Four words to excite any rum lover – ‘Tin Shed Distilling Requiem’! 

A FIRST RELEASE Aussie Rum from one of Australia’s finest distillers! This is truly the thinking man’s ‘Big Aussie Rum’. If you like your rums to have character and flavour, without what is often referred to as a high ester flavour profile, then the Requiem Admella from Tin Shed Distilling is the rum for you.

The Requiem Admella is made from molasses wash, twice-distilled in Tin Shed’s copper pot stills before being aged for 5 years in an ex-Shiraz Whisky cask, then finished in a reworked, re-charred ex-port cask and bottled at an easy drinking 44% ABV. The result is a big, ‘traditional’ Aussie rum full of cola, caramel, cloves and aniseed. It’s big and blustery, round and robust  – but also gentle and well balanced – and all without the big ABV usually associated with this sort of mouthfeel. Nothing challenging or alien here – but flavour for miles.

Tin Shed Distilling has been producing incredible pot stilled spirits since 2010. The Rum Tribe raved about the Requiem SS Songvaar that we released to the Tribe in 2021. Vic and Ian (the blokes behind the name) have been distilling for even longer than that. They are no strangers to medals and awards – and are so prolific I wonder if the move to the new digs isn’t just an excuse to build a bigger ‘pool room’ to fit them all.

They have always prided themselves as being completely hands-on artisanal pot-distillers (rum, whisky and vodka) and this will continue in the new location. It’s just going to be a whole lot more pleasant for us – the public – to sit and enjoy the fruits of their labour where it’s made, at the new place.

By definition a Requiem is a final mass, a prayer for the dead, a final tribute. Each expression of Requiem is a tribute to a ship, wrecked or lost at sea and to the seafarers who sailed in those ships.

The Admella was an Iron-hulled, single propped trader of 60m length and a displacement of 395 tons, built in 1857. She was named from the route of her trading between Adelaide, Melbourne and Launceston (Ad-Mel-La). At approximately 5.00 am on Saturday the 6th of August the ship hit – what turned out to be – Carpenter’s Reef, whilst on its way to Melbourne.  Although less than a mile to the shore it was 6 days before the survivors were able to be rescued from the wreck. Of 107 passengers and crew, sadly, only 24 survived.  A full account of the wreck of the Admella can be found at the Campbelltown City Council website.

A LIMITED EDITION Dead Reckoning Rum celebrating the legendary ‘Operation Jaywick’ with half the proceeds going to the Commando Welfare Trust

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: Lots of big burnt caramel notes, post-mix cola syrup (if you’ve ever dropped a bag of that you’ll know), cloves and sweet banana lollies plus – yep there it is – that ‘Tin Shed Distillery new-belt leather note’.

Palate: Sweet and rich and chewy on the palate. It’s not subtle – but it’s not harsh either. It’s just… BIG.  Big, sweet, flavour but little burn. The cola syrup comes through again, but also there’s boiled ‘humbug’ lollies (aniseed), hot ginger and soothing honey here.

Finish: Wow – I get a real ‘honey jumble deconstructed’ in the finish. There’s honey, ginger, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon all swirling around a delicate dryness in the finale – from the port cask I suspect. 

This is truly the thinking man’s ‘Big Aussie Rum’. I think this really takes those quintessentially Australian rum flavours – the molasses, the cola and the leather notes, with a sweet palate and dryish finish and ads about 25PSI of turbo boost. That Tin Shed get such big and round flavour and such exquisite mouthfeel out of 44%ABV is pure alchemy. 

  • PRICE : $119

  • ABV : 44%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (SA)

  • No Added Sugar / No Added Colour


If you like your rums to have some character and flavour, without what is often referred to as a high ester flavour profile, then Admella is the rum for you.  Lots of Dutch liquorice and molasses notes, even cola, but only the merest hint of funk and even then you have to hunt it down. Admella is a rum for those with a palate that is discerning, and always wanting more.  If this rum were a car, it would be an open top sports car rather than a limousine, with a turbo charged V8 under the hood!

Dutch liquorice, Cola nuts, Molasses, Treacle, Marzipan, Glacé cherry, Salty finish with salted caramel

Wanting more…Heavy sipping rum, yum


Tin Shed Distillery was established in 2010 by Ian Schmidt and long time drinking buddy Vic Orlow. Ian is a straight talker with little time for fake extravagances – and his distillery certainly reflects this attitude. From the unassuming front door, through to the utilitarian stacks and rows of ageing whisky, to the small stills – this is grassroots craft distilling at it’s finest!

There’s no ‘Visitors Centre’ here (although Ian welcomes visitors by appointment) – the distillery is the visitors centre. What you get is plain and simple – almost spartan. A distillery, bond store, bottling plant and office all under one roof. It’s all about the spirits at Tin Shed Distilling.

***STOP PRESS! ***

As we said – all this is about to change. Tin Shed is about to move (date close but uncertain at time this was penned) to bigger, and much more salubrious location – complete with cellar door and bar! I’m told there’s even going to be FOOD! .

***STOP PRESS! ***

What Tin Shed Distilling lacks in size, flashyness or ‘pomp’ it certainly makes up for in the quality of it’s products. Ian and Vic’s philosophy is ‘only bottle what we like to drink’ – and the results of this attitude were apparent from day one. The very first batch of their Iniquity Single Malt Whisky made the Whisky Bible’s ‘Liquid Gold’ list in 2015 with a score of 94 –described as “a gorgeous experience”. Subsequent whisky bottling have won many accolades and now it’s Tin Shed’s rums turn in the spotlight!

Whilst awards are great, with a distillery as small as Tin Shed, they don’t drive sales. As Ian puts it – “by the time the results are out, we’ve sold all of the spirit we entered”. What’s more important to the boys at Iniquity is feedback from ‘the Den’ (Tin Shed’s members club) and the drinking public at whisky shows. Love this rum – then join Iniquity’s ‘the Den’ and stay up to date with all new Iniquity releases and everything that’s happening at Tin Shed Distilling.

With October being an ‘ode to funk’…our favourite Australian (actually Victorian) hogo heads have delivered an EXCLUSIVE KILLIK/ RUM TRIBE collaboration – The Killik Virgin American Oak!

This is the very first Virgin Oak maturation Killik have done – and I’m here to tell you, it won’t be their last! It’s bloody brilliant! This is molasses based rum – the wash was seeded with proprietary yeast prior to having wild yeast [via dunder] added. It was distilled in a copper pot still, and then laid to rest in a virgin American oak cask for 2.5 years before being bottled at 48% exclusively for the Rum Tribe. 

Now, Killik do it a bit different to most Australian rums. For a start they embrace the characteristic known as ‘hogo’ or ‘funk’ in their rums. This is a flavour profile mostly unexplored by Aussie distillers but huge in the Caribbean – Jamaica particularly being seen as the ‘spiritual home of hogo’.  But some Aussies, like Killik (and Nil Desperandum is another) are notable for actively pursuing this quality with the use of dunder and muck in their fermentation. 

