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Well it’s been a long time in the making, but we’ve finally done it! A RUM TRIBE EXCLUSIVE collaboration with those South Aussie soulsters of sublimation, the Adelaide angels of extraction, prehensile purveyors of PURE SINGLE RUM…has finally come of age!

Our own Mad Monkey Barossa cask is here… and it’s a BEAUT!

The Mad Monkey EX-Barossa Cask is made from NSW Northern Rivers molasses (from the Condong, Broadwater, and Harwood Sugar Mills) fermented using a mix of wild and commercial ale yeast. Double distilled in ‘Albert’ – Mad Monkeys Pot Still. Set down to age in American oak, ex-Barossa wine cask for 3 years and one month and finally bottled for the Rum Tribe at 43%abv.

Now we’ve featured Mad Monkey before – but never one of their aged rums. Their ‘Baked Apple’ is a big favourite of the Rum Tribe cocktail crowd but we’re stoked to finally be able to present a pure single rum from these awesome guys.

Now, this may only be Mad Monkey’s 4th aged rum release – but don’t let that fool you. These guys were running a full FIVE years before they released their first aged rum. They didn’t rush to market with a hurried 2yo, but rather perfected their fermentation and distillation before committing to the barrel.

Mad Monkey aren’t afraid to experiment with their rums. They use a mixture of wild yeast form their own ‘dunder and muck’ and commercial ale yeast in their Adelaide distillery. Interestingly, they are also presently experimenting with using bees as a way to collect wild yeasts from their local area.

The Ron Cubaney 15 year old Gran Reserva is possibly the hardest to find of all the Ron Cubaney Rums.

Our Tasting Notes:

Unfortunately, yours truly has come down with the dreaded ‘Rona during writing this and I have completely lost all sense of taste and smell. Luckily, Kirk Pinner from Island Coast Rum has been visiting Brisvegas and has kindly taken on the role of ‘guest rummer’ for the month.

Nose: With spiced cloves, all spice, sultanas, light golden syrup and fruit cake with a touch of sweet soft banana goes nicely with the golden appearance.

Palate: Easy to sip at 43% ABV and cools nicely with an ice cube on a warm evening. A balanced combination of burnt orange, sultanas and sugary spice.

Finish: A hint of aniseed, cloves, light and sweet brown sugar, and gentle bitterness with all spice coming through.

  • PRICE : $135

  • ABV : 43%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (SA)

  • No Added Sugar / No Added Colour

FROM MAD MONKEY

Embark on an extraordinary journey with this batch release exclusive for our esteemed mates at the “Rum Tribe.”

Aged for 3 years and 1 month in Ex Barossa Valley Red Wine Casks, this exquisite spirit embodies unparalleled craftsmanship. Crafted with a blend of wild and ale yeast, it offers a sensory exploration like no other.

Delight in the tantalizing aroma of orange, dates, and minerals, paving the way for a palate of phenolic richness, tobacco undertones, and the sweetness of dried apricots. Its soft, oily texture unfolds into a spicy finish, leaving a lingering warmth.

Double Pot Distilled and matured in an American Oak barrel & seasoned with Barossa Valley Red Wine, this non-chill filtered creation is a testament to purity. With zero additives, save for reverse osmosis water to achieve perfection, each 700ml bottle at 43%abv reflects the epitome of indulgence, beckoning to be savoured neat, over ice, or any preferred manner.

Tasting notes.

Nose: Orange, Dates and minerals

Palate:  Phenolic, Tobacco, Dried Apricots

Mouthfeel:  Soft oily open and spicy finish.

Method: Double Pot Distilled

Yeast: Muck & Ale yeast

Maturation: 3yrs 1 mth

Barrel: American Oak & Barossa Valley Red wine

Zero additives except reverse osmosis water to break back to bottle strength. Non chill filtered. Designed to be sipped neat, over ice or however you damn please.

