Scratch Distillery is one of the UK’s first rum distilleries, having been established by Doug Miller in 2016. Four years later, in the midst of the pandemic, he was joined by his sister-in-law Ellie Taverner, who had been furloughed from her job in the film industry. Today, the duo run the distillery from the back garden of the Taverner family home in Benington, Hertfordshire.
The distillery is so named due to the nature of the operation: everything has been built up from scratch. The duo are passionate about utilising “the best that nature has to offer” in terms of ingredients, including botanicals grown in their own garden and sourced from the local Hertfordshire countryside. They pride themselves on staying true to British seasonality, with a view to using their profits to re-invest in ecological projects.
Their rums are made by fermenting British refined molasses, using water drawn up from a well on the family estate. The rums are then matured in a range of oak casks, including American Bourbon, Scotch whisky and charred new oak; being a young distillery, experimentation is readily embraced. The duo display great enthusiasm and open-mindedness, and they are set to become big names in the years ahead.