Killik’s raw spirit alone is world class – in fact the Killik ‘Silver’ as it’s known, has been winning medals all over – culmination in a gold medal and Best in Class at World Spirits Awards earlier this year. Killik have proven themselves to be world-class producers of hi-ester rum and we are absolutely bloody stoked to be part of another ‘first’ for Killik – a virgin oak maturation.

But what is this ‘hogo’ that we speak of? Well, originally a Jamaican style, hogo is an easily identifiable – yet hard to describe – flavour which is the result of wild yeast fermentation. It is commonly characterized by its potent, funky nose and taste. In fact hogo is also known as ‘funk’ in some places. It can be very difficult to define and can vary wildly. In the case of Killik, it is often very fruity with strong aromas of tropical fruit, over-ripe banana, strawberry, and a distinct milkiness.

The key to hogo, or funk, is the use of wild yeasts in the fermentation stage of production. And the source of those wild yeasts is what’s known as ‘dunder and muck’. Those with a delicate constitution may wish to look away now, because as the names suggest, dunder and muck isn’t the loveliest stuff in the world. Dunder is what’s left over in a rum still once the spirit has been distilled out of the wash.  It’s essentially dead yeast, water and whatever caramelised, boiled out, leftover gunk they can scrape out of the still after a run. The dunder is then chucked in a ‘dunder pit’ which could [traditionally] be a big hole in the ground (an actual ‘pit of dunder’ as it were). These days most dunder pits are contained in some sort of large plastic container such as IBC’s. Killik’s dunder pit is an old dairy vat (Pictured).

The dunder is ‘fed’ carbohydrates in the form of, well, whatever fruit etc is lying around the distillery or surrounding farms. This added sugar allows a secondary fermentation to begin by any wild yeast that happen to land in the pit. By this stage the ‘dunder pit’ is a foul looking, cow-shit reeking, bubbling vat of the nastiest looking sludge you can imagine. This wonderfully vile concoction of wild yeasts, and the flavour molecules they excrete (along with CO2 and alcohol) is what ‘seeds’ the next rum mash and is known as ‘muck’.

Use of dunder and muck in rum production originated in Jamaica around the same time as the slaves discovered making rum. It makes sense as it provided an inexhaustible supply of an otherwise hard to come by (in those times) resource – yeast! With the commercialisation and industrialisation of rum production in the subsequent years, reliability, repeatability and yield of the fermentation process became essential. Thus the uptake of commercial and proprietary yeasts saw the use of wild yeasts dwindle – and so muck and dunder began to be a fond memory with only a handful of distilleries interested.  Luckily, there has been a ‘rediscovery’ of dunder and muck use in rum distilling, and Killik have pioneered its use in Australia.

This is the very first Virgin Oak maturation Killik have done – and I’m here to tell you, it won’t be their last! This is molassas based rum – the wash was seeded with a proprietary yeast prior to having wild yeast [via dunder] added. It was distilled in a copper pot still, and then laid to rest in a virgin American oak cask for 2 ½ years before being bottled at 48% exclusively for the Rum Tribe. 

Last month we worked with Dead Reckoning to get the price as far down as possible – and this month Killik have stepped up to help us do same. We’ve both trimmed as much fat as possible to get this rum out to the tribe for the best price we could without selling our children. I’m not gonna lie – we’ve even re-used the Killik gold labels with just a sticker added in order to keep costs as low as possible!

And we’ve done it again – a 700ml bottle of hand made, single cask, pure single rum for $125. I dare you to find better!

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: all sorts of things you wonder if you should be smelling. Strait away there’s sour milk – but swirl that glass and so many more notes are released. There’s grape bubblegum. There’s Curry powder. Tart apple. Model Airplane glue. There’s all sort of weird and almost-recognisable odours wafting there.  I’m betting the sweets of your youth will determine what you get out of the nose here.

Palate: Almost as soon it hits your palate, all those ‘weird’ smells in the nose seem to align and make perfect sense now as they morph into stewed apple. In fact, apple strudel with sultanas and vanilla… wait for the cream! Ahh there it is! But then more fruit takes over and the fruit salad paradigm swings in for a twirl.  That delightful creamyness remains though. This morphs and swirls and shape-shifts and dances across the palate.

Finish: It’s a bit of a sweet and sour finish on this one. Really sweet notes such as plumbs and more chewing gum notes, but there’s also a sort of sour worms sweet/sour thing too.

Once again – a hugely complex and utterly discussable rum from one of my favourite distilleries. If you’re new to hi-ester rum  – you really need to look at them a bit like stinky cheese.  The smell (nose) is confronting – but makes perfect sense once you bite into it!

Kudos Cal and Sam – you’ve kicked it outta the park again!

A 61%ABV, 8 year old Jamaican PURE SINGLE RUM in a 750ml bottle that is on our shores for the FIRST TIME
  • PRICE : $125

  • ABV : 48%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (Vic)

  • No Added Sugar / No Added Colour


Hey Tribe! We’re thrilled to introduce our newest gem from Killik’s vault – our Single Cask Rum. This rum is a true testament to the prowess of pot still distillation, boasting high ester levels that showcase a symphony of fruity characteristics.

While many rums may hint at tropical notes, ours uniquely shines with pronounced cantaloupe undertones, blending seamlessly with flavors of ripe bananas, passion fruit, and a touch of guava. These vibrant ester-driven flavors find a harmonious balance with the rich and robust influences of our custom-coopered virgin American oak barrels. Virgin oak, fresh and untainted by previous spirits, imparts luscious notes of intense vanilla, caramel, and toasty aromatics. The final product?

A rum that’s both bold in its fruity essence yet grounded with rich American Oak. We can not wait for you to delve into its multifaceted flavours and aromas and share your insights!

Tasting Notes:

Right off the bat, you’ll notice a distinct ethyl acetate presence, though not as pronounced as in Jamaican pot rums. As that initial wave subsides, a moderately strong fruitiness emerges, with a standout melon note and lots of stone fruit, a departure from our usual KILLIK profiles where pineapple often dominates. The influence of the American oak is unmistakable – you get a robust roasted quality paired with a generous helping of vanilla. It’s clear this one matured in a virgin oak barrel, and even though it’s only 2.5 years old, its flavor profile suggests a more mature spirit.


Born in Belgrave, Victoria, Killik Handcrafted Rum is a family run distillery that aims to fill the void of great Australian rum. Their aim is to create products that were not only top tier in quality, but are also the most unique Australian rum you can find.

Callan Pratt – Partner, Killik Handcrafted Rum

Our rum utilizes a wild fermentation which leads to a high ester content referred to as “hogo” in the rum scene. Killik Handcrafted Rum is the first Australian dedicated rum distillery committed to this traditional Jamaican style of rum production.

