East Africa is not renowned for their craft rum. Mauritius may be your closest, that at least i’m aware of, but there’s a brand to look out for now that uses heavy East African influence. Welcome to Matugga.

Although not rich in history as it’s a relatively new brand to hit the UK, it doesn’t stop itself from delving into the African heart. Matugga uses the rich, red soils of East Africa that provide high-quality sugar cane and its molasses, resulting in a small batch fermentation and copper pot still distillation process.

The resulting spirit is then matured in English oak casks, but in the case of the Spiced expression, it is also the time to infuse six ingredients and fragrant natural spices, all crafted within the UK.

So how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Matugga – 42%

Plenty of fruitcake on the nose, with hints of the molasses blending with tropical fruits and sultanas. Bold flavours of raisin upon the palate, followed by banana, toffee and caramelised fruits that results in a lingering, soft finish.

Matugga Spiced – 42%

Soft cinnamon bark on the nose, with quinquina and spiced cherry notes coming through. Bold notes of fudge, black pepper and liquorice, creating a warm, relatively smooth finish that offers a punchy end.

Some tasty liquid to sip on a Summer’s evening, but if you’re looking to mix –

Matugga - Leopardess


Glass – 


Ingredients –

50 ml Matugga Golden Rum
30 ml Passion fruit juice
15 ml Fresh lime juice
15 ml Sugar syrup
To garnish: fresh passion fruit.

Method – 

Combine the golden rum, passion fruit juice, lime juice and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Fine strain into a chilled coupette glass and serve garnished with half of fresh passion fruit, placing seeds on the top.

If you’re into your rums, this is one for the cabinet for sure. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to sip, yet can create a cracking cocktail base too, Matugga is for you. Enjoy!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Matugga Rum Hits The UK Market

Introducing Matugga Golden Rum

Matugga Beverages is launching Matugga Rum, a new range of premium rums and the first to be distilled in the U.K. from African sugar cane molasses. Matugga Golden Rum and Matugga Spiced Rum – British rums with an East African heritage – will officially hit the U.K. drinks market during the inaugural London Rum Experience Week (12–18 October, 2015).

Crafted in small batches in Cambridgeshire under Master Distiller Dr. John Walters, molasses from East Africa is fermented for seven days before being triple-distilled in 200-litre copper pot stills with swan neck condensers. The heads and tails are precisely cut to ensure that complexity and smoothness develop with each successive round of distillation. Matugga Golden Rum is finished in uncharred English oak casks. Matugga Spiced Rum is infused with a uniquely East African mixed-spice tea blend featuring six fragrant botanicals – black tea, ginger, cloves, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon – and has already been recognised by international drinks experts for its sensational, smooth taste. It was recently awarded a silver medal at the 2015 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition.

Jacine Rutasikwa, co-founder of Matugga Beverages, states, “The challenge with rums is to capture a panoply of flavour and depth and maintain a silky smoothness. Our Master Distiller has achieved this. As a result, our golden and spiced premium rums can truly be sipped neat or on ice in addition to making outstanding cocktails.”

Dr. Walters, Master Distiller, adds, “I chose 42 percent alcohol by volume for both rums not simply for weight, but to hold just the right ensemble of flavours intended and to deliver a rich mouth feel. With Matugga Golden Rum, on the nose we have fine oaked deep fruit cake, with raisins and sultanas abounding. The palate is full of slightly honeyed cracked caramel with a hint of Szechuan peppers and bay, finishing with vanilla, strawberry and a rich treacle.” He continues, “Special seems too small a word to describe the award-winning Matugga Spiced Rum. This is a truly mouth-watering rum. Honey and orange blossom are entwined with raisins on the nose. The palate is a flood of smooth, but warm, tangerine, liquorice and cracked black pepper before a honeyed Christmas pudding finish.”

The premium rums have been curated by husband and wife team Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa, who own extensive family land in Matugga, a town that is located 13 miles north of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The rum and whisky aficionados say that their proud heritage, combined with playful innovation, has allowed them to capture and celebrate the most adventurous and unique flavours of Africa. Paul Rutasikwa, co-founder of Matugga Beverages, says, “The naturally rich, red soils of East Africa provide an ideal terrain for high-quality sugar cane, from which we source the finest molasses. We are proud to be promoting East Africa’s incredibly rich natural produce while showcasing British micro-distillery craft at its best. Consumers are becoming more attuned to carefully crafted, artisan sprits. In addition to quality and taste, their focus is very much on how the ingredients are sourced and, importantly, how they’re handled afterwards. It matters to them and it matters to us.”