First Scottish rum festival set to go virtual this summer - here's what to expect

The first Scottish Rum Festival is set to launch this July, with an online series of virtual tastings and events.

Published 5th Jun 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

The inaugural Scottish Rum Festival, which was to be held at The Merchants’ Hall in Edinburgh this summer will now be a virtual event due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Set to showcase Scotland’s nascent rum movement, the programme can now be accessed by rum lovers across the UK and beyond.

The festival will also raise money for The BEN, Scotland’s drinks and hospitality charity.

What to expect

The online event will be staged on Friday 24th July for trade delegates and Saturday 25th July for public ticket holders, and will present talks, tastings and unique brand experiences through a series of live-streamed sessions with Scotland’s leading rum distillers and blenders - using the festival’s social channels.

Festival tasting packs will be sent to ticket holders and will feature an expertly curated selection of rums to help connoisseurs and curious newbies alike to explore Scottish rum and support this growing sector.

Who is exhibiting?

The festival will feature a number of Scottish producers presenting their rums including; VS Distillers, Brewdog Distilling Co., Matugga Distillers, Wester Spirit Co., Ninefold Distillery, Glasgow Distillery Co., Rumburra Scotland, Spirit of Glasgow and Deeside Distillery.

Dr Kit Caruthers, owner and head distiller at Ninefold Distillery, said: “This is a great opportunity for the burgeoning Scottish rum sector, and I am delighted to play a part in the inaugural Scottish Rum Festival.

"There is a growing band of producers who make rum authentically and honestly here in Scotland, and we’re looking forward to giving everyone a great rum experience.”

Chris Gardner, chief executive of The BEN, said: “It’s wonderful to see Scotland’s rum industry come together.

"Donations from the festival will help us to provide social, financial or emotional support to trade professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic, for which we are very grateful.”

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James Withers, CEO of Scotland Food and Drink, added: “Scotland’s drinks industry has a global reputation for quality, innovation and craftsmanship.

"We’re now entering an exciting time for the country’s growing rum scene, to be explored by consumers and producers alike.

"The Scottish Rum Festival will showcase the new wave of distillers and blenders that are putting Scotland firmly on the global rum map, while raising money for a vital cause.”

Public tickets are priced at £34.95 and are now available online here. £5 from the sale of each ticket will be donated to The BEN.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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