1968 White Rum is the first rum release from The Portsmouth Distillery Co and was launched in December 2018. This follows their first spirit release, the superb Fort Gin.
Portsmouth Distillery, is based at Fort Cumberland located at Eastney Point at the entrance to Langstone Harbour, was established in 2018 by ex Naval officers Vince Noyce and Giles Collighan and Dich Oatley who has spent many years working in the wine trade. Vince and Giles shared a mutual love of rum and the distillery was founded with the aim of making a Portsmouth Rum.
The 1968 White Rum is an unaged white rum. At the time of writing this is the only rum made in the UK made from sugar cane syrup rather than the more commonly used molasses. Powdered sugar cane juice is imported from Costa Rica. This is then rehydrated at the distillery. The sugar cane syrup is then fermented. This is a long, slow fermentation (their very first fermentation took 4 weeks or so) before being distilled through the distillery’s 500 litre pot still (nicknamed Sophie Wu) and 4 plate column still. Sugar cane juice produces a different, more aromatic style of rum than those made from molasses.
The name 1968 White Rum evokes the days of flower power, hippies and 1968 when Portsmouth was packed with people heading to the first Isle of Wight Festival. Inside the back label there is a colourful rum-tastic Pop Art style picture. The bottle features a big 1968 on the front label with a plan of Fort Cumberland. Like the gin the bottle it is bottled at 41% ABV.
In the pipeline for 2019 is a Portsmouth Spiced Rum called spiced rum call Cinnabar (after the Cinnabar moth found at the fort) and for the more patient, there will be aged versions of the rum, quietly matured in barrel in the old gunpowder magazines at the fort.