New South Wales Has Several Distilleries Producing World-Class Rums
But there’s another area that is ideally suited for the rum-loving lifestyle and now it’s becoming quite the rum-producing country.
It is Australia, and while its Queensland Bundaberg Rum has been known around the world for years, another part of the country would like to let people know it’s a hotspot for this spirit made from sugarcane molasses or sugarcane.
It’s the territory of New South Wales, which includes Byron Bay and Sydney. This area has several small-batch rum distilleries. Here’s a rundown of just a few of them:
Brix Distillers, Surry Hills
In 2017, the team at Brix Distillers challenged themselves to create a unique Aussie rum. And it seems the challenge went global – their rums have picked up some prestigious gongs, including Gold at the 2020 World Rum Awards. Their Brix Trail Mix Rum is really something special – a native-infused drop made with delicious native ingredients like cinnamon myrtle, smoked paperbark, macadamia, bush currant, aniseed myrtle and wattle seed. When it’s back to business as usual, you’ll need to book in early for one of their famous rum spicing masterclasses. And don’t forget to factor in a visit to Brix Bar and Kitchen.
Husk Distillery, North Tumbulgum
As the only paddock to bottle rum distillery in Australia, Husk Distillery grows 100% of the sugar cane they use – in fact, it grows only a few hundred metres from their mini sugar mill and distillery in the Tweed Valley. Husk Distillery is renowned for their finest quality Agricole, or cane spirit, but a must try is their Husk Spiced Bam Bam rum, infused with wattle seed, native ginger, cinnamon and orange peel plus a dash of sea salt. Start dreaming about a long weekend break including a Cellar Door tour, Tweed River cruise, local cheese tastings and sunflower picking.
Stone Pine Distillery – Bathurst
Stone Pine Distillery is situated on the gorgeous historic homestead of ‘Merembra’ in historical Bathurst, which was once a pub and dates back to the 1840s. These days Stone Pine makes Australia’s first locally produced and locally owned black spiced rum – the Dead Man’s Drop, which has been spiced with Australian native flavours of ringwood and cinnamon myrtle. Owners, Bev and Ian Glen, try hard to reduce their environmental impact and utilise solar power and harvested rainwater in the distilling process.
Riverbourne Distillery, Jingera
Founded in 2015, Riverbourne Distillery is a boutique distillery in the Snowy Mountains region, an area that has a fascinating bushranger history, with the Jingera mob active in the mid 1860s. Riverbourne’s head distiller Martin runs a one-man show here, mashing, fermenting, distilling and ageing his range of boutique whiskies and the small batch Riverbourne Rum, with the utmost attention to detail. A visit is by appointment only, so keep in mind when you’re next travelling through the Snowies.
Black Gate Distillery, Mendooran
Situated in Mendooran, 45 mins from Dubbo in Central West NSW, Black Gate Distillery proudly calls itself the first hot climate distillery in NSW. Black Gate produces both Single Malt Whisky and Dark Rum, which are brewed and distilled on site including their delicious Overproof Dark Rum. The team here offer a unique experience with tastings of Dark Rum and Single Malt Whisky at their small licensed bar specialising in craft beer, cider and malt whisky. Open by appointment – call ahead to confirm.
Winding Road Distillery, Tintenbar
In the Northern Rivers region of NSW, between Ballina and Byron Bay, Winding Road Distillery is all about cane spirit. Their Agricole Blanc Virgin Cane Spirit is hand-crafted using first-press juice from locally grown and harvested sugar cane that the owners Camille and Mark collect themselves. And they’re getting noticed — their Agricole and their Citrus and Sea Gin were awarded medals at the American Distilling Institutes Craft Spirits Awards this year. Join their prestigious Distiller’s Circle for special access to their spirits, products and events, plus an invite to see the distillery in action.
Lord Byron Distillery, Byron Bay
Owners Brian and Helen started Lord Byron Distillery so they could make artisanal spirits from ingredients sourced from their own family farm and local growers in the gorgeous Byron region. This carbon neutral, zero waste distillery has a great cellar door, so you can sample their wares, and while they await their own aged rums to mature, you can buy their Silver and Silver OP Rhums in small quantities. Plan a visit to include the distillery’s tours and tasting flights, which run Tuesday to Saturday, midday to 5pm. Or book ahead for one of their cocktail masterclasses.
Golden Lion Distillery, Corowa
Established in 2017 Golden Lion Distillery makes what is known as a Rhum Batterie, which uses concentrated sugar cane juice as a syrup, which ferments and can be distilled. Their Barrel Aged Federation Rum is rested in American and French oak for at least two years to add depth and character. If you’re planning a trip here, Corowa is full of history, outdoor adventure and epicurean delights. Situated on the banks of the mighty Murray River, there are plenty of vineyards in the area, too. All their delicious drops are available to purchase online, and Golden Lion also has a stall at Albury Farmers’ Market and other markets in the region.
Maria River Distillery, Crescent Head
Situated on the Maria River on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW, this little family farm is now a thriving boutique small batch distillery. Their Munday’s Rum is a pure single rum, double distilled and aged in French Oak. Visits to the distillery are by appointment – so add one to the itinerary as you plan your trip to the Crescent Head area. This easy-going seaside town, famous for its surf break, is 4h 45min drive north of Sydney and less than six hours south of Brisbane. Beautiful beaches, bushwalking, camping and whale watching… and a spot of rum. The perfect getaway.
For more, go to the area’s official tourism site, visitnsw.com.