Matugga Distillers add ‘African soul’ to West Lothian site

Chief executive Jacine Rutasikwa and master distiller Paul Rutasikwa at their rum distillery in Livingston. Picture: Stewart Attwood
Chief executive Jacine Rutasikwa and master distiller Paul Rutasikwa at their rum distillery in Livingston. Picture: Stewart Attwood
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A venture billed as the first rum distillery in central Scotland is preparing to start production at its new facility in Livingston, looking to grow turnover by 400 per cent and create five full-time jobs.

Matugga Distillers was set up by husband-and-wife team Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa, with a view to growing their golden and spiced rums that draw on their Ugandan and Jamaican heritage.

The £100,000 distillery has two 200-litre copper pot stills, capable of producing the equivalent of 2 million single rum serves in its first year.

The facility has been funded through personal investment, a bank loan and grant support from West Lothian Council and Business Gateway.

The firm has also secured a listing with French distributor Dugas, and Jacine Rutasikwa, Matugga’s chief executive, said: “The next year will see us focus on making friends and contacts in the on-trade and off-trade; while continuing to bring something different to the UK rum scene as a whole.”

Master distiller Paul Rutasikwa, said: “Scotland has hundreds of years of distilling expertise and history. This, combined with my African heritage, is what will inspire us to create new and exciting rums. We can think of no better place to be launching our new distillery and beginning such an exciting journey.”