Woodlab Distillery in Moy has launched Symphonia Apple Rum, its first foray outside the world of gin to rum.
Back in November 2020, the distillery, established by scientist Dr Ric Dyer, produced a limited edition 200ml apple rum.
The business was impressed by the response and sold its batch of 500 bottles within three weeks.
Not long after, the company was delighted to hear that its ‘lockdown project’ had actually won a bronze medal in the prestigious World Rum Awards and that it had been selected as one of the top 10 rums in the world!
At this point Dr Dyer and his team knew that they had to add this to the range and decided to create a 500ml bottle with a beautiful new design.
Caribbean white rum has been redistilled with a local Irish botanical, adding a gentle spiciness, then infused with sweet Jonagold apples from Armagh, the Orchard County, making the spirit taste like apple pie in a bottle, Dr Dyer says.
It was important for them to showcase the abundance of local produce on their doorstep whilst at the same time being mindful of reducing food miles.
They started to think about what they could do with Jonagold apples, a cross between Jones and Golden Delicious which grow locally.
Dr Dyer reckoned these delicious, sweet dessert apples would be better paired with a rum, rather than a gin.
The final inspiration came as Dr Dyer was exploring botanicals from the local countryside. One of these stood out, its sophisticated chemical analysis showed it had flavour molecules closely related to those of nutmeg and cloves, spicy flavours that perfectly partner the sweet Jonagold apples.
The apple rum is truly innovative. Previously rum has often been about the spirit being the dominant element with oak ageing, or heavy spicing with vanilla.
In Symphonia the apples are the star of the show, and rum is the soft spirit element that plays the supporting role.
The distillery was established by Dr Dyer in 2016 and has won recognition for a series of gins under the Symphonia brand. The new rum will be Symphonia No.4.
The novel spirits are produced using innovative processes such as vacuum and microwave distillation in extracting flavours and fragrances from ingredients which would be impossible using traditional pot-still distillation.
The distillery has received support from Invest NI towards the development of the small business.
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