Peter Morrell reviews this delicious rum showcasing the fine flavours of Wales
Established in October 2020, Devil’s Bridge Rum is an utterly unique creation, blending the finest Caribbean rums with Welsh ingredients, Bara Brith, Glengettie Black Tea and Shirgar Butter
Owner, Gregor Shaw had a vision to create an intriguingly different taste by first importing the finest Caribbean rum distilled from locally grown sugar cane juice, molasses and cane sugar and matured in ex-bourbon barrels. When the barrels arrive in Wales, the rum is steeped in natural botanicals and spices before final redistilling
Next, ginger, Madagascan vanilla, cassia, allspice, cardamom, mace and cloves bring rich spice and flavour but it is the unique Welsh ingredients: Bara Brith, Glengettie black tea and Shirgar butter that make the personality of Devils Bridge as bold as the bottle.
- Gold – World Rum Awards, April 2021
- Gold – London Spirits Competition, April 2021
- Bronze – International Spirits Awards, April 2021
There are plenty of rums to choose from nowadays and Gregor Shaw and team had to learn a lot about them to create the ethical taste-driven brand that they wanted Devil’s Bridge Rum to be.
The finest rum is sourced from the Caribbean and imported for 2nd distillation with Devil’s Bridge unique ingredients.
Peter Morrell, Editor, comments, “I have been tasting Devil’s Bridge, and it really is a unique rum. The florally embellished label on the very stylish deep red coloured bottled boldly states that the spiced rum is infused with Bara Brith Welsh bread. I had never heard of this and decided not to find out before the tasting so that it didn’t affect my judgement.
“The nose was an exciting explosion of oak, chocolate and caramel, mixed with an array of background spice tones. As the rum moved onto the palate the experience was of a warming mix of baking spices, butter, dried fruit, and vanilla from bourbon barrel aging. The overall impression was of a rich cake, lighter than Christmas Pudding, but just as satisfying. The rum was exceptionally smooth and had a rounded sweetness with pleasantly astringent tannins. The finish was complex and powerful, leaving lingering notes of cardamom, vanilla and tantalizing hints of aniseed.
“Now for the big reveal, I discovered that Bara Brith is a highly spiced Welsh Cake flavoured with tea and eaten spread with lots of butter. Taking a closer at the ingredients of the rum, the two stand outs, apart from the roll-call of spices, were Glengettie Black Tea and Shirgar Carmarthenshire Butter. This was like a Welsh afternoon tea combined into one very enticing package.
“Devil’s Bridge is not only a beautiful sipping rum which will make you feel very mellow, but a great base for a range of cocktails. Here’s a serving suggestion I devised – The Devil’s Bridge Espress“.
- 50ml Devil’s Bridge Rum
- 50ml cooled fresh espresso coffee
- 5ml sugar syrup
- 3 coffee beans
- Put lots of ice into a cocktail shaker.
- Add the rum, espresso and sugar syrup
- Shake long and fast – this produces a fine, thick crema.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the coffee beans.
Real rum has to be made from molasses or sugar, or both. Owner, Gregor Shaw says: “We don’t just infuse a base spirit with rum and we don’t add sugar or flavouring after distillation. You can feel and taste it when you sip our rum neat: smooth, drinkable and full of flavour.
“Although the minimum level to be considered a rum is lower, we distilled Devil’s Bridge Rum to 42% ABV for a higher quality rum that does justice to the flavours. It does mean that our rum costs more compared to some rums, but that was a better compromise for us than losing taste.
“Our striking matte red bottle stands out in the crowd. A substantial wooden stopper along with the intricate illustrations and copper details on the label make our rum as much of a story for the senses as on the palette.
“Served neat over ice, with ginger beer or cola, the smooth Bara Brith flavours come through, twisting and changing as you drink. It lends itself to cocktail-making and we are constantly evolving a seasonal cocktail menu.”
Gregor was inspired by the story of the Devil’s Bridge, a legendary tale of Welsh spirit, based in the Cambrian Mountains near Aberystwyth. They claim that the rum is as Welsh as the story of the Devil’s Bridge and as fiery as the woman who tricked the Devil.
Gregor continues: “Since launch in October 2020, we have been gob smacked to have won no less than 3 gold awards in the last few weeks at the World Rum Awards and the esteemed London Spirits Competition. We also walked away with a lovely Bronze in the International Spirits Challenge 2021.
“We bring the best of Wales, the best of the Caribbean and the most stunning branding together to make a drink like no other. We want our brand to become the biggest premium rum in the UK and are confident we can achieve this.”
You can buy Devils Bridge Rum from www.devilsbridgerum.com, Master of Malt, Amazon and other good spirits retailers.