The Killik lineup is perfect for creating classic cocktails or enjoyed neat.

DEAD RECKONING IS BACK! This time with a FUNKY but MELLOW blend of three low-ester Jamaican rums (Hampden, Worthy Park and New Yarmouth) born, bred and married in the tropics and honeymooned in the dry heat of Adelaide. It’s time to man battle stations as Dead Reckoning launches a Port Broadside!

The DR Port Broadside is a single cask blend of three incredible Jamaican distilleries. Hampden, Worthy Park and New Yarmouth – two pot stills and a column still respectively. 3 years tropically aged in bourbon casks in Jamaica and then whisked off to Adelaide to be dry aged in a Seppeltsfield Tawny Cask that has held port continuously for 120 years (this cask is almost GOOEY it’s got so much port infused into it!).

Just like the amazing price of $125 – Justin has specifically blended this Jamaican rum to exhibit the funk that Jamaican rum is famous for – but do it in an extremely accessible way. He’s done this by blending 3 Jamaican low ester ‘marques’. In Jamaica, a marquee is given special initials and indicates different ‘types’ of rums made by a distillery. Much like a bakery bakes different types of bread, the distilleries make different marques of rum – each one with a characteristic Ester level. The marque classification system of Jamaica is a bit of a ‘rum geek’ thing – if you’d like to know more – check out this article at the Cocktail Wonk.

The marques used in this rum are stated on the label – all of them amongst the lowest ester marque of their distillery. What this means is that whilst this is definitely an ester-forward rum (it is Jamaican, after all!), this is not overstated or over-the-top hogo.

For the non sailors out there a Broadside is a firing of all the guns from one side of a warship.

NOW we here at Rum Tribe HQ as well as Dead Reckoning know how tough everyone is doing it at present. Mortgages, fuel, electricity prices through the roof – and to sink the boot in even more – the excise on spirits like rum (and whisky etc) has just passed $100 per litre of alcohol.  So if you have a 1-litre bottle, with a spirit at 50%ABV – you will be paying more than $50 in Australian excise before you even start paying for the product itself. The third-highest spirits excise in the world. And it increases twice a year. That’s right – Twice. Every. Year.

So this month, Dead Reckoning and the Rum Tribe have gotten together with the express purpose of getting AWESOME rum to the people with as little hit to the wallet as possible.  Both of us have taken a bit of a beating to get this absolutely incredible 4 and a half year old Jamaican to the Tribe for a pre-2020 price.

And why are we doing this? Well, in all honesty, we’re hoping if we do an attractive enough price, you’ll buy two bottles if you can! And then everyone is a winner!

No added sugar. No added colour. Non-chill Filtered. Bottled at 50%ABV so the taxman gets his fair share, don’t you worry!

Going forward – this is the first expression of the ‘Port Broadside’ line from Dead Reckoning. Look out for more single country of origin, blended single casks, tropical/dry aged combo rums finished in Tawny casks in Adelaide to come down the track.

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose on this really evolves over time. There’s waves of mashed banana, juicy fruit chewing gum, creaming soda and a sultana-laden bread and butter (or is it rice?) pudding and custard!

Palate: Masses of firepower with a rich and syrupy mouthfeel yet there’s also a crisp and dry backbone that makes itself known with just a touch of astringency that balances out the sweetness. [The column still component plus the tawny barrel at work there I’m sure!] Masses of fruit salad, lots of sweet and fragrant spices and stewed fruit to boot!

Finish: Lovely, Long and Utterly divine. Burnt liquorice, sarsaparilla-spider, caramel and sweet banana custard.

Another amazing release from the master of the dry-aged finish. Sweet and slightly funky on the nose, but takes a port tack to the dry side on the palate before rolling back to round sweetness in the finish. Mellow and funky like a groovy summer breeze, carrying the rhythm of a laid-back Funkadelic tune. Complex as quadratics, but easy as 1, 2, 3.

  • PRICE : $125

  • ABV : 50%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Jamaica/Australia

  • No Added Sugar / No Added Colour


I’ve always been a funky rum junkie. Jamaican rum is synonymous with funk , dunder & ester. While some Australian distilleries are now adopting Jamaican methods of dunder & longer fermentation, the Jamaicans have been treading this well-worn path for centuries. 

When I was fortunate enough to find a Seppeltsfield tawny “port” cask from the 1800’s I knew exactly what to age it. The search for a Jamaican rum that had the right flavour profile started. Not happy with just 1 distillery, I ended up using a Hampden / Worthy Park / New Yarmouth Plummer blend. 2 pot & 1 column still. 

The use of 3 Jamaican rums has given this release layer upon layer of of flavour profiles. Finished in a tawny cask was the icing on the cake, it married the funk , flavour & low ester together. The goal was to create a multidimensional rum that would educate the consumer, leading them down the Jamaican rum rabbit hole.

The port broadside series is a collection of rums aged in tawny (port) casks. 

For the non sailors out there a Broadside is a firing of all the guns from one side of a warship.

With the current situation of inflation, interest rates & living costs. The decision to release DR Jamaica at its bare bones cost was made in the hope of getting good rum into people’s glasses at a great price. 

Flavour Profile: Banana Cake, dates, sultanas, dark roasted coffee & passionfruit


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.

Having an intimate knowledge of the Australian market, Justin identified space for unique, rare blends. Enter Dead Reckoning Rum. An Australian Independent label specialising in master-mixed rum blends, single casks and some rare, forgotten ‘barn-finds’ of the Rum world. Justin has his sights set on truly unique and memorable releases by his label.


Hampden Estate, nestled within the scenic landscapes of Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish, stands as a venerable institution in the world of rum production. With roots tracing back to the 18th century, this historic distillery has earned its reputation for crafting rums that exude a distinct and captivating character. Embracing the art of traditional pot still distillation, Hampden is a purveyor of “Pure Single Rum,” a distinction denoting the exclusive use of pot stills and a single distillery source. This approach results in rums that are renowned for their intense and complex flavours, a testament to the high ester content characteristic of Hampden’s spirits. The distillery’s dedication to both molasses-based and sugarcane juice rums further enriches the spectrum of taste profiles, appealing to enthusiasts seeking the perfect balance of fruity notes and robust depth.


Worthy Park Estate is a historic Jamaican sugar estate and distillery located in St. Catherine, Jamaica. It has a long history dating back to the 17th century and is known for its production of sugarcane and rum. Worthy Park is one of the few distilleries in Jamaica that produces both molasses-based and estate-grown sugarcane rums. Their rums showcase Jamaican rum characteristics, including bold flavours, tropical fruit notes, and a rich, full-bodied profile. The distillery uses traditional pot stills for distillation, contributing to the unique character of their rums.


The New Yarmouth distillery, deeply rooted in Jamaica’s history since the 18th century, is a significant player in the rum industry. It proudly stands as the birthplace of – among others – Wray & Nephew rum, renowned as the best-selling brand in Jamaica. New Yarmouth is a part of the Appleton Estate.  New Yarmouth operates both pot and column stills.


