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Okay let’s RHUM! For the first time ever in Australia and exclusive to The Rum Tribe we are very excited to present the Saint Aubin VSOP Rum – A single estate rum, matured in ex-bourbon and cognac casks from a distillery in the sunny islands of Mauritius that has been making rum since 1819. Plus each bottle is individually numbered and to make it even more special you can pair it with the Saint Aubin 10 year old Pot Still…RHUM IT IS!

This is the very first time the Saint Aubin brand has made it to our sunny shores, and we’re proud to be able to offer the very first taste in Australia to the Rum Tribe. Saint Aubin specialises in ‘Rhum Agricole’ – or rum made from fermented sugar cane juice rather than molasses. This style of rum has been produced on the Saint Aubin estate for eight generations – since 1819.

In an almost unprecedented development, we’ve actually had an international shipment arrive in time for the actual month we planned it for and what a shipment it is! Direct from the island paradise of Mauritius, we have a simply fantastic ‘double header’ for February. Our Rum of the Month is the Saint Aubin VSOP Rum and our ‘Members Extra’ is the Saint Aubin 10 year old Pot Still.

Saint Aubin VSOP Rum

This month offers us a fantastic opportunity to explore two rums from the same distillery, but produced from differing style stills.  The Saint Aubin VSOP rum is a column distilled spirit, the 10 year old a pot distilled rum. Both stills are 100% copper and the fermentation recipe for the wash is the same. I guess our hope is to demonstrate the viscous oiliness of the pot-still as compared to the crisp-cleanliness of the column distilled VSOP expression. 

Saint Aubin estate, located in the south of Mauritius in the Savanne district, has been ‘under cane’ (cultivating sugar) since 1819.   The distillery has been in production on the estate since 2003 and it’s no wonder they specialise in Agricole style rum. For a start Agricole can only be made very close to where the sugar is crushed, due to the quick-to-spoil nature of the main ingredient – sugar cane juice. Being a centuries old sugar producer, they obviously have easy access to cane. Also Mauritius is the next Island (archipelago, technically – it’s made up of 30 islands) to Reunion – one of the spiritual homes of Rhum Agricole!

VSOP stands for “Very Special Old Pale” rum. This category refers to rum that has been aged in barrels for at least 4 years. The Saint Aubin VSOP rum is a column distilled rum made from the fermentation of sugar cane juice rather than molasses. Unlike most modern column stills, the Saint Aubin column still is made from copper rather than stainless steel.   It is then aged for 4 years in bourbon and cognac barrels. The result is a light spirit (typical of column distillation) with a complex flavour profile stemming from the barrels it has been tropically aged in.

Saint Aubin VSOP Rum

Saint Aubin VSOP Rum Tasting Notes:

Nose: Light floral notes surround a core of vanilla, cherry and mashed banana with just the slightest hint of tropical funk.

Palate: Delicate, light mouthfeel, slightly dry with a peppery edge. Those fruits are still there along with fresh cut grass and a healthy dose of vanilla.

Finish:  The fruity notes persist along with the pepper, but a pleasant leathery note emerges towards the end.

This is a light and clean tasting rum. Not overly sweet at all. Whilst there is plenty of flavour, there is a lack of oiliness, almost a dry palate, thanks to that column distillation.  Crisp, fresh and lively. If there is such a thing as a ‘cleansing rum’ – this is it!

  • PRICE : $149

  • ABV : 42%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Mauritius

  • NO Added Sugar/ NO Added Colour / Non-Chill Filtered

Saint Aubin VSOP Rum

FROM SAINT AUBIN

In Mauritius, the Saint Aubin distillery has been smoking since … 1819! This venerable institution now belongs to a large agro-industrial group that has diversified into, among other things, ecological tourism and tea cultivation. 

In this vast area of ​​750 hectares, cane is cultivated with which we will produce tasty rums signed Saint Aubin.  Just like, for example, this very old Saint Aubin VSOP rum.

The result of column distillation of pure cane juice, it has aged for 4 years in Bourbon and Cognac barrels, which gives it it’s aromatic profile.  It exudes delicious scents of candied fruit that are sure to arouse your curiosity, or rather your lust!  No need to buy a ticket for a flight to Mauritius, we take care of bringing this very old Mauritian rum to you!

ABOUT RHUMERIE DE SAINT AUBIN

Located along the undulating slopes of southern Mauritius, the fields of Saint Aubin have been under sugar cane cultivation since 1819. Bountiful rainfall (a product of the island’s microclimate), along with copious tropical sunshine provide the Saint Aubin Estate sugar plantations with the perfect conditions for sugar production. The rich volcanic soil, which the estate lies on, is the 3rd point of the trinity of sugar production. The on-site production of such high-grade cane and subsequent cane juice ensures the very best and freshest ingredients go into making this Rhum Agricole. Knowledge and traditions passed down through 8 generations of family ownership add the rest.