ABOUT MAD MONKEY

Way back in 2018, long before global pandemics and capacity restrictions were a thing, two monkeys were stumbling along their own crooked paths, dwelling on their dreams of bringing a slice of the Caribbean to little old South Australia.

Through sheer serendipity, the two monkeys’ paths crossed deep in the Barossa Valley, at an annual Australian Distiller’s Conference. After bonding over their shared ideals, and comparing their varied skill sets (and with the aid of some of Australia’s finest spirits) two Caribbean fever dreams began to manifest themselves as one…

5 years later, we present to you Mad Monkey – South Australia’s first dedicated rum distillery, nestled deep in the heart of Dudley Park. Using a mix of open fermentations, specialty yeasts and a little black magic, we aim to introduce our world to yours.

This month it is all about the Hellfire! Hellfire Bluff Distillery is a Tasmanian family-run farm-to-bottle producer recognised internationally for their own-grown potato vodka. In the last few years, they have been branching out and we’re stoked to be featuring their fourth Rum release bottled EXCLUSIVELY for the Tribe – The Hellfire Bluff Hellfire Rum RT01.  

Hellfire Rum RT01 is a molasses-based rum, with the base product trucked down from sunny QLD to the Apple Isle (Tassie grows a lot of great produce, but sugar cane just ain’t one of ‘em!). The water used in the ferment is the purest rainwater in the world ‘flown in’ straight from Antarctica and the Southern Pacific Ocean! It’s a column-distilled rum, coming out of spirit run at around 85%abv. Cool-Climate, sea side matured for 3 years in 100l ex-Apera and ex-Makers Mark Bourbon casks right on the SE corner of Tasmania. Bottled exclusively for the Rum Tribe at 43% (cut with that sweet, pure Tassie rainwater!).

Because it’s such a fantastic story, with such a fantastic end-product, we’re going to offer members a chance to taste their world renowned Vodka as well (the spirit that started it all for them). Why is it special you may ask? Well it’s one of only TWO distilleries in the Southern Hemisphere making vodka with potatoes, and one of a handful in the world.

Hellfire Rum

Tasmania isn’t the first place you think of when you think of rum – but it does make sense that some distilleries in the Apple Isle are starting to turn their attention to rum making. In the same way the Tasmanian climate emulates Scotland for ageing whisky (inspiring the ‘rebirth’ of the Australian whisky industry in the ‘90’s), a vast amount of rum is cold-aged in massive warehouses in Europe – which, obviously, Tasmanian climate can resemble too! We’re truly blessed with so many different aging climates enabling our country to turn out so many different and interesting rums!

Now whilst Tassie is probably best known for it’s whisky production, there is a growing stable of distillers down there who have turned their attention to other spirits – including rum. We’ve already tried (and loved… we sold out!) the Island Coast Rum from Tassie – and this month it’s Hellfire Bluff Distillery’s turn to slake the Rum Tribe’s thirst with their wonderful Hellfire Rum.

Hellfire Bluff distillery didn’t set out to make rum when it was first built back in 2015. In fact, it was built by the Daly family in order to diversify their potato farm business by using the 20% of potatoes that are rejected for sale simply because they ‘look funny’ (and subsequently passed off as cow fodder). They have set up one of the only 2 distilleries in the southern hemisphere making potato vodka. 

In 2020 when a certain virus shut down everything – the Daly’s used it as a chance to further diversify. Whilst a lot of distilleries went in the direction of producing alcohol for hand sanitizer – Hellfire decided to go with rum! Why rum? Well firstly the Daly family loves rum and secondly, at the time there was no one making rum in Tassie. It seemed like a no-brainer.

And last but certainly not least – these are not the standard 500ml Hellfire bottles- but just for the Rum Tribe, Hellfire have bottled for us in 700ml bottles. And in doing so we’ve completely cleaned them out of rum until at least after March!  The Rum Tribe is THIRSTY!

Hellfire Rum
Not just any vodka, only 1 of 2 Vodka’s made from potatoes in the Southern Hemisphere and one of a handful in the world.

