Forum Garden Rum is a new product from The Portsmouth Distillery. Have they invented a new category? The Garden Rum? It is a white rum flavoured with 5 botanicals and is designed to be a crossover between gin and rum (the distillery’s raison d’etre). Something to appeal to introduce gin to rum drinks and rum to gin drinkers! One could argue whether this flavoured rum is a type of spiced rum – I quite like the term “botanical rum”. It is certainly a world away from heavy, sweet, dark spiced rums.
Portsmouth Distillery, is based at Fort Cumberland located at Eastney Point at the entrance to Langstone Harbour, was established in 2018 by ex Naval officers Vince Noyce and Giles Collighan and Dich Oatley who has spent many years working in the wine trade. Vince and Giles shared a mutual love of rum and the distillery was founded with the aim of making a Portsmouth Rum.
The base for the Forum Garden Rum is Portsmouth Distillery’s 1968 White Rum. This is an aromatic white rum made from sugar cane syrup rather than the more commonly used molasses. Powdered sugar cane juice is imported from Costa Rica. This is then rehydrated at the distillery. The sugar cane syrup is then fermented. This is a long, slow fermentation (their very first fermentation took 4 weeks or so) before being distilled through the distillery’s 500 litre pot still (nicknamed Sophie Wu) and 4 plate column still. Sugar cane juice produces a different, more aromatic style of rum than those made from molasses. To make Forum Garden Rum, 5 botanicals (to represent the 5 corners of Fort Cumberland) are macerated in the white rum for around 24 hours before the rum is then redistilled. The 5 carefully, selected, hand-picked botanicals are elderflower, gorseflower, coriander, sweet orange peel and fresh lime peel.