Black Shuck Distillery – from superstition to success

The enduring image of Black Shuck is so familiar, yet for ten years it has had a very different meaning for drink lovers everywhere as Black Shuck Distillery in Fakenham was born. Since then, they have produced a number of award-winning spirits and liqueurs. Now, they launch a new range of rums, and we are delighted to share some smuggler-worth serving suggestions with our readers.

Patrick and Sarah Saunders, together with their children Leanne, Nicola and William, wrote their first business plan in 2011. After 16 months of research, obtaining licences and the all-important recipe development, they launched Black Shuck in October 2012 with their award-winning Black Shuck Sloe Gin. Since then the Black Shuck range has flourished and is now recognised all over Norfolk and beyond. 

In 2015, Patrick and Sarah launched their first Black Shuck Gin, which has now evolved to include a number of different flavours including Passion Gin and the Navy Strength Ignite Gin at 57.15% vol. 2019 saw them launch the Whirlybird Gin in aid of the East Anglia Air Ambulance, with £4 from the sale of each bottle going directly to the charity.

Last year saw the Black Shuck Distillery hailed as a UK Business Hero by the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. The award was in recognition of their outstanding work during the first lockdown, stating that they had gone “above and beyond”. The team provided key workers, charities, care homes, and those in most need with around 28,000 bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitiser at a time when the resource was scarce. Furthermore, 25% of the sanitiser produced was donated to charities and those who were unable to pay. The remainder was sold at cost.

The Black Shuck team also used the first lockdown to continue work on new projects, this time focusing on developing a range of rums. Thanks to the wonders of zoom, Patrick and Sarah together with their ever-expanding tasting panel, rose to the technical challenges and finalised the recipes for three new Black Shuck rums – a spiced rum and a white rum, both at 40% vol, and an intriguing honey rum liqueur at 24% vol. Grab yourself a bottle now from your nearest stockist, or order online, and sample the cocktails shared here.

Black Shuck also offer a Tasting Club, with a one, three, or six month subscription from as little as £25 a month. Members receive an assortment of Black Shuck goodies, including new and exclusive products. 

It is clear that the Black Shuck team is one that doesn’t stand still, and we can all eagerly await to see what they come up with next. Meanwhile, with rums becoming increasingly popular, the Spiced Rum, White Rum, and Honey Rum Liqueur from Black Shuck are sure to be the perfect drink now as we ease into autumn.

The Black Shuck Team welcome visitors to the distillery where you can go behind the scenes and see Faith, their Combination Still, in action. During your visit, your hosts Patrick and Sarah will share some stories from their 10 years in business together with the history behind the legend of Black Shuck. You will, of course, also be invited to taste their range of products including their new rums. Visitors who ask nicely have sometimes been offered the chance to taste the ageing rum, which is gently ageing in barrels ready for a future release. All visits must be pre-booked by e-mailing or calling the distillery. Each visit is tailored to the needs of the visitors and typically lasts for 90 minutes. 

  • If you would like to know more about the legendary Black Shuck, you can book a visit to the distillery. All visits must be prebooked by telephone or e-mail. Visit

Here are a couple of delicious cocktails for you to try…

Black Shuck White Rum – 40% VOL
Share the Legend

Black Shuck White Rum is where the palm stretched sands of the Caribbean meet the Big Sky marram beaches of Norfolk. Originally distilled in the Caribbean and then redistilled with botanicals at the Norfolk distillery in the Black Shuck copper still named Faith, Black Shuck White Rum has a creamy finish. The nutty tones of this super smooth white rum make it simply beautiful over ice, combined with a mixer or in your favourite cocktail.  

Serving Suggestions
White and ColaPair with Fever Tree Madagascan Cola with a lime wedge garnish. Serve in a Black Shuck Tumbler over plenty of ice.

Black Shuck Honey Rum Liqueur  – 24% VOL
Share the Legend

Black Shuck Honey Rum uses a blend of Norfolk honeys infused with Black Shuck White Rum to create an exquisite liqueur that can be enjoyed neat over ice or with a mixer. At 24% abv, it is sure to prove a welcome addition to any cocktail cabinet. 

Serving Suggestions
On the go
Fill a hip flask with Black Shuck Honey Gin and enjoy a sip or two while walking through our wonderful footpaths.

Honey and Ginger
Take 50ml of Black Shuck Honey Rum, add 100ml of Fever Tree Ginger Ale and pour over ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon

Black Shuck Spiced Rum – 40% VOL
Share the Legend

The finest Caribbean Rum has been redistilled and blended at the Black Shuck North Norfolk Distillery with a unique collection of botanical spices. The result is a smooth rum that comes to life with warm spicy notes of cinnamon and ginger softened by rich tones of caramel and vanilla with a subtle citrus finish. 

Serving Suggestions.
On The Rocks
Serve neat over ice in a Black Shuck Old Fashioned Tumbler.

Spiced Rum and Ginger
Pair with Fever Tree Ginger Ale and garnish with an orange wedge.

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