The Saint Aubin estate was established in 1819 (which the company logo pays homage to). It wasn’t long before rum distilling was being carried out on the estate as well. The family has now been distilling for the local market for eight generations. This culminated in 2003 with the building of the ‘Rhummarie De Saint Aubin’ and the emergence of the Saint Aubin brand into the global market since then. 

The Saint Aubin distillery utilises both column, and pot still distillation. Unusually though, all the stills at Saint Aubin are fully copper. Unusual in that most column stills are stainless steel – especially in the modern rum industry.

The distillery is just one aspect of the Saint Aubin Estate. It is nowadays a multi-faceted business that has expanded and diversified from its sugar-based roots. Now incorporating eco-tourism, tea production, other local products as well as the rum, Saint Aubin Estate is a big player in the Mauritian economy. 

In the spirit of kicking off the new year in a BIG way – we’re leading 2022 with a brand-new Dead Reckoning release the Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope. A distinct blend of 5 world class rums from Australia, Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana and Barbados…this Navy Strength (55% ABV) is a smooth flavour explosion typical of Dead Reckoning and The Rum Tribe gets the first taste!

This is the 3rd Dead Reckoning Rum release (following The Sextant and Mutiny ‘South Pacific’) and they have all been HUGE hits with the Tribe. All different but all exceptional and the Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope is great, complex and well balanced combination of flavours and a homage to ‘Navy Rum’.

The Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope pays homage to ‘Navy Rum’ with a blend of four-year-old pot still Rum from Australia (in fact Australia’s oldest distillery), 3–5-year-old column still rum from Trinidad, three-year-old pot still rum from Jamaica, 2–5-year-old pot and column still Rum from Guyana plus to round it off three-year-old pot and column still Rum from Barbados (Foursquare).

True to Justin’s ethos of adding nothing to the rum (until it’s poured in a glass that is – then all bets are off!) – the Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope is made entirely without any colouring or added sugar or flavours.

Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope

This release is very personal to its creator – Independent bottler, Justin Boseley. Not only is the Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope an ode to traditional Navy Rum – it also pays tribute to a Royal Navy ship with an impeccable WW2 record, and is dedicated to one of the sailors who served aboard her – Justin’s Grandad, Sidney Boseley – This rum is dedicated to Sid.

‘Navy Rum’ is what the Royal Navy (interestingly, the RAN never served a rum ration to its sailors) served as part of the revered ‘Rum Ration’ or ‘Tot’ to their sailors. Starting as early as 1655, the RN’s daily ‘tot’ began as beer or wine, but gradually it changed to rum. By 1790, the ‘rum tot’ was standardised over the whole of the RN.  Of course, it was cut with water and lime juice (to combat scurvy) – and the rum itself was no stranger to colouring (ie caramel) and sugar (however no such additives in any Dead Reckoning release). ‘Navy Rum’ was blended from rums from around the world (obviously mainly British colonies). 

To be considered a ‘Navy Rum’, its minimum strength must be 54.5% ABV or higher. It is widely considered that a ‘true’ Navy Rum should contain aged rums from at least two or more of the following colonies: Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad.

There was never an official Navy rum recipe. Whilst there was almost certainly a flavour profile it changed over many decades. Through out time Rum from Caroni in Trinidad, Martinique, Cuba, Australia, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Kitts and Nevis and the Virgin Islands has been used. 

Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope

Dead Reckoning HMS Antelope Tasting Notes:

Nose: Banana-ey funk at first but then it’s more a banana custard with subsequent sniffs which shares the spotlight with sultana aromas. A tropical fruit presence is there also- with fresh fruit notes and floral hints.

Palate: Thick and rich and oh so creamy. Real Christmas pud spices and a bug dollop of home-made custard in this one but those tropical vibes from the nose don’t give up either! So much delightful fruity sweetness! There is a slight funkiness in the mouth, but very mild – and acts to tie in the rest of the flavours rather than sitting apart and dominating them.

Finish: Lovely and long and with a jumble of fruitiness, more cakey spices and a nice touch of mild pepper creeps around it as it fades.

Look, I won’t be mixing this one (much). It’s just so good on it’s own in this swabbee’s humble opinion. Just a great, complex and well-balanced combination of flavours that swirl around each other without any one of them taking control or dominating. So easy to sip, so little alcohol burn, so … well so bloody good! Now I’m going to stick my neck right out on this one – it’s also fantastic in a ‘Moreton Bay Mud’ – Ice, milk, rum.  Simples. Best drunk in an enamel cup at low tide on a sand bar at dawn with a bacon and egg sanga! Optional garnish – esky full of fish on ice from the overnight session in the boat.