Our Rum of the Month is a proud collaboration with non-other than Sydney’s Urban Rum Distillery – Brix. A Double-IPA Cask finished, 58.5%ABV MONSTER of a rum EXCLUSIVE to the Rum Tribe (it’s even got our logo on it!).

The Brix Select Cask Series Double IPA Finish has been created from Bundaberg Molasses fermented with Champagne and Caribbean rum yeasts. Batch distilled in Brix’s hybrid copper pot still and then matured for more than 3 years in an Aussie Red Wine cask – then finished for a couple of months in a double IPA barrel.

All in all, three years and 11 months in the wood before being bottled at the cask strength of 58.5%ABV. If you’re wondering – a double IPA beer is a beer with an increased amount of hops and malt, this generally results in a bitter, but more caramel flavoured beer.

Surprisingly, until Brix came along in 2018, Sydney did not have it’s ‘own’ rum distillery. Which is kind of astonishing as historically, Sydney and rum have gone hand-in-hand since 1788! A focus on quality and efficiency of production has allowed Brix to grow sales at 60% per year as well as set down ageing stock. This, in turn, has allowed them in 5 (short) years to not only have a core range of 3 high-end spirits (a dark rum, a spiced rum and white cane spirit) – but enough stock to plan, develop and offer special releases such as the ‘Select Cask Series’ whose banner our Rum of the Month is released under.

Brix’s ‘Select Cask Series’ are a series of single release small batch rums, created using locally grown ingredients, an Australian built copper still & unique oak barrels, previously used for local beer, wine & spirits. These rums have been selected specifically for their story, their flavour profile & their quality, allowing you to discover a new world of Australian Rum.

Our Tasting Notes:

NB: Remember this is cask strength so I’ve put a few drops of water in mine!

Nose: Sweet, warm banana custard, cherries, sultanas

Palate: Begins oily and sweet with lovely malty notes but quickly changes tack and turns dry and crisp with equally delicious green apple, blackberry and sherbet notes

Finish: Dry and slightly astringent notes take this one out – espresso coffee, Dutch liquorice, dark chocolate and marmalade.

Wow, this is a complex yet easy to drink, sweet yet bitter, crisp and clean yet also oily at times yet all the while utterly delicious rum. I’m still pinching myself that there’s a Rum Tribe logo on this bottle. It’s big, yet gentle…it’s sweet, it’s dry, it’s rich and… did I say it’s BIG?

  • PRICE : $159

  • ABV : 58.5%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (NSW)

  • No Added Sugar / No Added Colour


“With a mission to Reinvent Australian Rum & uncover new and varied rum styles, Brix has crafted this release, in collaboration with the team at The Rum Tribe, as a unique expression exclusively for their members. Brix Rums focus on flavour, using locally sourced ingredients, our Australian built copper still & unique barrels, each with a different story to tell.

This release has been matured for over three years in a single Australian red wine cask with a further two month finish in an Australian Double IPA cask. For this single cask release, I wanted to reflect the quality, innovation & passion that Brix team brings to everything we do, to allow the drinker to discover a new style of Australian Rum. This has been one of my favourite releases to date and I hope the Rum Tribe members enjoy.”

Shane Casey – Head Distiller

Distiller’s Tasting Notes: Pine, Szechuan pepper, tarragon, green cardamom, orange, tangerine, apricot, crème caramel, burnt custard, vanilla, malt, croissants, honey baked ham.


Brix was born out of a love for rum. Over time this love turned into passion for discovery, experimentation, appreciation & adventure. We discovered that rum in Australia was not being reflected in the right light.

So we have set out for change.

Rum is fun. Rum is rebellious. But it should be loved and adored in respect for the effort and craft that goes into its production. The Brix vision is to share our passion and adventures with Australia and the world. 

In 2017, we set out to find a site where we could establish an urban distillery that showcased the best that Australia has to offer. We found our home on Bourke Street, Surry Hills & we love it.

We challenged ourselves to source the best quality Australian molasses, fresh organic sugar cane, an Australian made copper still, the best quality native spices and Australian wine barrels from some of the best wine making regions of the world.

Our goal: To combine these amazing ingredients to create a unique Aussie rum. A rum that can be enjoyed in the bars of Australia and in our own backyards. We now produce a variety of unique rums and are in the process of barrel ageing many more styles and varieties to be released in the years to come.

Get ready for a rum from a family-run distillery who’s products – rum, gin and vodka – have won world acclaim over the last few years (and they only kicked off in 2018!) and they have been members and supporters of the Rum Tribe pretty much since we started.

Ally and Nick Ayres have been members and supporters of our little ‘rum fam’ since we kicked off the Tribe and we are stoked to finally be able to offer Batch #3 of their Silver Medal winning Outcask Rum as our Rum of the Month (and we’re also going to take this opportunity to announce a fantastic project we’re working on with them)!

Now Karu Distillery has been absolutely slaying the spirits world in the couple of years with medal after medal for their vodka, gin and rum. The Outcask Rum scored Silver in San Francisco and the World Spirits Awards this year, and Silver in the inaugural Australian Rum Awards last year.

Karu are proud producers of (amongst other spirits) pure single rum, and as such the Outcask Rum contains absolutely no added sugar or colour and is proudly non-chill filtered. Their molasses based spirit is matured in Whipper Snapper Bourbon casks (from WA) in their ‘Devils Wilderness’ distillery and bond-store. Located in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, the maturation gets its share of stinking hot summer days and freezing cold alpine winter weather as well. Outcask Rum is made from a marriage of barrels around 3 years old and is bottled at 46%ABV.

I guess there’s only one thing we here at Rum Tribe HQ like better than selling rum – and that is selling the rum of a family we’re proud to not only call friends, but members as well!

Now Outcask Rum is part of Karu’s ‘Core Range’ and each batch of Outcask is thus blended from different casks for consistency of product. However, Karu is not shy to do a little experimenting with interesting single cask maturation and finishing. And to this end we’d like to announce a very exciting collaboration with Karu that will come to fruition sometime early in 2024. This very special project will see a cask of Karu Rum finished for around twelve months in a… <drumroll please> … first fill ex-Grand Marnier cask!!.

This is one of the nicest and most delicious casks whose bunghole I’ve had the good fortune to stick my nose into!

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: Big fruit salad and caramel sauce notes with a little sweet licorice there too.

Palate: Bold and sweet, slightly overripe tropical fruit notes with more aniseed notes, beautiful vanilla and citrus-sy waves all wrapped up in a buttery, crème brûlée oodie.  

Finish: Finish for miles here – sultanas and fruit mince, some mixed peel and more caramel, coffee and dark chocolate with a lovely pinch of white pepper to tingle the tongue as it departs.

