John Paul Jones has never been just ‘a brand’ for us. When we were faced with the daunting decision either to throw ourselves into craft rum or ride out the Covid storm and stick to our day jobs, we took inspiration from a fearless naval captain who always followed his heart. Our co-founder Ollie, who grew up in John Paul Jones’ birthplace, had been hearing legends about this bold adventurer for as long as he could remember, so when the time came to take the plunge, we channelled JPJ’s adventurous spirit and set sail on a quest that, while not without risk, gave us the chance to create a legacy of our own. Not to mention some delicious rum.
Once we had a vision and a revolutionary hero to emulate, we set out our ethos for John Paul Jones rum. These four statements mean a lot to us; every decision we make relates to them in some way. They are the four everlasting pillars of our omnipresent philosophy. That’s why we think they’re worth delving into a little deeper in this blog.
- To produce only revolutionary rums
Getting into the premium rum business isn’t easy. There are, of course, the big fish dominating the marketplace, but there are also scores of businesses like ours who are all competing for the remaining premium rum market share. Getting on the treadmill with an ordinary, everyday product and battling to differentiate ourselves using branding and marketing simply didn’t appeal: we knew we wanted to shake things up with something spectacular. Something better. Something revolutionary.
Rum in oak.
We made a pledge on day one to create a trailblazing rum that defied convention. That’s why we decided to age our rum in charred American oak, which to the best of our knowledge no other rum brand has ever done. This method adds a point of difference to our manufacturing process, yes, but it also adds complexity to our Lowland Rum, giving it smoky notes and flavours that excite connoisseurs and a level of smoothness that leaves our competitors green with envy.
Spiced, aged rum.
It's not just our use of charred oak that’s revolutionary. The fact that we both age and flavour our Lowland Rum is highly unusual— convention has taught consumers to expect either an aged rum or a rum that has had flavour added. We reject this convention. Whoever sails under the John Paul Jones colours deserves a rum that cuts no corners.
Treating light white rum right.
And we didn’t stop there. We also took a pioneering approach when we revolutionised the premium white rum arena: our botanical white rum is the first ever to be infused in with seaweed. Ranger white rum isn’t aged, so it doesn’t see wood in the same way as Lowland, but we nonetheless treat this often-overlooked spirit category with a level of reverence that few others do. The advice we were given was not to bother making too much of an effort to create white rum, as ordinary drinkers would only drown it in mixer. But our minds were made up and our hearts were set. We knew we could create a botanical premium white rum so good that its destiny was to be enjoyed with tonic water, leaving the conventional (and slightly tired) G&T in the good ship Ranger’s wake.
- To pioneer adventurous flavour combinations
From the moment we came up with the idea to flavour our rums with spiral wrack seaweed—which we harvest from a beach only metres from where John Paul Jones was born—we knew that bold, adventurous flavours were the way to go.
The first rosemary infused premium white rum.
We steep our white rum, Ranger, in seaweed, fresh apple, lime and, in another first, rosemary. This composition was inspired by our desire to bring culinary traditions and age-old flavour combinations to life in a whole new way. It’s without doubt one of our most successful entries into uncharted waters. White rum, but not as you know it.
Spiced and aged dark rum.
For our dark rum, Lowland, we complement the saline notes from the spiral wrack with the classic spices of black pepper and ginger, creating a bold and daring rum that tickles the senses, exceeds expectations and puts our premium dark rum— Lowland —in a class all of its own.
- To champion high grade ingredients: we never use any artificial additives or flavours.
We refuse to use essences, powders, or anything artificial in any processes in the production of our premium rum. To add our unique flavours, we only use whole, food-grade botanicals. This genuinely revolutionary approach gives our range of premium rum a matchless flavour and an honest quality that no other rum can emulate.
To give our premium white rum, Ranger, flavours of apple, lime and rosemary we steep the spirit in slices of apple, lime peel and sprigs of fresh rosemary. In the same way, Lowland Rum gets its spicy notes from being infused with black peppercorns and whole knobs of root ginger. This is not even close to commonplace in the industry. We are determined to raise the standards of flavoured spirit producers, championing transparency and the quality all rum drinkers deserve.
- To refuse to be bound by convention…as John Paul Jones himself said: ‘Those who will not risk, cannot win.’
Whether it’s creating a botanical aged dark rum, using rosemary in a white rum, introducing the flavour of seaweed or pioneering the use of food-grade, whole ingredients, every one of our decisions flies in the face of ‘the done thing’.
The rum industry has been sailing on the winds of convention for too long…
…So pour yourself a rum & tonic and let’s raise a toast to the road less travelled.
It’s what John Paul Jones would have wanted.