Islay man plans to start rum business
ISLAY’S first rum distillery could be up and bottling by the island’s whisky festival next May.
Ben Inglis, a 25-year- old entrepreneur born and bred on Islay, hopes to spark a ‘rum revolution’ on the whisky isle by starting his own craft rum distillery at Glenegedale. If all goes to plan, the High Road Rum Company could become the first rum distillery on Scotland’s West Coast.
‘There is not a lot of history of rum distilling in Scotland, but that does not mean you cannot start it,’ Ben said, after a day’s work driving for a building supplier. ‘I have a passion for having a business that I can hand down to my family. I have always been interested in distilling. I found rum was my drink from early on.’
Rum is considered to be the world’s oldest distilled spirit, and is created by fermenting its base ingredient, cane molasses. Ben plans to use traditional methods onsite, double distilling molasses in a 1,000-litre wash still and then in a 500-litre spirit still. First to trickle through for sale will be a special golden rum, flavoured by natural ingredients, and later batches will be matured in barrels.
Ben also hopes to make the distillery an extra attraction to visitors to the island, by showing how rum is made. ‘We want to show people the whole process,’ he said. ‘It will all be done by hand. Scotland has such a reputation with spirits, and that needs to be upheld. There are no half measures. It has to be done the right way: take the high road.’
Michael Russell MSP signs the Glen Iosal petition.