This rum is no shrinking violet – big bold and fruity all night long, and at 46%abv it’s got enough ‘oomph’ to really impress neat or over ice, and will standout in your favourite mixer too. As a lifetime boatie from Brissy, I can definitely recommend this rum in a ‘Moreton Bay Mud’ (rum, milk and ice – easy on the milk and ice!!)

Boutique-y is BACK! This absolutely fantastic 18-year-old, LIMITED RELEASE,  pure single rum is EXCLUSIVE to the Tribe!
  • PRICE : $119

  • ABV : 46%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (NSW)

  • NO Added Sugar / NO Added Colour


Outcask is the first rum to enter our core range of products.

It follows simplistic traditional methods of production meaning it’s a pure molasses rum, fermented for two weeks, pot distilled and matured at our distillery in NSW.

Having been self-taught in rum production, I felt it was appropriate to start at the beginning and explore the traditional pot distillation method first. By doing this I found a lot of thick and chewy flavours such as vanilla and caramel whilst the aromatics carried more fruiter notes, together you got a big rum with a lot to offer.

The absolute main goal with this rum was something you can have fun with, what we didn’t want something that was limited to just having neat. Outcask Rum is great solo, however, it is scrumptious in cocktails like Pina Coladas, Jungle Birds and Rum Old Fashions. It was fun to make this rum and we want the consumption of it to be the same.

“Plenty of flavour with creamy vanilla and pineapple on the palate, a touch of coconut and freshness from orchard fruits and a swirl of golden sweetness”


Launched in 2018 Karu Distillery by husband and wife team Nick and Ally, the focus has always been to create quality spirits that highlight the science and art of the distillation process.

Based in the Devils Wilderness NSW the range has grown to include Affinity a contemporary Australian gin, Lightning a navy strength gin, Morita a chipotle vodka and Outcask a golden rum. 

Karu is fast becoming one of Australia’s most awarded distilleries, in 2021 Lightning gin took out the Trophy for best contemporary gin at the International Wines & Spirits Competition.

Dead Reckoning is BACK and EXCLUSIVE to the Tribe!

It’s time to ‘Hoist the Colours’ and ‘Pipe the Side’ to welcome none other than Lord Horatio Nelson himself to our monthly rum shenanigans.  With rum originally from the legendary Antigua Distillery and then lovingly finished in Australia for another 2 years in a first-fill Apera cask and then bottled at a superb 50% – So arm the cannons and make way for the Dead Reckoning Nelson’s Dockyard!

Dead Reckoning rum releases ALWAYS SELL OUT and this will be no different with only 355 BOTTLES of this collectors rum produced.

The Dead Reckoning Nelson’s Dockyard started its life in the Antigua Distillery located in English Harbour (home of the ‘English Harbour Rum’ brand), distilled from a fermented molasses wash. The column stills at Antigua Distillery are made from 100% copper (even the nuts and bolts!). The spirit these stills produce is ultra-pure – at 95%.

It was then aged for 2 years in Antigua in an ex-bourbon barrel before being sent to S.A. where it was lovingly transferred into a first fill South Australian Apera cask and then left for two more years to age in the dry Adelaide climate. During that time, whilst the volume in the cask shrank – the ABV actually increased by 11%!

Lord Horatio Nelson spent 1784-1787 as Captain of the HMS Boreas, assigned as Senior Captain (second in charge overall) at English Harbour, Antigua. His main mission was to enforce the ‘Navigation Act’ – preventing British Islands trading with the USA – which had won it’s independence only a year before in 1783.  He also oversaw the completion of the dockyard that was to bear his name.

I don’t think we really need to introduce the Dead Reckoning  brand to any but our newest members. But for those who don’t know – head honcho Justin is an ex- superyacht skipper who spent a significant portion of his life swanning about Caribbean rum bars of all sizes (and reputes!).  When he ‘grew up’ he did the only sensible thing for a man in his position and became a rum importer. But more importantly he started the ‘Dead Reckoning’ brand of independently bottled rums from around the world.  In a nutshell, Justin’s Dead Reckoning brings rums from around the world, and finishes them in a variety of casks sourced from [mainly] South Australian wineries, in the outskirts of Adelaide. This extremely dry climate has been proven to actually increase the ABV of Justin’s casks as the S.A. angels seem to prefer water when they take their share!

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: A sweet cocophany of chewy dried figs, juicy lunchbox sultanas, toffee apples, dried banana chips and  desiccated coconut.

Palate: Crisp, clean and dry on the pallet with granny smith apples and vanilla custard chased around by stewed fruits and ginger-y spices.  

Finish: Not a lot of length to the finish, but it’s a fun ride whilst its there!  – espresso coffee, dark chocolate and more sultanas with a mild white pepper salute right on the tail.

Wow – this is quite a textbook mix of bourbon and sherry (ok, ok… Apera) cask characteristics – floral apple and vanilla notes from the bourbon and the dark stewed fruit and pepper from the Apera cask. The characteristic column still ‘crispness’ is also there to complete the lesson.

Get ready for the Best Pot Still Rum at the 2022 Australian Rum Awards. Let that sink in for a second. Best. Pot Still. Rum.
  • PRICE : $159

  • ABV : 50%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Antigua/Australia

  • NO Added Sugar / NO Added Colour


Toffee, caramel, roasted coffee, chestnut & a hint of black pepper 

Whilst working in the mega yacht industry, I was fortunate to spend several months a year living in English harbour in Antigua. 

Nelson’s dockyard was the location of many a party with fellow crew members.  It is also place where Lord Horatio Nelson spent time.

This is where my love for this Rum developed as it was a daily staple for all yachting crew. 

In the past English Harbour rums did have slight adulteration, but I believe they have now changed their formula so no longer will you see sugar added to any of their rums. 


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 mega-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, and each release from his bond-store is an anticipated event that never fails to please!  The Rum Tribe is incredibly proud of our close association with Justin and the Dead Reckoning brand.


The company Antigua Distillery Limited (ADL) was formed in 1932 by 8 local businessmen and in 1933 they established their own distillery on Rat Island (named like that because of its shape) – the authorities didn’t want a distillery on the mainland due to potential smell and noise. Originally equipped with a multi-column Savalle still, it was replaced in 1991 with a 3-column still from John Dore & Co. made entirely out of copper – bolts included. The 3-column has been modified into a 5-column still making it shorter, apparently due to the danger of tropical storms in the area. 

While the ADL website does talk about their yeast and fermentation process that “adds a level of flavour to the liquid in the tank, and it also produces a number of compounds that contribute directly to the complex flavours and aromas of the final product” the wash is distilled to 95% ABV making it pretty much neutral in taste. Most of the flavours come from the maturation process. ADL ages their rum in charred 200 litres ex-Bourbon casks. 

After a COMPLETE SELL OUT Last Year, Lord Bryon is back! A SINGLE CASK bottling of a Red Wine ‘Super Cask’ specifically chosen by the Rum Tribe, pure single origin rum from one of the legends of Australian Rum.

