The renewed & growing interest in brown spirits doesn’t just stop at whiskey.
Rum is also showing an increase in appreciation.
The enterprising Íon Distillery near Omagh, County Tyrone, is banking on this appreciation by producing a rum aged in whiskey barrels!
I couldn’t resist trying it out.
A bottle was promptly sourced via the fast & efficient KWM Wine & Spirits online store in Kilkeel.
Íon – meaning pure – combine the history of the past blended with a sense of people & place finished in a modern innovative twist.
Sugar cane molasses from the Caribbean are distilled in a ‘doubler style’ copper pot still, infused with spices, cut with locally sourced water & laid to rest in ex-bourbon barrels.
Ogham style markings – found on ancient stones around Ireland – are used as an attractive motif on the bottle – along with images of the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley’s Castle – who possibly downed a few bottles of contraband rum in her time!
I poured a glass.
The lovely golden hued liquid gave off a gorgeously spicy bouquet of cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg over an underlying gentle toffee sweetness.
Light in body, the soft caramel notes gave way to a growing spiciness & warming heat in a smooth delivery.
The spices left an enjoyably prickly sensation at the end as they slowly faded.
More of a winter warmer to me than a summer sizzler.
Being a bit of a purist myself I couldn’t help wondering what the rum would be like without the additional spices which tended to dominate the more subtle flavours within.
However this is in contradiction to the latest trend which shows spiced rum to be the fastest growing category in this segment.
Perhaps Íon are onto a winner here!