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: A very ‘brown’ nose – not very fruity, but more chocolate, espresso coffee and salted caramel with dusty oak notes sprinkled liberally there. There’s definitely a sweet and salty seaside influence here.

Palate: Nice and easy on the sip with that 43% abv very well integrated. Dried fruit jumps out on the palate much more so than is noticeable in the nose. Sultanas, raisins and mixed peel, as well as a nice nutty-nougat note – all drizzled with vanillary custard

Finish:  Sweet espresso coffee with crisp dark chocolate takes a tumble with some salted-caramel, cola notes and just the merest hint of pepper at the back of the palate as it fades.

A seriously easy drinking – yet very interesting and complex rum that will be just as loved by those new to good rum as the ‘old hands’. It’s not a funk-forward rum, there’s way more nuts and dark coffee than there is funky over-ripe fruit. It’s all about those ‘bitter-sweet’ notes to me – the dark chocolate, espresso coffee and nuts – all with a very subtle salty backdrop that can only be attributed to the seaside aging. Lovely!

  • PRICE : $119

  • ABV : 43%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (TAS)

  • No Added Sugar / No Added Colour

Hellfire Rum

FROM HELLFIRE BLUFF DISTILLERY

Hey Rum Tribe!

We are so excited that our little potato farm distillery has been chosen for this month’s release. The Hellfire team has great passion for our small batch rum releases, and we think Rum Tribe has our best release yet!

Fermented, distilled, matured and bottled on site at our distillery on the rugged and remote southeast coast of Tasmania. This special release was barrel aged for 3 years, starting maturation in a Bourbon cask and finishing in an Apera cask.

First impressions on the nose are charred oak & tobacco, with dessert-like sweetness of raisin & custard.

A golden palate reveals walnuts balanced with a praline sweetness, rounded out with a hint of bourbon.

The finish is subtle yet long, with light cedar and a gradual reveal of pecan nougat.

Our cellar door is always open on the southeast coast of Tasmania, We hope you can come say hello to us one day soon!

Thanks – Ruby & The Hellfire Team

ABOUT HELLFIRE BLUFF DISTILLERY

Perched above the rugged expanse of Hellfire Bluff on Tasmania’s southeastern coast lies Daly Farm, the birthplace of Hellfire Bluff Distillery. More than 30 years ago, the Daly family hand-planted their inaugural potato crop, a humble beginning that now sees them supplying potatoes to retailers across Tasmania. Unconventional as far as distillery origins go, their journey unfolded as they pursued a dream of crafting distinctive spirits and adding value to the potatoes cultivated on their farm.

The distillery’s inception marked the introduction of their premium Potato Vodka, a traditional-style spirit that stands out as one of the few in Australia crafted from potatoes. This unique creation earned them the title of Best Australian Varietal Vodka at the 2022 World Vodka Awards.

Fueling their passion for crafting top-tier spirits, Hellfire Bluff Distillery expanded its repertoire to include small-batch Tasmanian Gins, highly coveted Liqueurs, Ready-to-Drink offerings, and cool-climate Tasmanian Rum. Emphasizing quality ingredients, the entire product line utilizes pristine local Tasmanian rainwater harvested on the farm. Along their journey, Hellfire has garnered acclaim at esteemed national and global competitions, amassing over 40 medals, 17 of which are gold. Notably, their Summer Floral Gin secured the title of Australia’s Best Contemporary Gin at the 2021 World Gin Awards.

Well welcome to 2024! Happy New Year Tribe and we are off and racing with a huge EXCLUSIVE AUSTRALIAN RELEASE to bring in the new year! The Dead Reckoning South Pacific

A ten-year-old, muscat cask, 100% tropically aged, single blended rum from the legendary South Pacific Distillery in Fiji…bring on the Dead Reckoning South Pacific!