Now, last years Lord Byron ‘Members Extra’ release was super limited and completely SOLD OUT and that rum went on to win DOUBLE GOLD at the Melbourne Rum Awards and a SILVER at the Australian Rum Awards.

This month, after months of planning, waiting and travelling to sample casks – we are proud to release another ‘Super Cask’ of Lord Byron Pure Single Rum – and this time an outturn big enough for the whole Tribe to get some.

The Lord Byron Rum Distillery operates close to the heart of Byron Bay and Brian and this crew operates with the ‘Byron’ mindset when it comes to their products. Pure, single rum … just as nature intended it.  And as Lord Byron Distillery’s mantra goes – ‘You Will Taste the Difference’. In fact, Lord Byron Distillery was the first Australian Rum distillery to release Pure Single Rum under the internationally recognised Gargano classification system. 

Lord Byron’s pure, single cask rums are produced using local molasses (from the same local farmer cooperative-owned sugar mill that Winding Road Distillery buys its cane juice from) and spring water from the family dairy farm just outside Byron. The fermented ‘beer’ is then double copper-pot distilled and put away in oak to mature. Nothing is added – apart from some spring water to achieve the desired abv.  In this case – the rum has been matured in a ‘Super Cask’ from Andrew Young’s YN Oak Cooperage. The ‘Super Cask’ is a patented cask refurbishing process involving ex-shiraz casks from Seppeltsfield Winery in SA.

Not only are Lord Byron’s rums 100% natural but they also pride themselves on running the distillery as a sustainable enterprise. 100% renewable power, spring water, and the ‘waste’ products of the distillation are fed to the Restall family’s dairy cows as well as made into liquid fertiliser.  The distillery also boasts ‘zero-discharge’ in all its operations.  It’s like, totally eco-friendly, man!

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: massive dried fruit vibes strait away at the pour. After it’s left sit for a few minutes, a dusty, clove-ey funk becomes apparent. Very inviting – do I have a sip… or another sniff?

Palate: Thick and rich and oily in the mouth. Warming – but definitely not spicy. Big spiced stewed fruit – currents, figs, dates and prunes in overdrive… cloves, nutmeg and liquorice bullets.

Finish: The finish really lives up to the promise made y the initial nose. It’s just divine – big and chewy, waves of the sweet fruits and spices with sharp, dry coffee notes in between. Warm, lovely caramel and clove-ey notes still lingering minutes after.

This is a sensational rum that really lives up to the promise made by it’s rich colour and thick leggy-in-the-glass viscosity. Big, fruity, round and rich across the nose, palate and finish – it really just keeps on giving and giving. I doubt you’re going to want to mix this one – but if you do, some good ginger beer and loads of ice makes it a killer Dark and Stormy on a bright and balmy summer arvo.

  • PRICE : $135

  • ABV : 55.5%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (NSW)

  • NO Added Sugar / NO Added Colour


Lord Byron Distillery is one of a small, passionate group of artisan distillers from around the world dedicated to making real Rum. We help discerning customers enjoy spirits that are naturally hand crafted in our family owned 100% renewable, zero waste distillery in Byron Bay. We are the only distillery in Australia to have ingredients listed on our labels and confirm that all our drinks are free from artificial flavours or colours. We do things we love, with people we love in a place we feel is paradise.

We were the first Australian Rum distillery to release Pure Single Rum under the internationally recognised Gargano classification system. Our artisan distillers hand make our own ferment from local molasses and filtered spring water, prior to it being double batch distilled in pot stills. We mature our premium Rums in quality oak casks, not vats, in the same region where the cane is grown. All this takes time and costs more, but we believe this is the only way Rum should be made.

This Rum that was chosen by the Rum Tribe, has been matured in a refired red wine cask for three years. We bottled it at 52.5%, very close to cask strength. This is an exceptional sipping Rum that delivers beautiful caramel, chocolate, liquorice and raisin flavours perfectly complimenting the cleanliness of the double distilled spirit.
You will taste the difference. This is the Spirit of Byron


The earliest record of the Restall family in Byron Shire dates back to 1897 when Jack Restall was the local butcher in Billinudgel. Although this fact wasn’t discovered by Brian and Helen Restall until recently, it explains why they have always had a deep sense of affinity with the area and to traditional trade and craftsmanship.

For several years, Brian was the CEO of Cape Byron Power, a local Northern Rivers’ 100% renewable electricity generator located adjacent to the local farmer owned sugar mills at Condong and Broadwater. It was within this role, Brian came to realise that almost all of the food-grade molasses, created by the local sugar mills, was used for cattle feed. Given the sub-tropical environment of the Northern Rivers region, Brian and Helen felt that there was clearly a higher and better use for a small part of this local molasses.  

Brian and Helen have travelled extensively and worked around the world. Brian loves dark spirits and Helen is passionate about light spirits. Together they strive to create a small-batch, handcrafted range of spirits that aims to deliver a superior tasting experience. They are members of the Australian Distilling Association and have been trained and mentored by Bill Lark’s team in Tasmania – Bill, being the first person in 153 years to get a micro-distilling license, and is affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the craft distilling market in Australia.

Our December Rum of the Month is Dead Reckoning Mhoba – South Africa. CASK STRENGTH, LIMITED EDITION and EXCLUSIVE to the Tribe in Australia! This is the first Dead Reckoning release of a cane-juice based rum.

Wow, we can’t quite believe it’s December already! What a rummy year it’s been…Another year of sensational rums from all around the world, and from our own backyard. Tropical aged, European Aged, Dry aged, un-aged, and even demijohn aged! Port cask, sherry cask, wine cask, no cask! Historic brands, cult brands, new brands and even ‘one-offs’ from non-rum brands!’ Easy-listening, classical, hard rock, rap and some punk rums to boot! PHEW!

So… how do you finish a year like that? Well, with another exceptional rum, really! MORE DEAD RECKONING!! was a pretty clear sentiment from the feedback this year and so, who are we to argue?

Dead Reckoning indy bottlings need no introduction to the Rum Tribe. They have dazzled us with release after release from distilleries all over the world and the man behind it, Justin Boseley, has a knack for finding sensational spirit in far flung places, bringing it to Adelaide and matching it to the perfect cask where it’s aged further in a unique dry heat environment that actually increases the ABV of the spirit in the barrel over the years. Weird but true!

Now at 2 years, 5 months this is a fairly young rum by Dead Reckoning standards. It was initially expected to be around 18 months – 2 years in the finishing cask but Justin was surprised at just how ‘active’ the ex-bourbon cask has been with the rum. So active, in fact, that he elected to bottle it after just 5 months in the finishing cask. Its job was done!

This latest Dead Reckoning spent it’s first two years in a South African red wine cask (from the Vrede em Lust estate in the Franschhoek wine valley) in the sub-tropical South African climate at the Mhoba distillery. 

