Fancy a rum and malt? Then get into bed with The Drinks Lab Out Of Hours Spirits Experiments!
It’s not something even I have ventured to explore in my mixology …and I’ve pushed the boundaries! But The Drinks Lab are definitely thinking outside the bottle when it comes to their new range.
Starting back in 2017 with Hannah Fisher and Craig Strachan, The Start Up Drinks Lab was created to allow anyone with a great spirits idea to take it from concept to the shops without any of the usual problems like smaller batch size, poor customer service, low priority and quite often lack of knowledge. Based in Glasgow they now employ 12 people and have a development kitchen and bottling line.
After hours they began to do experiments of their own and now feel ready to release them in small batches.
Co-Founder of The Start-Up Drinks Lab, Hannah Fisher says
“This range of spirits is the perfect outlet for our team’s wonderfully quirky and innovative ideas. Everyone in the team is enthusiastic about a wide variety of drinks and constantly questioning how they can be evolved or adapted to create a new taste. This collection channels this creativity and allows spirit curious drinkers to be part of the thought process”.
The first batch out the gate from The Drinks Lab Out Of Hours Spirits Experiments is STRANGE BEDFELLOWS Experiment 001 Batch 001.
They sought to create a bespoke dark rum to compliment a light and creamy Highland single malt. A dark ruby rum was chosen after 18 attempts when they were satisfied they had finally found one that they felt mixed well with the orange zest and cinnamon from the whisky. The two spirits come together at the last minute in hand filled bottles.
Controversial? Of course! Don’t they know the Scottish Whisky contingent can throw a fit over to use water or indeed ice in your whisky or not? How would they react to mixing a malt whisky with rum?
I decided to enlist the help of my husband who is a keen malt enthusiast, but also open to innovation after he allowed me access to his malt collection and I swayed him with a Bowmore kiwi cocktail!
I felt that on the nose the whisky really came through but for him he said it was the much stronger rum smell that came through.
We both agreed that the initial taste was smooth and gently warming. It plays with your mind as your brain tries to put it into a category but it slips easily between rum and whisky flavours. You certainly pick up the orange zest and a fudgy sweetness. Cut through with a mellow spice.
The aftertaste lingers and more berry notes follow.
Trying it with ice took any spice notes away and we both felt it was much better on it’s own as a sipper. Surprisingly smooth.
Really bent our minds and made our tongue work with the combination.
Official Tasting Notes
• On the nose – Mulled cloves and cream soda.
• On the mouth – Cola cubes with charred popcorn and orange blossom.
• On the finish – Long and lingering.
Obviously my first thought was a negroni type riff.
I couldn’t get it to work with Campari so switched out my bitters for Victory Bitters. I also felt it needed less vermouth so my final recipe was equal parts Strange Bedfellows and Victory Bitters (30ml) with 20ml sweet vermouth – I used El Bandarra. A big bit if orange peel sealed the deal. Really good. A depth of spice and sweetness that was pleasing with a bitter touch.
I absolutely loved the chance to taste this spirit blend and it definitely got me excited when I tasted it and discovered that it was delicious. It would be a great spirit to really play around with!
Strange Bedfellows Experiment 001 Batch 001 is out now with a limited run of 880 bottles. 42% abv retailing at £35 with £2.99 delivery.
You can find out more here: https://startupdrinkslab.com/