  • PRICE : $149

  • ABV : 55%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia, Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana and Barbados

  • NO Added Sugar/ Non-Chill Filtered

FROM DEAD RECKONING

I felt a tribute to not only my grandpa but all those sailors that served in WW2 was needed in the rum world. Stories of my pops days at battle and his daily TOT were a mainstay in my child hood, whilst playing darts and snooker at the local RSL.

This rum blend came from the heart, I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did creating it, To Sid  !

Tasting notes courtesy of Cody Banks from Hains & Co bar in Adelaide.

The HMS Antelope immediately jumps out the glass with a mix of sweet, rich plums and dark cherries. Sweetness turns slightly spicy with a whack of soft liquorice anise and gentle ginger. This rests on a subtle honeycomb backing that is neither too sweet or cloying, simply adding structure to an already interesting nose. 

The nose is thick and cakey, as the ABV starts to show itself so too does the tropical fruit funk of the Jamaican start open up. Pineapple skin, papaya and green apple skin present as much fresher tropical notes than the more usual over fermented stew of pineapple, mango & bananas many straight Jamaican rums have. 

Thick and viscous on the palate, it retains a great amount of fresh tropical fruit, stone fruit also presents itself via apricots and orange melons, intertwined with dark berries and plums. 

As the palate evolves, so too does the fruit, turning darker and spicier as it lingers longer. This is certainly reminiscent of great navy rums of old, as it descends into true dark molasses, pimento, ginger and anise. 

A long finish of blackcurrants and spices, I would recommend drinking this at its bottled 55%, water doesn’t do this true navy rum justice.

THE STORY OF SID AND THE HMS ANTELOPE

The Sailor 

Sidney Boseley was born and raised in Kent, England_. Like tens of thousands before him, When the call for arms was put out to serve King and country, Sid enlisted in the Royal Navy . Sid served on the British destroyer HMS antelope between the years of 1939 to 1945. 

The Ship 

HMS antelope was an A class destroyer ,323 feet long with the top speed of 35 kn ,displacement 1773 tons, Her armaments consisted of 4 x 120 mm guns, 2 x 40 mm anti aircraft guns , 2 x quadruple 21 inch torpedo tubes & six Depth charge chutes

WW2

On the outbreak of the Second World War the destroyer HMS antelope was assigned to the 18th destroyer Flotilla, channel force, based in Portsmouth. For the rest of 1939 and early months of 1940, antelope carried out patrol and convoy escort duties in the English Channel and western approaches. On on 5 February 1940, antelope was the sole escort of the outbound Atlantic convoy 08 84 south of Ireland when the German submarine U– 41 attacked the convoy, sinking the freighter Beaverburn and damaging the tanker Ceronia. 

Antelope retaliated, by depth charging and sinking the U boat. It was the only you boat at sea at the time in the area and was the first U boat in history to be sunk underwater by a single destroyer. 

Norway 

In April 1940 antelope was attached to the home fleet for operations as part of the Norwegian campaign. Antelope after operations in Scapa flow collided with the destroyer Electra. Antelope then returned to the UK for repair. 

Atlantic Operations

August 1940 antelope sailed in a convoy to take part in operation Minus the attack on Dakar west Africa. During the convoy antelope encountered the German U-boat U-31 of North West Ireland. Depth charges from the antelope drove U-31 to the surface where her crew abandoned ship. Antelope attempted to board U-31, but collided with the unmanned submarine damaging the destroyer and sinking the boat. Antelope rescued 44 of the German U-boats crew and returned them to the United Kingdom. 

And August 1941 antelope to park in operation Gauntlet ,antelope formed part of the escort for the Arctic convoy to the Soviet Union.

Antelope formed part of the destroyer escort for the battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales in the chase for the German battleship Bismarck. Separated from the battleships during the battle of the Denmark straight antelope then searched for survivors from the sinking of the Hood of which only three people survived. 

Malta 

Antelope sailed to Gibraltar in 1942 escorting US aircraft carriers in an attempt to deliver badly needed 62 spitfire aircraft to Malta. During this convoy they were under constant attacked from German U boats and the German Luftwaffe. 

Antelope took part in another 5 escorts delivering an additional 55 more spitfires and much needed military supplies to Malta in May. 

Antelope was then based off west Africa, antelope escorted troop convoys taking part in operation Torch, the Allied invasion of West Africa.

In July 1943 antelope took part in operation Husky the Allied invasion of Sicily .

On June 5 and six 1944 ,the antelope took part in D- Day.