Whisky has long been associated with the name Islay, and for good reason, with nine Scotch whisky distilleries calling the island home. However, in a bold move, The Islay Rum Company has established the first-ever rum distillery on the island, taking inspiration from its rich distilling history.
In 2020, the company began the project of converting the nearly derelict Hastie’s Lemonade Factory in Port Ellen into a modern distillery equipped with a copper pot and twin retort still. This setup allows them to replicate the production of traditional Caribbean rum with a Scottish twist.
The talented Distiller, Ben Inglis, who grew up near Bruichladdich Distillery, plays a crucial role in this endeavor. He revealed that while he was always fascinated by distilling, rum, not whisky, became his passion. After three years of hard work, the team is now producing exceptional rum, fulfilling a dream for Inglis.
The award-winning rums produced by the distillery include Islay Rum Geal, a pure white rum with a Scottish twist, and Islay Rum Peat Spiced, which reflects its Islay roots with a distinct smoky taste.
While the distillery is not open to the public, visitors can expect a warm Islay welcome. More information can be found at www.islayrum.com.