The UK’s only distillery located within a castle has launched its first line of rum, named after a former resident of the castle itself. Award-winning Hensol Castle Distillery, based in Wales, is expanding its range outside of the gin market, launching with two flavours of ‘Judge Jenkins’ rum on World Rum Day, 8th July 2023.
After the continued success of its award-winning gins, Hensol Castle Distillery is entering the rum market with the launch of its new Judge Jenkins range, with two flavours available: Spiced Rum (40% ABV) and Maraschino Cherry Spiced Rum (37.5% ABV). The two new bottles will be available to purchase direct from the Hensol Castle Distillery website from World Rum Day on 8th July 2023.
Distilled in the cellars of the 400-year-old castle, the Judge Jenkins rum range will be available to both on- and off-trade and can be purchased by consumers directly through the Hensol Castle Distillery website. With an RRP of £30 per 70cl bottle, the rum will be sold alongside the distillery’s award-winning gins.
What makes the Spiced Rum different to most others on the market is that it’s made using the same process the distillery team use to make gin. A three-times distilled Caribbean base rum is once again distilled, along with vanilla, fresh lime & orange peel, spiced berries, cinnamon, nutmeg and Cocoa beans. The four-times distilled rum is then expertly blended and oxygenated with the purest Welsh water.
Similarly, to make the Maraschino Cherry Spiced Rum, the above process is followed, with the additional of natural Maraschino & Morello Cherries, as well as a little sugar to level out the tartness.
Judge David Jenkins, after which the new rum is named, was the grandson of Richard Jenkins, who built and resided in Hensol Castle in the late 17th century with his family. Born at Hensol in 1582 and following in the fervent footsteps of his royalist grandfather and father, the Judge was a man of great force and character, gaining the nicknames “Heart of Oak” and “the pillar of the law” in his time.
His story sees him described as a scholar, a gentleman, a man of honour and of discerning taste. His story is mired in revolution and revolt, of imprisonment and hope and it is in the spirit of those things that Hensol Castle Distillery decided to create the Judge Jenkins rums to celebrate his life and all that he accomplished.
Imprisoned in 1645 at the Tower of London during the British Civil Wars, when disputes between the Crown and Parliament came to a head, he didn’t see freedom until the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. He retired back to Hensol Castle where he became a patron of the Welsh Bards and eventually died in December 1663. He is remembered as a controversial and powerful man who created many laws which are still being followed to this day.
The UK rum market is the third largest in the world, according to a report by Campari Group UK; and data from CGA by Neilsen IQ revealed in 2022 that rum sales in the UK surpassed the £1bn. Sales of flavoured and spiced varieties of rum were shown to have taken around three fifths of the rum market.
Chris Leeke, Managing Director of www.hensolcastledistillery.com, said:
“Judge Jenkins is woven into the tapestry of Hensol Castle’s history and what better way to honour the legend himself than by creating a fiery spirit with his namesake. Since launching, we have made great strides in the gin market, achieving many awards and accolades, and felt it was now the perfect time to expand our range and offer our customers a high quality, delicious rum. It is such a versatile spirit that has seen phenomenal growth over the last few years and it makes sense for us to go on this journey.”
Hensol Castle Distillery has the capacity to bottle up to five+ million bottles of spirits per annum. In the relatively short time since the distillery launched in 2019, its own three Hensol Castle gins have won numerous gold medals, including Best in Country at this year’s World Gin Awards plus an additional 15 gold medals won for contract bottling clients in 2023.
About Hensol Castle Distillery
Hensol Castle Distillery is located in the cellars of the 400-year-old Hensol Castle, which sits in more than 650 acres of parkland and is part of the successful four-star Vale Resort – an award-winning spa, golf, conference and hotel complex.
Current products distilled at Hensol Castle Distillery include:
- Hensol Castle Gin (Welsh Dry, Wild Strawberry and Hibiscus and Blood Orange Zest)
- Benjamin Hall Gin (London Dry Gin, Strawberry Gin, Blackberry Gin, Sicilian Lemon Gin, Vodka)
- TRULO – range of reduced calorie alcoholic drinks including Coconut Rum, Peach Melba, Espresso and Passion Fruit
The distillery has received accreditation from industry experts SALSA, after being recognised as a beacon of best practice.