New boutique rum launched on the Isles of Scilly

PUBLISHED: 09:25 29 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:25 29 September 2020

SC Dogs

SC Dogs

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SC Dogs is the first and only rum distillery on the Isles of Scilly distilled, aged and bottled on Carron Farm, St Martin’s

SC DogsSC Dogs

Founded by Andrew Walder who grew up on the island his family worked on for more than 330 years. SC Dogs have taken the stories of ‘sea dogs’ and distilled into their premium-spirits, using pure Scillonian water and local ingredients, grown on the island.

Andrew recalls many happy evenings spent in drinking houses across the islands, listening to stories of farmers and fishermen of Scilly, shared over a glass of rum.

“I also served for 15 years as an officer in the Merchant Navy, so I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and sample many fine rums and vodkas along the way.”

The Walder family, has run Carron Farm for more than 70 years, supplying milk, beef, fish and shellfish to the islands. “More recently we developed a facility which enabled us to harvest, produce and supply seasalt, branded SC Salt.”

SC DogsSC Dogs

The idea for SC Dogs distillery came about when Andrew decided to leave the British Antarctic Survey in favour of making a living on Scilly, following the birth of his third child. The aim of the distillery is to protect the future livelihoods of fellow islanders, giving jobs to others and supporting local businesses. “Not just on St Martin’s but across the whole of Scilly, particularly the off-islands; our family were amongst the first settlers on St Martin’s, so the idea of community, what it means and the lifeline it can be is in our blood,” adds Andrew.

It took more than six years of planning and investment to get SC Dogs up and running and was a real labour of love. “We started by developing SC Dogs White Rum and Vodka which took around 18 months. Our first full fermentation began in August 2019 and our first distillation-runs were in October.”

Distilled, aged and bottled on Carron farm, SC Dogs is a range of delicately balanced premium rums and vodkas with a clean, rounded finish and a tang of the sea, with the first aged-Golden and Spiced Rums this year.

It’s the connection to the sea, the beauty and quality of the surroundings and the ingredients to hand that influence and inspire Andrew and his family on a daily basis. “The view from the distillery looks out across our flower fields that we now use to grow Barley and beyond towards Highertown Par and the beautiful uninhabited Eastern Isles.”

With community and storytelling at the heart, each SC Dog product tells a story on the bottle, celebrating people from across the islands. “SC is the registration prefix for fishing boats from the Scillies; the idea is that each bottle of SC Dogs is dedicated to the history of one of our own sea dogs,” Andrew says.

SC Dogs rum is made entirely from sugarcane molasses, with those that require a period of ageing, laid down in traditional oak-barrels, sourced from Speyside Cooperage in Scotland.

State-of-the-art Genio distillery equipment has been installed in renovated and repurposed outbuildings, with the aim to blend age-old recipes and methodologies. “The very latest technology will enable us to craft premium spirits combining our passion with precision and accuracy,” says Andrew.

SC Dogs are currently working with cider producers on both St Mary’s and St Agnes to craft a brandy and launching a bespoke Spiced Rum together with Tresco Estate, using ingredients sourced from the Abbey Gardens.

Perfect pairing: SC Dogs ‘Rumito’ - Best enjoyed with, Smoked Mackerel Pate (island-caught and smoked by Steve Walder) and SC Salt Focaccia from Barney at the Island Bakery

This article first appeared in Cornwall Life. For our latest subscription offers, click here

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