Thanks to bottle splits and our good buddy Niki we’ve scored some rum from Australia. To be honest with you, that doesn’t really get me excited but we should give it a try at least. According to this list, there are 34 rum distilleries on the
island continent and a rough guess (I didn’t check this, really!) is that this might be the number of rum distilleries in the Caribbean (again, please don’t quote me on this). So what we have today really isn’t representative of Australian rum at all! What is more, it cannot get worse than Bundaberg I believe.
Sugar Shed Rum (Batch #8) (Tin Shed Distillery, 40%): Nose: This smells familiar and blindly I would have called this Nine Leaves, there is no doubt. It has the same, very characteristic grain and wheat notes. Throw in some (bad) Chamarel with its oat and oatmeal, perhaps also some corn and you get a rum as you might have had it before. Now this probably isn’t good, but familiar territory at least. Palate: Oh yeah, totally Nine Leaves. Wheat, milk chocolate, nougat, Ovomaltine and hazelnut describe this profile very well. Personally, it is not my cup of tea but if you are crazy about Nine Leaves you will probably like this one. Finish: Very short and basically just an extension of the palate with an identical set of associations. This isn’t bad rum at all, just a profile I personally have little to no use for. (68/100)
Black Gate Single Cask (Black Gate Distillery, 40%): This rum matured for two years in an 100l ex-Sherry cask. Nose: Yes, you definitely do get some of the aromas from the Sherry cask but this is sweeter than I would have liked. I am not saying it is dosed but it is suspicious, at least. I get sugared red fruits, a mix of very light grains, leather, boot polish and something that reminds me of grandma’s rum pot. Palate: Nah, it is legit stuff; not overly sweet. Rum soaked red fruits, dry raisins, leather, Herrencreme, Panna cotta and Cappucino. Now this really isn’t too bad and the creamy texture is just incredible. It might not be an amazing rum but the flavour palate is pretty much to my liking this time. Finish: Lots of the Herrencreme/ Panna cotta combination paired with cocoa and Cappucino laced with rum. Mmhhh. The finish is awesome but the rest of the rum does have its flaws. Quite nice nevertheless. (72/100)
Riverbourne Distillery Rich Dark Sipping Rum (Riverbourne Distillery, 46,9%): The good news is that we have an increased abv. The bad news is that this is actually a Whisky distillery. Oh my. Nose: Really alcoholic. Not what 47% should feel like. Even worse, I really don’t get a whole lot of aromas. Neutral alcohol, some wood, with a little imagination also autumn-y vibes, fir cone perhaps but that’s about it. Palate: Still not more complex than the nose and just minimally more aromatic but it is nowhere near as alcoholic as I’ve feared and actually drinkable. Not good, but you will survive. I mostly get chocolate-y notes paired with roasted peanuts, ground nuts and more earthy notes. Actually the palate isn’t too bad. Finish: Medium long as the alcohol is more present now. The ground nut mix and something close to roasted cocoa is what I am picking up. I was expecting the worst after reading the name and even more so after sniffing but it isn’t half as bad actually. Do you have to try this? Nope, but if you see this at random on your holidays you may very well order it (just in case there isn’t something better to be found). (63/100)
Compagnie des Indes Australia 2007 11YO (43%): My guess is that this comes from one of the bigger or at least more well-known distilleries (Beenleigh, Bundaberg or Inner Circle) but I could also not have written this sentence as I really have absolutely no clue. The mark of the barrel is ASS53 by the way. Nose: Totally different from the other rums of the session. Way lighter, fruitier (pear, quince) and in a way also floral without actually reminding me of any typical floral notes. Deeper in the glass I find spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg as well as some caramel. It is slightly Agricole-esque (read juice-based-like). Palate: Hmm… The rum is basically only fruity right now and comes with a mix of pears, quince, apples, gooseberries but then also vanilla and now very clearly Williams fruit schnapps. In a sense this would actually be the Williams pear fruit schnapps of your choice. Not bad at all. Finish: More and more Williams, paired with vanilla pudding and spices such as vanilla or cinnamon. The nose was and still is a bit irritating but the palate, despite being absolutely straight forward and not too interesting is really nice. Just not what you’d expect. (78/100)