A lockdown venture could turn to liquid gold for two friends who have launched their own premium quality rum.
Alex Bray and Dave Armstrong launched AB Gold out of Holmfirth last April.
It’s a pure golden rum hand-blended in Jamaica and then distilled with local spring water in Yorkshire.
What started as a lockdown project is now well on the way to becoming a fully-fledged business.
Alex, 30, said: “We produced our first batch in November – 150 bottles – which we sold within the first two weeks. Our third batch is currently in production and we’ve already sold our fourth.”
Alex and Dave were colleagues and friends and in the first lockdown would check in on each other with a beer on Zoom.
“Dave previously had a dabble in the spirit world and, as we know, gin has been very big,” said Alex.
“One night we were sipping rum and suddenly we thought: ‘Let’s create our own.’
“Dave had previously visited the Caribbean and had spent time going round distilleries tasting rum.
“I’ve got a background in marketing and branding and have a knack of getting a project off the ground so we decided to go for it.”
The duo tasted a number of rums and did some market research on what was available. They set out to find a quality premium rum. When they couldn’t find one they knew they had found their niche.
AB Gold was born and they selected pure Jamaican rum described as “smooth and with character” and made by some of the finest distillers on the island. It has flavours of caramel and vanilla and accents of fruit.
“It’s a 100% natural Jamaican blend aged in traditional pot-stilled, triple oak barrels,” said Alex.
“Jamaican rum is traditionally funky and has a kick but ours is very smooth. It is the Yorkshire spring water that creates that smooth sensation.”
Branding has been important to Alex and Dave too. They found most other brands were very “pirate-esque” and the rum came in round bottles.
AB Gold has a distinctive rectangular-shaped bottle and has the top of a pineapple as its logo, the symbol of quality in Jamaica.
“With the three blends in AB Gold we have created a unique hybrid rum and it tastes just as good on its own over ice as it does mixed in a cocktail,” said Alex.
AB Gold was launched in the upmarket Victoria Quarter in Leeds last November and is now being sold online and through farm shops and fine wine wholesalers. It sells online for £39.95 with free delivery.
Gin has had a resurgence in recent years as the marketeers made it cool again. Now it seems that rum could also be about to get the star treatment too.
“There’s going to be a lot of investment into the rum industry,” said Alex. “Everything is suggesting that rum is on the up and we probably have the gin boom to thank for that.”
Alex and Dave now want to convert responsible drinkers to rum one by one. “I see every time someone tastes our rum how much they enjoy it,” said Alex.
“We are proud to be the only pure golden rum to come out of Yorkshire and we want AB Gold to be a household name in the region.
“We both have huge belief in this company and we are just at the start of the journey.”
For more see www.ab-gold.com.