The Dead Reckoning South Pacific – is a bit of a dichotomy.  The first impression is of one of a HUGE rum that absolutely CHARGES out of the bottle and rams into your olfactory system as you open it for the first time. It’s just such a, well, BIG smell it’s almost a little disconcerting imagining how it’s going to hit the palate…and yet when you do take your first sip, what strikes you is just how immensely well behaved this Fabulous Fijian is!      

Dead Reckoning South Pacific

Sometimes a rum has a story that defies belief. Sometimes a rum is ‘just right’ when an indy bottler finds it. Sometimes it needs nothing more – just a qualified eye in the right place at the right time… and a little bit of luck of course. This is the story of such a rum. Distilled in 1994 at South Pacific Distillery – a blend of both [‘double thumper’] pot and column still rum. It was tropically aged in Fiji in Australian Muscat Casks (from Charles Sturt Winery in Wagga Wagga to be precise!) for 10 years. In 2004, these casks were married into a single stainless steel tank. The tank was then shipped to an Amsterdam rum warehouse where it was promptly forgotten about. 

Forgotten about, that is, until in 2022 (a full 18 years later!) when a certain Justin Boseley was snooping around the dusty back corners of said warehouse sniffing out unusual rums (he’s like a bloody truffle-pig in a bond-store, people!). I like to imagine he climbed over a few racks of barrels, before pulling back a dusty tarp to reveal this mysterious stainless vessel. I also like to imagine the smile that formed when he cracked the lid and first smelled the precious cargo it held.

Normally, at this point Justin would put the tank on a boat, sail it to Adelaide where he would finish it in a cask or casks he felt would improve the flavour in the dry Adelaide heat. For example, last time we offered a South Pacific Distillery Dead Reckoning (the 21 year old Mutiny South Pacific, back in 2021) Justin had finished it in Cream Apera Casks in Adelaide for 12 months.  This time though – for the first time – Justin had found a rum that was absolutely ready to rock and roll just as it was. So he bottled it onsite in Amsterdam and then sent it to Europe and the USA as part of his first onslaught into these huge markets.

Now we’re big fans and good friends of the Dead Reckoning brand – and it’s this ongoing friendship that has allowed us to received an allocation of an otherwise Europe-USA only release (there is only 1240 bottles worldwide). For the Dead Reckoning collectors – note the foil-sealed cork on this rather than the wax seal screw-top used on the Australian-bottled releases!

Dead Reckoning South Pacific
The only rum EVER to come out of NSW powerhouse distillery Corowa!

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: So much going on here – and every time you go back you get something new! Gingerbread a-plenty at first, but then sultanas, bananas and pawpaw – all mashed up rather than funkily over-ripe. There’s candied peel there too… and cloves… and biscuit spices… and then…

Palate: Lovely sweet and lusciously tropical. Just the merest smidge of heat at first but the succulent sweetness quickly extinguishes any fire. Huge, voluptuous and syrupy fruit notes coat the palate like render as vanilla-ey custard notes dollop on for the ride.      

Finish: The finish backs up the nose and palate admirably – there’s no disappointing ‘fizzle out’ on this back end. Thunderous barrels of chewy dried dates, liquorice, black coffee and toffee roll on and on, bumping over funky fruit notes and more of that [delicious IMHOP] ginger nut bickie spice. Flavour-wise this is a mammoth rum – so much to be lip-smacked and tooth-sucked out of this offering from Dead Reckoning. It’s truly a gentle giant though – it gives a warm yet considerate hug, it’s affable and it’s easily approachable by both rum newbie AND total-rum-geek.

Seriously – I feel a bit of cheat with these tasting notes. There are new flavours to be found pretty much every sip – let alone if you leave it and come back 10 minutes later – LET ALONE TOMORROW!!  Whilst you could mix this with a ginger beer or ginger ale quite easily – frankly, it’s just waaay to good to adulterate with anything other than some ice (it’s bloody hot this time of year, after all!).

