The Journal

The Journal

All things Whisky & Cigars

The rum of Brixton

The rum of Brixton


Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another Sunday journal entry. Today I’m going to be talking about an interesting new style of rum coming out of the Market Row Distillery in the Brixton area of London.

What makes Market Row a little different is the fact that it fits into the new style of rum known as ‘botanical rum’. Now, at this point, you may be asking what exactly a botanical rum is? Much like its close cousins in the spiced rum world, all it means is that the rum has been flavored (the difference being the use of a ‘botanical’ instead of spice). It may be worth highlighting the other botanical spirit coming from England that you maybe much more familiar with, Gin! The two key differences between a Gin and a botanical rum are the fact that a botanical rum contains no juniper berries (the botanical that makes gin, gin) and the base spirit in gin is almost always a neutral spirit (something close to vodka).  Robert Graham has an excellent range of gins here.

But we’re here today to talk about Market Row Rum, so let’s talk about the specifics of how Market produces their rum and their background. The distillery is based in the famed market area of Brixton (yes that may give a small hint of where the name comes from) and houses modern copper and steel pot stills. This is where head distiller Matt Servini blends 3 award winning rums from Jamaica, Barbados and the Dominican Republic (all aged up to 5 years in ex Bourbon Barrels); Matt then takes this blend and re-distills it with several hand botanicals, thus creating the hip and trendy rum you see in the bottle. As an aside, it may also worth noting that they collaborate with their Jamaican counter parts to ensure an authentic Caribbean style of rum.

At this point I imagine, the biggest question you may have right now is “what does the rum actually taste like”?  Let me answer that for you now. The nose is full of all the signs of classic Jamaican pot still rum. More specifically, I find vanilla and caramel fuse with the floral spices you’ll find of the Brixton market that lends its name to the rum; it can only be described as a real Caribbean welcome. The palate however is equally as satiating with everything on the nose continuing through on first taste, quickly enhanced by all the carefully selected botanicals in the rum. Heavy hints of creamy vanilla and caramel, give way to the big fruity hits of pineapple and banana. All the ageing in ex bourbon barrels start to come through on the finish which ends on subtle notes of charred oak and pimento. Altogether a smooth and wonderful rum indeed.

I hope you agree with me when I say that Brixton botanical rum can only be described as a phenomenal celebration of the rich Caribbean influence of the Brixton area. So, if you fancy trying some for yourself or to buy as a present for your rum loving friends, why not order some today or visit us in one of our stores? Remember, you don’t have to be a pirate to love rum!

Until next time, friends; happy drinking




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