Is­lay man plans to start rum busi­ness

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

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.

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