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Livingston-based Matugga Distillery has launched a cask ownership programme to give the public a chance to invest in its award-winning rums.

The move is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa, who founded the business in 2018.

A limited number of casks are available at £3,300 each. These will be filled, then stored and carefully monitored for up to three years before being bottled and labelled.

The scheme follows a 2022 crowdfunding campaign that raised more than £300,000 – enough to finance an eightfold increase in production and take on more staff.

It has already caught the attention of whisky expert Charles MacLean, who thinks it will “put Scottish rum on the map”.

“For many years now, drinks writers have been saying that ‘rum will be the next malt’,” said MacLean. “Given the huge current interest in private cask sales of single malt whisky, I am sure [the offer] will have considerable appeal.”

Whisky and rum writer Dave Broom agrees. Pointing to worldwide growth in rum production and a move towards premium products, he said: “Matugga’s cask programme certainly shows intent and a recognition that Scottish rum is ready to take the next step.”

Paul himself called the scheme a “milestone moment for Scottish rum”.

“Most rums are aged in tropical countries,” he said. “However, we have proved right here in Scotland that rum also ages brilliantly in cooler climates. Although it takes a bit longer, the end result is as delicious, mature and rounded as anything from the tropics.

“There’s a real opportunity for us to create history and take Scottish rum worldwide.”

Beyond the cask ownership scheme, Matugga is exploring new ideas and unique combinations of flavours for both rum and whisky. To that end cask exchange agreements with whisky makers have been reached, especially with Whyte & Mackay and its master whisky maker Gregg Glass.

“We’re working on some exciting projects with Gregg and others – we share the same passion and we all want to ensure that Scotland’s drinks industry continues to lead the way,” said Paul.

And his ambitions don’t stop at whisky collaborations: he plans to open a farm in his native Uganda to grow sugarcane that will ultimately be turned into rum right here in Scotland.

Discover more about the Pamoja Rum Cask Offer.

By the way, ‘pamoja’ means ‘together’ in Swahili. But you already knew that.