Independent bottler and distiller Ardent Spirits, which specialises in rare whisky and rum, has launched its new spirit – Sea Shanty Rum – to support and raise vital funds for Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Produced at Banchory’s Burn O’Bennie Distillery and bottled by Ardent Spirits, the rum’s name is inspired by TikTok’s sea shanty hit made famous by Scottish postman Nathan Evans.
Infused and finished with naturally balanced botanicals, the rum is smooth and easy to drink and can be enjoyed simply over ice or mixed in cocktails.
Alistair Baxter, brand director at Ardent Spirits, said the drinks business hoped to emulate authentic Jamaican practices.
He said: “Our head distiller uses dunder – the product leftover in the still after a spirit run.
“He also uses heated fermenters to recreate a Caribbean-style spirit, combined with a longer fermentation which builds lots of fruity characteristics in the spirit.
“Being inspired by the sea shanty – yes, like the one that occasionally pops into your head – we infuse our rum with vanilla and lady grey tea.
“This, combined with spicy notes coming from ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, we believe makes it a rum that is easy to drink on its own and it’s also something that can liven up cocktails at home.”
Ardent Spirits aim to raise £10,000 for RNLI – a UK charity saving lives at sea thanks to its search and rescue service.
Alistair added: “The RNLI is a charity with over 200 years of history.
“The Aberdeen lifeboat station dates all the way back to 1802 and is run and managed by volunteers.
“Proceeds from the sale of Sea Shanty Rum will go towards equipment, operational costs and PPE for this extremely important charity.”
While the rum was only launched last month, Alistair said they have already received a lot of positive feedback.
He stated: “The feedback has been fantastic from rum drinkers and non-rum drinkers alike.
“Hearing from people who do not ordinarily like rum giving it a go and being pleasantly surprised at how much they like it is great.”
Within the Ardent Spirits portfolio, Deeside Brewery was set up in 2012 and currently produces whisky and rum at Burn O’Bennie Distillery.
Alistair said: “We are distilling spirit intending to be whisky, using a unique mash bill of pale, crystal and chocolate malt.
“As a company, we have wanted to explore what unique products we could create as a small independent drinks company.
“The Sea Shanty Rum is produced at our own Burn O’Bennie distillery in Banchory – it is a true small-scale operation in the heart of Deeside.”
Alistair said he loves working in the drinks industry.
“I have always been passionate about Scottish produce and products so being able to work in a field I love is very rewarding,” said Alistair.
“I have a background in Scotch whisky and have been educating and impassioning people about the subject since the age of 18.
“Scotland has the ability to produce some truly exciting spirits alongside Scotch whisky.”
At the moment, Ardent Spirits employ 10 dedicated staff members.
Alistair said: “The team are all passionate about every aspect of the independent beverage industry – whether that is production, investments, bottling and tastings.
“Basically, we are drinks geeks!
“We all get on very well, discussing things from rum tasting notes to which Marvel character we would be.”
The brand director said he was “truly excited” for the future.
He said: “We want to be at the forefront of experimentation and progression in Scottish spirits. Combine this with some great casks of whisky to be bottled…the future is bright.
“Keep an eye out for other releases we have in the pipeline.”
Sea Shanty Rum, which costs £28.50, can be purchased online as well as in The Strong Water Co. in Banchory and Aberdeen Whisky Shop.
Visit www.seashantyrum.com for more information and to place an order
Check out how Alistair got on in our round of quick-fire questions below.
It’s the end of your working day – what do you pour yourself?
Sea Shanty Rum, large ice cube and a twist of Lemon.
If you were a drink, what would you be?
Probably a Negroni. Elegant, short and bitter.
What would the theme song to your average shift be?
Whiskey in the Jar by Thin Lizzy.
What’s in your drinks cabinet at home?
A wide array of Scottish spirits – whisky, rum, gin…
Best food and drink pairing?
For me, it doesn’t get much better than a heavily peated whisky and blue cheese.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three drinks are there with you?
Devil’s Point Coffee Rum Liqueur, Sea Santy Rum and coffee. Then I have the components to a great espresso martini, too.
You have to make a drink to represent Aberdeen. What would that be?
Aberdeen has a rich history when it comes to whisky, but over the last few hundred years, there hasn’t had that same representation. Perhaps someone should rectify that?
Your favourite superhero/celebrity is sitting in a bar. Who is it and what do you serve them?
As a rugby fan, I’d love to serve Gregor Townsend a “Dark and Stormy” cocktail, representing the emotions one goes through being a Scottish Rugby fan.