A SUCCESSFUL spiced rum start-up business has hit a major milestone by selling its 1000th bottle just months after launching.

Brass Neck, founded by Freddy Drucquer, 31 and Dougie Jeffries, 58, both from Shawlands, and friend Chris Dowdall, 39, are predicting a ‘rumnaissance’ that could overtake gin in the popularity stakes.

Freddy explains: “We are both huge fans of rum. We’re obsessed with trying rums from all over the world. Both of us have backgrounds in marketing, and we dreamt of creating our own product that was distinctly Scottish; distilled in Scotland, not the Caribbean, and with its own unique Scottish identity.

Glasgow Times: Brass Neck spiced rum

“As with all great business ideas, this conversation happened over a few drinks, but we were all determined to make it a reality, and not even a pandemic could stop us.”

He laughs: “We’re particularly pleased with the branding- you’ve got to have a brass neck to make a sunshine spirit like rum right here in Scotland, despite our climate…”

Already being courted by potential investors and acquirers, the trio behind the spirit now hope to play a defining role in establishing Scotland as a new centre of global rum production.

Glasgow Times: Freddy DrucquerFreddy Drucquer

Freddy adds: “Scotland has an incredible distilling heritage thanks to whisky and in the past 10 years, the country has also made its mark on the gin scene. With those credentials, we believe it is likely to become a new centre for rum production, with huge economic potential.

“All the signs point to a ‘rumnaissance’ that could be even bigger than what we have seen with the resurgence of gin. In less than a decade gin distilling has become a hugely successful, standalone, multi-million-pound industry for Scotland. That same potential – or even bigger – exists for rum.

“We are the right product, in the right place at the right time and we are understandably excited about the way things are going. It is a really nice place to be as a start-up.”

The three men launched Brass Neck in December. After partnering with Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire, they meticulously tested and developed the recipe which includes exotic ingredients like tonka beans and cacao nibs as well as orange peel, tempered with distinctively Scottish botanicals including nettles and milk thistles.

The trio started their project in late 2019 and while the pandemic lockdown proved a setback, it did not derail the self-funded start-up. Initially they were aware of just three or four other Scottish-based rums – whereas the most recent Scottish Rum Festival in July featured 18 different brands.

Freddy added: “There are now at least 25 serious rum brands in Scotland, which is another sign of how rum is mirroring the explosion we saw in gin production a few years ago. What’s great about all of these different brands is that they are a real community.

“We’ve got to know most of them and they are really passionate about rum just as we are. Everyone believes there is space for us all to flourish, so no-one begrudges success to the others. There is a real feeling that the rising tide will lift all boats.”