BY AINSLEY STARK
It doesn’t take much convincing when you ask a Glaswegian to go for a drink, which meant the mere mention of spiced rum had us saying ‘yes’ before we had all the details. Wester Spirit Co. is the first spiced rum distillery in Scotland for over 300 years and trust us when we say it was worth the wait.
I have to admit I am a gin drinker by night, so I thought it would a good idea to bring someone along who knows their stuff. A friend of mine spent 3 months in the Caribbean this summer gathering research for her Masters degree, and although she was very studious and hit the books, she also made sure she hit the bottle in equal measure. With Emma, my rum expert by my side, we made our way to Partick.
After some banter and chit-chat with Laura and Eilidh who welcomed us into the distillery, we were able to talk to Zander McGregor and Allan Nairn who have poured their heart and soul into their business venture. Allan offered us their signature cocktail, the Coppertop, which compliments the blend of fresh and natural ingredients perfectly. Emma and I more than enjoyed the Coppertop, a simple cocktail that packs a punch; Wester Spiced Rum, Ginger Beer and Lime Oleo. We could’ve sipped on them all night, but I had to remind myself that I was working!
Allan and Zander have been friends since school who saw a gap in the market and decided to do something about it. With all the many craft gin distilleries there are, it’s about time a new trail was blazed. The first question that had to be asked was, ‘why rum?’. To which Allan answered, ‘because we like rum’. Simple, and to the point; a lot like their rum recipe. An incredible blend of aromas that create a rich flavour, including unmistakable notes of citrus and vanilla. Yum! This spirit can be enjoyed in a cocktail, with a mixer or over ice, it really is that versatile.
There is not much the boys haven’t thought of regarding their spiced rum, from the taste, to the way it is distilled, to the design of the bottle and to how it can be enjoyed; Zander and Allan have it covered. Wester Spirit Co. has parted with using conventional copper stills to make their rum and have in its place used a multi-faceted stainless steel still. The still is equipped with fully programmable technology which can increase the efficiency of the distilling process, giving the option of manual control to allow changes to the smallest details in the flavour profile. Distilling is a scientific process, but it is an artform at its core. Allan and Zander’s passion for small batch craft spiced rum along with their combined experience in business and engineering will no doubt make Wester Spirit Co. a big success.
Drinks are better when enjoyed with a friend, a belief that is exercised at Wester Spirit Co. who do not shy away from collaborations. Wester have teamed up with Drygate Beer to make a delicious spiced ale that is already pushing boundaries. They are also keen to do more collaborations for Wester to be enjoyed in as many ways as possible. Wester are not limiting themselves to what is considered normal for a rum cocktail, they let the Wester loose among bartenders in Glasgow and said, ‘have fun!’. Bartenders invented all sorts of drinks, including the Irn Bru and Wester Rum cocktail that was concocted at The Citizen Glasgow.
Wester Spirit Co. have big plans for 2019 including a tour of the distillery with the chance to meet the makers and enjoy a cocktail making class. Head over to itison to buy this deal and see the heart and hard work Zander and Allan have put into Wester Rum. Not to mention the chance to make and try this delicious spirit!
Keep an eye out for this rum, it is going places. Although I said I was gin drinker, I may have to change that to ‘I used to be a gin drinker’. Wester is a game changer for me, and I will no doubt be heading to a stockist soon to add Wester Rum to my drinks cabinet. Head over to their website to find a stockist near you, or to buy your very own bottle online.