Rum Runners Co – Sam Lawson


Personally I like to keep a pretty low profile so you might not know me. I prefer to keep the spotlight firmly focused on the liquid sunshine that we all know and love.

In 2017 I had the aspiration to get involved in the world of rum in any way that I could. The thirst for knowledge (and rum) led me to becoming fully immersed within the London rum scene, where I was able to gather knowledge from some of the rum world’s finest.

I saw a massive gap in knowledge between your average consumer and the rum connoisseur, this is something that I set out to change while still learning along the way. This led me to create Rum Runner’s Co. Since 2017 Rum Runner’s Co. has come along way amassing a sizable social media following with global reach. Branching out from this online success, I am now holding rum tasting sessions that are specifically designed to bridge the gap between your average consumer and the connoisseurs.

Rum Runners Co Social Media:

2019 was a fantastic year for rum with so many amazing releases, which is fantastic for the category but it certainly makes it hard to choose just three! I recently held a ‘Best of 2019’ event where I featured rums from Foursquare Rum Distillery, Worthy Park, That Boutique-y Rum Company, Chairman’s Reserve, Rhum Damosieau, Hampden Estate, Streamertail, William Goearge, Hattiers and Pusser’s and there really could have been many more!

So after great deliberation here are my top three rums for 2019.

S.B.S. Jamaica 2018

Another rum with a sherry influence, however this one is an out and out beast! This release from S.B.S. sees the bottling of one of the most flavourful funky rums on the planet, Hampden DOK. S.B.S. then soften out the edges with 6 months of rest in ex-PX sherry casks. The result is fantastic, a real experience! S.B.S. Jamaica 2018 is a rum that the connoisseur will appreciate as it combines super high ester young and funky DOK with the rich sweet dark fruit notes of PX sherry for a result that tests the limits of your nose and palate, in a good way of course! If we didn’t choose Worthy Park 2006 as our rum of the year, it may have crept into this list.

Foursquare Hereditas

I highly doubt there is a list of top rums from anyone in the know that doesn’t include a rum from Foursquare! This year, like the past few years, saw multiple releases from the highly acclaimed distillery but there was one that stood out for me beyond all others. Hereditas. There’s an abundance of rums out there that have been aged/finished in sherry casks but there’s not many like this. Hereditas encapsulates everything that a sherry aged rum should. Its rich, bold, fruity, full of character and the perfect balance between mature rum and mature rum with a sherry twist. This may be a limited release rum but it’s more affordable than most and it’s also perfectly approachable for rum lovers of all levels. This really is a bottling that both Foursquare and The Whiskey Exchange should be proud of! However, Sagacity was hot on the heel of Hereditas. 

Clairin Communal

I wanted to include an unaged/young rum in my top three rums of 2019 as is it often a category that gets overlooked, maybe due to price point or perception of inferior quality compared to that of an aged spirit. However, I strongly believe that unaged/young rum deserves every bit of respect that aged rum gets. There is an abundance of seriously flavoursome, characterful and complex unaged/young rums on the market but I could choose only one, which was extremely difficult but here it is. Clairin Commual. This artisanal gem from Haiti combines 4 different clairins for an amazing experience that is bright yet pungent, perfumy yet intense and fruity yet herbal. There are not many rums on the market quite like Clairin Commual. Clairin was brought to our attention by Luca Gargano and the team at Velier who are known for bottling some of the world’s finest rums. Some of the rum that Velier bottles come with a pretty high price tag and usually become instant collectors items. Clairin Communal however is a continuous release rum and can be picked up for a reasonable £37 approximately.

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