Rum produced on Isle of Rum for the first time

A group of friends created Askival Rum after discovering the spirit had never been made on the tiny island.

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Isle of Rum: Caribbean rums blended with wild plants from the island.

Rum is being made on Isle of Rum for the first time using natural ingredients found on the land.

Friends Fergus McGowan, Josh Kerr, Craig Grozier and Ali Gray created Askival Rum after discovering the spirit had never been made on the tiny island with a population of just 32 people.

They have used their skills in chemistry, botany and engineering to make the drink from five-year-old imported Caribbean rums blended with wild plants from the island.

An old byre is being renovated by the group and will be used to produce the rum, which was named after the highest peak.

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They came up with the idea last year and have used lockdown to their advantage, harvesting ingredients for the drink on the island.

They are trying to raise £20,000 to make a first batch of 2000 bottles by November this year – with more than £17,000 already raised.

‘For years, people have questioned why a rum has never been created on Rum.’

Fergus McGowan, co-founder of Askival Rum

Co-founder Fergus, 24, said: “For years, people have questioned why a rum has never been created on Rum.

“With a growing market, the rum ‘boom’ is imminent, and where better to ignite the fuse than an island with the same name as the drink.

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“With incredible natural resources on the island, from the volcanic water of the mountains to the delicate flowers of the meadowsweet, a story was calling out to be written and a drink created to celebrate it.

“The idea is simple – we are making rum from Rum.

“We are aiming to make a first batch of 2000 bottles by mid-October or early November this year, but this will depend on coronavirus restrictions changing.

“It’s a small batch to start off with, to see what people make of it.

“So far the interest has been really positive, particularly from people all over Scotland.”

The four friends currently live in Glasgow, where they said it would be easier to set up a distillery for financial and production reasons.

But they hope the Rum will put the Hebridean island on the map and help develop a sense of community there.

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Earlier this month STV News told how an appeal for new residents on the island attracted more than 400 applications from around the world.

The Isle of Rum put out a call for tenants to join the population of around just 30 people after building four new two-bedroom eco homes.

Applications came in from countries, including Argentina, USA, Australia, Spain and Italy, with a number of bids made by Londoners looking to swap the city for island life.

More than 3000 notes of interest landed in the trust’s inbox, with inquiries coming from countries including India and Pakistan.


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