Is 2017 the year of rum in the UK ?  It’s set to have the highest amount of independent rum festivals across Britain.


Companies like award-winning UK producer Morant Bay creator of the Signature Edition Spiced Red Rum, are definitely hoping so. Not just for the rum sector, but a for a new emerging category of British produced rums made here.

Think Rum! 2017


The rum calendar begins January 16th starting with Think Rum! 2017, the first UK rum industry event of the year . Where rum brands, exhibitors, keynote speakers and trade buyers are gathered to discuss the sector and rum activity. Supported by the leading trade sector publications including Harpers, Off Licence News and CLASS. Independent organiser The Rum festival events calendar starting from February currently running to November spans England, Scotland and Wales.

2017 marks a tipping point for the rum sector, RumFest (UK Rumfest) the longest serial running established rum festival began in 2007 founded by The Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell is now in its 10th year with its 11th event happening this October. It’s done lot to raise the profile of rum in the UK and is a global industry calendar event. In 2011, the addition of the Boutique Rum Show allowed smaller independent rum brands to present their product to trade buyers, distributors and media.

The past few years have seen an upsurge in British produced whiskey, gin, vodka and sparkling wine, with the potential for rum to join the ranks.

Peter Townsend CEO and founder of the Morant Bay Distillery reflects a the boom in UK craft spirts and the growing number independent craft producers and distilleries. But unlike the whiskey, vodka and gin production, he’s opted for rum instead. The small but growing number British rums with the addition of two Scottish distilleries set up exclusively for rum, going against the tradition of whiskey.

Townsend has molasses in his blood, his family have owned a sugar estate in Jamaica since the late 1800’s, it previously supplied the Tate & Lyle owned refinery on the island and is the current successor to run it. He made the decision to diversify the family portfolio and move into rum production. His creation took over three years of research and development to get reach the final product stage, before its public release.

The product is the first ever British produced spiced red rum thats infused with Jamaican rose petals and other botanicals to create its signature colour and taste. A departure from the standard white, dark and golden rum categories, but a product that embraces his Jamaican background with use of this flower, commonly found in the Caribbean. It brings together a blend of Jamaican family heritage and traditional British distillery craftsmanship combining the best of Jamaica and Britain in a bottle.

Townsend believes that the rum sector needs a much more modern approach, reflective of what’s happening now. The images of pirates, ships and scantily clad woman has become tired and clichéd.  Brand focus for Morant Bay is much more upscale, and is exploring a number of approaches to create product awareness and engagement. The rum itself will be at Think Rum! 2017 represented by the event organisers in London, available on offer to sample. Together with an increasing calendar of rum festivals, its definitely going to be a great year for rum, giving both the trade and public new brands to explore, sample and purchase.



Morant Bay Shop if you want the convenience of ordering from us now instead of waiting.
see Morant Bay Online Shop

Think Rum! 2017 Jan 17th – London   Trade Event Registration Only

Think Rum! 2017  on Twitter –

UK Rumfestivals –

The UK Rumfest –