  • PRICE : $129

  • ABV : 47%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Fiji

  • No Added Sugar / No Added Colour

Dead Reckoning South Pacific

FROM DEAD RECKONING

After sampling this rum that was purely aged in the Sth Pacific I knew I had to have it . Initially destined for release in Europe & the US, it was decided the Rum Tribe had to have a slice of the pie as well . 

I first bottled this in Amsterdam, then shipped it back to Australia. It’s time spent in a Muscat cask rounds off this once untamed rum perfectly. It still has hints of the rawness that’s always attracted me to South Pacific rum, but its 10 years in a Muscat cask had added layers of flavour profile & a subtle dipping experience. First distilled in 1994, barrel aged 10years in Fiji, then 18 additional years in a stainless steel holding tank have married the flavour chain together perfectly. 

Nosed it has a herbal quality, similar to St Lucian rum. Pine Cones, some Pot Pourri and a touch of eucalyptus. Further nosing reveals some molasses, toffee and sweet vanilla. Time in the glass gives more time for the aromas to reveal themselves. Slightly menthol notes appear alongside some light tar and cigarette smoke.

It’s a complex nose. It’s a rum which is really worth sitting with and nosing. You will get a lot out of it this way and it will also improve your sipping experience. It is both light and soft, yet quite menacing at the same time.

On the sip it is quite spicy with a fair amount of barrel influence. It’s oaky but the spice from the oak isn’t overly woody. You get a good hit of sweet vanilla. The herbal nature of the rum comes out more with each sip – the pine cones and eucalyptus that was on the nose is very evident. I’m also getting a carbolic/soapy element.

On the mid palate the rum evolves further. A sooty/tarriness comes through. I think if you experienced a Fijian rum – for the first time you could well think it was a blend. It has elements of St Lucian rum, heavy Caroni and most definitely funky Jamaican notes.

The initial sip and mid palate carry a fruitiness as well, which works nicely with the more herbal notes. It keeps the more aggressive elements of this rum at bay. It keeps the balance nicely.

ABOUT DEAD RECKONING

Justin, has immersed himself in rum for the past 20 years; a journey starting as a deck scrubbing lad with a thirst for Rum and adventure culminated in him becoming a Chief Officer; driving billionaire’s mega yachts around the world. This life of salty seadog adventure took him to Rum’s heartland, the Caribbean islands for 6 months a year, every year.

When he wasn’t at the helm of a yacht he could be found hanging off a bar or at a distillery sampling the best the Caribbean rum scene had to offer. Upon ending his days at sea there was only one thing he knew better that navigating around the world’s oceans- that was Rum. For 10 years Justin has scoured the globe discovering & importing the world’s best rums into Australia.

Dead Reckoning is Australia’s first independent rum bottler. We know there’s more in the works from Dead Reckoning and we can’t wait to try more and more of these fabulous independent bottling from a true rum legend.

ABOUT SOUTH PACIFIC DISTILLING

The South Pacific Distillery is known as the quite achiever, often producing rums under a cloak of secrecy, supplying independent bottlers with mind blowing rums. Their distillery is named ‘South Pacific Distillery’ and they use column stills and a John Dore pot still / double retort (double thumper) configuration. This still configuration is much better explained by others than myself. And HERE is a very good explanation of the ‘double thumper’.

Other very well-known rum distilleries such as St Lucia distillers, Foursquare, Hampden & Worthy Park use the same or a very similar system.

A closed fermentation process using molasses (closed so that birds don’t fall into the ferment) for 70 to 100 hours produces what can only be described as an element of funk. Dunder is not used; controlled yeast is the activator in their ferment.

High Grade Sugar cane and subsequently molasses is in no shortage on the islands of the South pacific, ideal for quality rum production.

After the ferment is run through the still the “rum” is normally stored in Ex Bourbon barrels in its high temp and humidity environment. The colour of this rum is evident that its “tropical ageing” is a rewarding and tumultuous partner, providing a full bodied and funky rum.