhat crowded, there’s always room for quality. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how rapidly the UK gin industry is growing, and with the right quality products, there’s no reason why the rum sector can’t do the same or even better.
To some, rum would seem to be a bit an-old fashioned, filled with caricature, whereas gin is seen as the new kid on the block. However, rum has been on a massive resurgence over the past few years, and more and more people have put aside their preconceptions and are now appreciating how delicious a spirit it is.
Gregor Shaw could see the upswing in consumer interest for rum and felt he could produce a version with an intriguingly different taste. He started by importing the finest Caribbean rum distilled from locally grown sugar cane and molasses that was matured in ex-bourbon barrels. When the barrels arrive in Wales, the rum is already steeped in natural botanicals and spices.
Now comes the part that separates Devil’s Bridge Rum from all others. For its second distillation, ginger, Madagascan vanilla, cassia, allspice, cardamom, mace and cloves are added, resulting in a rich spice and flavour. However, the extra-special magic was born and bred in Wales. To achieve the unique flavour, Gregor added Bara Brith, Glengettie black tea and Shirgar butter, which helps give Devils Bridge a unique personality that is as bold as the bottle holding it.
Why is it called Devil’s Bridge Rum?
We love a good back-story, and Devil’s Bridge Rum has one. It is said that the original bridge in Ceredigion from where the rum takes its name was built after an older woman lost her cow and spotted it grazing on the other side of the river.
Spotting an opportunity, the devil appeared and said that he would build a bridge. In return for this, he wanted ownership of the first living soul who crossed it. The canny woman agreed and flung a crust of bread over the river. Her dog seeing this, ran over the bridge to retrieve it, leaving the devil with just the soul of the dog’s soul as his part of the deal.
2021 – A year of accolades
The finished product has gone down a storm in the spirits industry. In April, Devil’s Bridge Rum walked away with the title of the best rum in the ‘Flavoured’ category along with picking up the award for best rum in the ‘Botanical and contemporary’ category at The World Rum Awards.
For most businesses, that would be more than enough, but it didn’t stop there. At this year’s London Spirits Competition, Devil’s Bridge Rum was awarded another gold. By any measure, that’s quite incredible for a brand that didn’t exist two years ago.
An authentic premium rum
Devil’s Bridge is an authentic rum designed with taste at its core. Sipped neat over ice, it is full of flavour and, unlike others, let’s call them lesser rums, is all-natural with no added sugar or extra flavouring.
Some people might find their first foray into the world of rum a little daunting, if that’s the case, it’s also excellent with a splash of cola or ginger beer, and as you’ve no doubt guessed from the use of the word ‘Shaking’ in the title of this piece, it’s also a great base ingredient for cocktails.
Devil’s Bridge Rum has been distilled to 42% ABV, which makes it a high-quality rum. It comes in a striking matte red bottle with a substantial wooden stopper and intricate illustrations and copper details on the bottle’s label, making it as much of a story for the senses as on the palette.
Gregor Shaw and his team in the UK have created something very special. Global Awards and accolades aside, the simple fact that he and his team have developed and reinvigorated a traditional spirit that has its roots firmly in the Caribbean and South America from Cardiff of all places is quite frankly amazing. Devil’s Bridge Rum is a true British success story, and it makes me want to hum a few bars of Rule Britannia.
Devil’s Bridge Rum – Where and how?
Devil’s Bridge Rum is available for purchase from devilsbridgerum.com along with Masters of Malt, Yumbles, Amazon UK and the Notonthehighstreet, among others. A full list of stockists can be found on the brand’s website, which also has an extensive list of recipes and serving suggestions.
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