When viewed through the prism of folklore, rum can take on the connotations of local history or feel a part of a wider community. This has proved to be a popular marketing tactic with rum brands who also want to share a culture from another part of the world.
As a folklore nerd, I love coming across spirits that take inspiration from an obscure legend or tall tale and there’s definitely a lot of that mixed into the story of Black Shuck spiced rum.
The rum comes from the Black Shuck Distillery in Fakenham, Norfolk and taps into the legend of Black Shuck. This ghostly hound has appeared in one form or another throughout various parts of the UK, though it has a strong connection to Norfolk.
The face of Black Shuck appears prominently on the rum bottle, a sinister, mysterious looking logo that was created by Patrick and Sarah Saunders. Setting up the distillery in 2011, the couple originally got their start in gin production and then branched out into other spirits.
There’s not a great deal of information online about how Black Shuck spiced rum is made but the website describes it as rum from the Caribbean being redistilled and blended at the Norfolk distillery.
This rum has all the characteristics of what makes spiced rum so easy to drink. Smooth texture, a suitable blend of flavours and an excellent versatility.
On the nose, there’s a potent scent of treacle, rye bread and nail varnish. This gives way to an initial taste of honey and toffee, which build at the front of the mouth. Next comes the flavours of cashews and nutmeg, bold and strong, as if Black Shuck himself is padding about to make you aware that he’s arrived.
The spicy finish is short, almost ephemeral, but still lingers long enough to make you want to take the next sip.
For mixing, I’d recommend Black Shuck spiced with coke or ginger ale. It plays really well with those flavours and could also see it working in a Mai Tai cocktail.
Nose: Treacle, nail varnish, rye bread
Mouthfeel: Honey, toffee, nutmeg, cashew nuts