Justin describes finding this cask in Mhoba’s bond-store as an explorer describes finding an undiscovered ice cavern or the like. An ‘A-HA!’ moment where he knew he’d found what he was looking for.  The culmination of a long journey.  All he needed now, was some time in Adelaide to add ‘his touch’ to it, which came in the form of an especially active ex-bourbon barrel. After only 5 months, it was exactly where Justin wanted it. A perfect amount of vanilla, custard and caramel from the high-char American oak added to the rich fruity decadence of the red wine aged Mhoba.

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: Tart fruit salad and raspberry jus at first with a rich sweet caramel sauce on the side.

Palate: Wonderfully mouth coating. More of those sensational fruit notes – but more stewed now, nice and sweet,  and the vanilla comes through in a crème brulee creaminess.

Finish: Delicious mixture of fruit, vanilla, citrus peel and salted caramel lead you onto the next pour… in just a sec, I’m still enjoying this one!!

This is a delicious rum that is perfectly weighted with the abv to give it real ‘oomph’ on the palate – but the alcohol is very well integrated at 56% ABV. A little pepper there – but the massive creamy fruitiness dominates and continues to do so as you chew that utterly satisfying finish!

  • PRICE : $149

  • ABV : 56%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: South Africa / Australia (South Australia)

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


Upon tasting Mhoba rum for the first time this was a revelation and also a rewriting of the Rum flavour profile rule book, it reminded me of the first time I tried a Jamaican Hampden. After tasting the Vellier Mhoba release I knew I had to get my hands on something of similar quality. 

I hand selected this individual single barrel release, chosen for its deep rich and unique flavour profile which was aged for 2 years in Africa in a ex Sth African red wine cask. To put my own signature on the release it underwent Australian dry ageing in Adelaide South Australia. 

Tasting notes: It’s time in the red wine cask has given this rum layers of flavour profile, not only do you get crisp red apples and cranberry juice, A heavy level char bourbon cask introduced hints of vanilla caramel and custard tart. 


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 mega-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, and this is the second expression from Justin’s brand. 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.


Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Onderberg district of Mpumalanga and amidst our own sugarcane fields, you can find The MHOBA Rum Distillery: An artisan distillery where we make 10 different types of Pure Single Estate Sugarcane Rhum or Pure Single Sugarcane Rhum.

Unlike most traditional rum, which is made from molasses which is the by-product of refined sugar production, MHOBA rum is made from pure sugarcane juice. Our rum is 100% pot distilled from fermented sugarcane juice and contains no additives, colourings or flavour modifiers and is therefore termed Pure Single Rum; The rum equivalent of Single Malt Whiskey.

What makes MHOBA rhum even more unique is that the whole rum making process occurs on our sugar estate. From planting our own organic sugarcane right through to hand filling and labelling our bottles after distilling in our self-designed and self-built stills, MHOBA Rhum is 100% rum that is made by us.


This is LIQUID CHRISTMAS CAKE! Welcome to the Australian launch of The Grove Christmas RUM Cask with Christmas spices and flavours by the bucket load. But wait up! This is NOT A SPICED RUM…this is a PURE SINGLE RUM and every single flavour comes from the amazing combination of WOOD interacting with finely crafted spirit and absolutely no additives! THIS BLEW OUR MIND!

The Christmas Rum Cask is a 5-year-old, pure single rum from Western Australia’s beautiful Margaret River region. Distilled in 2017 from a fermented molasses/brown sugar mash in a copper pot/column hybrid still. Primarily aged for 4 whole years in a single ex-Cabernet cask, then split into two 100 litre ex-Tokay (a sweet, white wine – originally from the Tokaj region of Hungary) barrels for a years’ worth of finishing.

The result is easily the most classically ‘Christmassy’ rum I have ever tasted.  As a ‘concept’ rum – it hits the nail right on the head. This is an elegant and sumptuous ode to plum pud, Christmas cake and fruit mince pies that will have you salivating at the first smell. What’s even more amazing is that this is a pure, single rum. There are no infused spices or fruits, no added sugar and no caramel. This is all the work of the spirit plus choice of wood to age and finish it. This rum absolutely showcases the talent in distilling, and maturing rum that The Grove Distillery team possesses, it seems, in spades!

We hate to be the first to say it – but ‘it’ is just around the corner now so we are doing everything we can to make sure you’ll be stocked up right with everything rum-wise you need to see out the silly season, and even keep a smile on your dial the whole time.

The Grove is the regions first craft distillery. We featured another seasonal rum of theirs back in April for Easter (Hot Cross Rum – a spiced rum) which was an instant sell-out and prompted a wave of extremely glowing correspondence with many of those who opted into that Members Extra Rum. For November, we are stoked to offer one of their pure rums– The Grove Christmas Rum Cask – as our ‘Rum of the Month’.

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: Wow – the nose is exactly like sticking my face into the towel that wrapped my  mums rum-soaked Christmas cake whilst it matured (as a kid – I swear I don’t stick my face into mum’s cakes anymore!). It’s uncanny!

Palate: A succulent and viscous mouthfeel gives way to a huge fruit mince and Christmas cake hit. It’s all there – the nutmeg, the all spice, the cloves and, of course, those sweet and sticky stewed fruits and mixed peel. There’s even a distinct (and utterly delicious) egg-nog note to round off the rich fruit!

Finish: No surprises here – waves of Christmas num nums roll around the mouth in a blissful yuletide spin cycle.

Man this is a rum that really hits the mark in what it was aiming to be – this is Christmas in a glass.  I must admit to being slightly sceptical of the 40%ABV– but I admit my scepticism was unfounded. This is defiantly not lacking in the big flavour stakes.  The Christmas Rum Cask is a rich, round and sumptuous rum that delivers exactly what it’s label promises. Ho Ho Ho!

  • PRICE : $135

  • ABV : 40%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (Western Australia)

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


The Grove’s Premiere Rum Christmas Cask is a 5 year-aged double cask special release.

In 2017 we made our rum mashes from heavy grade A molasses, dark brown sugar, rainwater and yeast and fermented 7 to 10 days in 500 and 1000 litre fermentation tanks to 9% ABV.

The mash was distilled through 5 runs in our 350 litre copper, Arnold Holstein, pot/column combination still to 68% ABV then cut back to 58% ABV with distilled water.

We sourced a fresh 225 litre, French oak ex Cabernet wine cask from a neighbouring vineyard and filled it with the rum, leaving it to age in our barrel stores for over four years. 

We then dumped the barrel in September 2021 and filled two of The Groves own 100L ex-Bourbon, ex-Tokay barrels and let this age for a further 11 months in the top of our barrel store, allowing it to soak up the rich sweetness of the 10-year-old Tokay. 

The Team dumped the barrels in late September 2022 and James slowly cut the rum back to 40% ABV with distilled water after which it was non-chill filtered and bottled ready for a very special Christmas release.

The char of the ex-bourbon barrel imparts some smokiness on the rum and the sweetness of the tokay gives it its distinct Christmas flavours.

