Ahoy there.. I spy a Whitby Spiced Rum

May 09, 2022 2 min read

Ahoy there.. I spy a Whitby Spiced Rum

We’ve been keeping a little secret at the Whitby Distillery…we are so pleased to announce that we have added our very first spiced rum to our range!

Luke and I first decided to develop a rum over 3 years ago. We wanted to create a spirit bursting with as much Whitby heritage as our signature gins. After many trials we developed this beguiling wonder. An alluring combination of rugged coastal botanicals, traditional spices and sweet Madeira casks.

The Whitby Rum is distilled with sea-buckthorn and pepper dulse to blend our coastal botanicals with the sweet, caramel notes of the spirit. Sea-buckthorn can be found along the dunes of the East Coast, identifiable by its bright pop of colour in its vibrant orange berries. The shrub has a unique charred orange flavour. Pepper dulse is a taste of the Whitby coast, commonly known as the ‘Truffle of the Sea’. The ruby-red seaweed has a complex taste profile, akin to a peppery earthy flavour. The combination of these local botanicals with our spiced rum, encompassing notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and orange, creates a rich, yet light flavour profile for our Whitby Rum.

Rum is a spirit long-associated with our coastal town, the drink of seafarers and fishermen alike. Our rum pays homage to Captain Cook, a Yorkshire-born lad who served his seamanship apprenticeship here in Whitby before sailing around the world. Our rum is matured in Madiera casks, a tradition dating back to the 15th Century. Madiera was used as a sailing port, with ships collecting Madiera wine casks and transporting them to the colonies. The combination of the heat of the climate and the moisture onboard the ships created a unique process within the barrels, oxidising and reducing the wine to develop its rich colour and flavour. In the modern day, a process known as Estufagem replicates the specific conditions of the 15th Century Madiera casks, which are used to infuse our rum with subtle fruity notes, honey overtones and in some cases, chocolate, caramel and cinnamon flavours. 


Along with paying tribute to Captain Cook and the sailing history closely connected with Whitby, our rum nods to the pirate legends associated with our coast too. You may be aware of the trio of graves found in the 12th Century St Mary’s Churchyard with nothing but skull and crossbones found upon each. The origin of these gravestones is highly debated, with old folklore claiming one of the graves as Dracula’s. Others believe the graves belonged to a small military order, the Knights Templar, and they may also be attributed to Freemasons. However, one of the most captivating assertions is that these graves belonged to pirates. The graves facing the opposite direction to the rest of the churchyard and bearing the skull and crossbones as a warning symbol. Whichever Whitby rum-drinker this beverage evokes for you, the combination of our seafaring heritage with our coastal botanicals distils a rum that is a taste of Whitby.