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Dark Matter Distillers

A Spiced Rum Like no Other

It all began with a ‘what if…?’ moment between brothers Jim and John Ewen. What if we built a rum distillery in Scotland? Undeterred by hurdles and underwhelmed by support, they went for it and against the odds set up and established Scotland’s first rum distillery in 2015.

Hand-made in the purpose-built distillery in Banchory, the result is a remarkable spiced Rum made with only the finest fresh ingredients and an attention to detail that the big boys can only dream about. 

This recipe stands out not just for the freshness of the ingredients but also the notable absence of vanilla, meaning it’s serious and brooding rather than flamboyant and fluffy: perfect for days when you need to bury yourself in warmth.

Dark Matter uses the highest purity, refiner’s grade molasses, a standard almost unheard of these days in Rum distillation. The rare pot/column hybrid still is made by John Dore & Co. This customised still with a ten-plate copper column attached allows the Ewan brothers to realise a very pure, rectified spirit. They then add a twist on what Bourbon distillers call ‘sour mashing’. By adding a small amount of spent ale to the molasses at the beginning of distillation, they instil further complexity into their spirit.

Following distillation, the spices are added for a week-long infusion. It takes in a swathe of fresh ginger, green peppercorns, hand-crushed allspice berries and Indian long pepper. Finally, to impart the ideal balance of sweet and spice, 60 g/l of refiner’s grade Molasses is added. It is from this latter addition, and the spice infusion, that Dark Matter takes its colour (no caramel colour is added). This richly spiced spirit will satisfy the most curious of palates, whether enjoyed on its own over ice, in a simple mix with ginger beer or cola, or in updates to your favourite dark spirit cocktails such as the Old Fashioned. 

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Dark Matter Spiced
Bibendum Bar

Dark Matter Spiced

Those who know Dark Matter know that it is far from your average spiced Rum. First of all, it is Scotland’s first and only Rum, made in a purpose-built distillery in Banchory (between the Cairngorms and Aberdeen). Then it is a craft spiced Rum made by three Rum nuts (brothers Jim and John Ewan, with Cory Mason—ex-Rum distiller at New York State’s Berkshire Mountain Distillers) from the finest possible ingredients. A produce-based spice Rum if you like, rather than the syrup-based products that dominate the market. It all starts with the highest purity level, refiner’s grade molasses—a standard of molasses almost unheard of these days in rum distillation. Following distillation, the all-important fresh spices are added for a week-long infusion. The recipe stands out not just for the freshness of the ingredients but also the notable absence of vanilla. Dark Matter’s infusion takes in a swathe of fresh ginger, green peppercorns, hand-crushed allspice berries and Indian long pepper (a close relative of black pepper yet with a spicier personality). Finally, to impart the ideal balance of sweet and spice, 60 g/l molasses is added back. No caramel colour is added! The quality and freshness of the ingredients creates a huge whack of intense ginger and spice, and the standard of the molasses creates a texture and class that is unique in this style of Rum, in our experience.

The quality and freshness of the ingredients creates a huge whack of intense ginger and spice, and the standard of the molasses creates a texture and class that is unique in this style of Rum, in our experience.

Dark Matter Spiced
Bibendum Bar
Dark Matter Spiced Mocha Liqueur
Bibendum Bar

Dark Matter Spiced Mocha Liqueur

This rum liqueur is the result of John and Ewan's experimentation around a trio of distinctive yet complementary flavours. It combines the richness and roast of Arabica coffee and toasted South American cocoa seeds with a just a dash of heat from Aji chilli peppers, all over a base of Dark Matter's distinctive Rum.

In the style you'd expect from this distillery, it's a far cry from your standard espresso martini mix, with its velvety palate and intense coffee and chocolate. The spice from the chilli balances the sweetness beautifully, and you'll wonder why it's never been added into coffee liqueurs before. No sedate after-dinner sipper, served over ice or play with a plethora of shaken drinks. Expect that next round of Espresso Martinis to be propelled to stratospheric new heights.

Dark Matter Spiced Mocha Liqueur
Bibendum Bar

Gold Medal: The Spirits Business Awards 2020, 2017 & 2016

Country

Scotland

Primary Region

Banchory

Availability

National

Test Information Two

Fiery Jungle Bird recipe

Test Information Three

Stellar Espresso recipe

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