Nose:  Christmas cake, slight oak with sweet molasses shining through

Palate: Sultanas, caramel, vanilla and light spice

Finish: warming with a soft and sweet lingering finish


Established as a boutique winery in 1995 and evolving in to liqueur and spirit production in the mid-2000’s, The Grove Distillery was the first craft-distillery in Wilyabrup, Margaret River. From the beginning, Founder Steve Hughes and Head Distiller James Reed had a focus on dark spirits, and after nearly a decade of distilling and barrel-ageing rums, whisky’s and bourbons, this distillery is creating some one-of-a-kind pieces of Australian craft-spirit history. 

Head Distiller James lived in the Caribbean in his sprightly youth and it’s here that he saw the locals in Saint John on the Virgin Islands making their rum in ex Jack Daniels barrels sourced from the US. He knew that to make a delicious dark rum he would need to do the same.

Luckily, James also makes some of the best Kentucky-style corn mash whiskey (bourbon) you can get. It’s the barrels that have aged our bourbon that we then use to age our Rum – giving it it’s distinct flavour.

We hand-bottle everything before it’s sent out, winning awards both locally and nationally for what we do here. This is the spirit of the Grove, its bravery, it’s not being satisfied with normal, it’s making bloody good spirits while having a good time

After a GOLD MEDAL at the 2021 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, Batch 1 of this rum SOLD OUT! But not to worry Tribe, we have all of Batch 2 (outside of the Byron region) of this single cask, pure, single rum for you… Our Rum of the Month is the Winding Road Distillery ‘Coastal Cane Pure Single Rum’.

In 2021, husband-and-wife team Mark and Camille from Winding Road Distillery, took out Gold at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards with the first release of their Coastal Cane Pure Single Rum Cask AR01 (now very sold out).  We have managed to grab all but a handful of the entire second release of this fantastic rum – Cask AR02, distilled from fresh cane juice from the September 2019 cane crush.

Just as the first release was, this second release was matured in a virgin American oak barrel with a #3 char for just under 3 years.  After careful selection from the tasting panel it was emptied from the cask in May 2022 and bottled at 46% ABV.

The Winding Road Coastal Cane is an aged agricole style rum, made from fermented, fresh cut sugar cane juice. To make agricole style rum, the cane juice must be very fresh. Too long between crushing and controlled inoculating with yeast means that wild and detrimental microbes can become established, thus spoiling the batch.  To this end, it’s obvious that winding road uses local produce – nothing else will do. They also use pure rainwater collected at their hinterland distillery.

This month we bring the Tribe a couple of Byron Bay Bangers! Two different styles of rum from 2 craft rum makers from the same region.

Both of them pure, single cask rums…both using local sugar cane products…both double distilled in copper pot stills in batches…both matured in single casks…but that’s where the similarities end.

One is molasses based, one cane juice based…One aged in a new oak barrel, one in the patented ‘Super Cask’ from Andrew Young’s YN Oak Cooperage.  Two approaches, one aim.

This provides a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the differences between a molasses based, and a cane juice based, pot-stilled rum. A side-by-side opportunity to compare the differences in these two styles – both made by passionate craft distillers who happen to be good mates, and both using sugar products from the same 2019 harvest from the same sugar mill and absolutely nothing more.

No colouring or sweetening, no chill filtering. Pure, Single Rums, the both of them.

Our Tasting Notes:

Nose: A gentle and pleasant funk backbone with mashed bananas, plumbs and custard with a pinch of aniseed.

Palate: Lovely rich and oily mouthfeel. Gently warming (though not peppery at all) with fresh cut cane billets pinched out of a cane train (chewing these is one of life’s simple pleasures!), BBQ Pineapple, vanilla and fruit-pastry (apple-pie?) notes as well

Finish: The sweetness on the palate dries out in the finish with crystalised ginger and citrus peel notes as well as a touch of bush honey all swirling around each other in perfect harmony!

This is absolutely delightful sipping rum. Just so mellow and easy to sit and enjoy on. Full of those fresh, bright and ‘green’ flavours this agricole style rum is known for. If you’ve ever lived in cane country during a crush, you’ll recognise a lot of flavours in this rum. It’s just delightful on its own – but we’ll be sending some cocktail recipe cards from winding road for the mixologists amongst us!

  • PRICE : $125

  • ABV : 46%

  • BOTTLE: 700ml

  • REGION: Australia (NSW)

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


Our hand-crafted Coastal Cane Pure Single Rum is a true reflection of the Northern Rivers region, with a unique profile that showcases the influence of our local coastal climate and soil.  It all begins with fresh first-press juice from sugar cane grown in the rich soil of the Wollumbin Caldera.  It is fermented, rested, and then twice distilled in our traditional 1,250 litre copper pot still.

The new-make cane spirit is then aged in a curated selection of oak barrels; influenced during maturation by the warm summers and temperate winters of our coastal sub-tropical region.   The result is an unmistakeable and truly Australian Agricole-style rum that is smooth in character, full of body, and rich in flavour.

This batch, our second release, was matured in a 200-litre new American oak barrel for 35 months and bottled at 46% ABV.

Tasting Notes: 

Nose: Complex with vanilla/crème brulee and the characteristic ‘hogo’ funk of an Agricole combining in a manner that makes you want to take that first sip…

Palate: A full texture and mouthfeel that coats and melts in the mouth with an ongoing
complexity of flavour.  Notes of fresh cane betray its origins amongst hints of vanilla and honeysuckle.  Natural sweetness is balanced beautifully against the subtle influence of salt and sea from the distillery’s location near the coast. Each sip endures and transforms with a lingering finish, calling you back for more.


Camille and Mark Award set up Winding Road distillery in 2015. Initially operating out of their home, they have now moved the business to a separate (and beautiful) property.

Mark (an American) and Camille (an Aussie) have had a varied path since meeting and settling in the hinterlands of Tintenbar (outside Lenox Head) in 2009. Initially drawn to the region by its incomparable natural beauty and mild climate, the friends they and sense of community they experienced confirmed this is where they were meant to be.

Fast forward to 2015 and a long-held dream to build their own craft spirits distillery grew into something more than a casual conversation on a warm summer’s evening. With a love for unique whiskies, rums, and gins the idea quickly took hold. They found inspiration all around them in the lush cane fields as well as the burgeoning Australian and global craft spirits industry which was just beginning to show its potential.

Not being ones to shy away from a challenge or something a little out of left field, the Awad’s began their journey down this Winding Road. Over the next few years they studied, trained, planned, schemed and built: striving towards the goal of opening their distillery while simultaneously working to maintain their home and family life, careers, and their sanity! At present, the distillery is a fairly modest affair set on a fantastic piece of land in the hills just outside Tintenbar. Plans for an expansion of the distillery plus a new cellar door and tasting facility are just about to start being turned into reality. Watch this space!