Making Rum

As they say, you’ve gotta believe in something.

I had always thought there was a way to make Rum that could emphasises fine yet complex flavours, with a real focus on drinkability and deliciousness. Maybe do it a way that hadn’t been done before.

I knew that the key would be treating the Rum like it was a fine wine – raise it high quality, fine barrels, maybe sourced from around the world. I knew the base rum itself, the distillation, should be very pure and clean.

So, I started testing.

Before long we settled on a basic outline of how Red Mill could make a rum for the current times, Something that suited our modern lives. A delicious, hand-made, pure and easy drinking style. One where the complexity sits alongside the drinkability.

We use a refined, crystal brown sugar from the northern Rivers of NSW. This becomes the base of the fermentation alongside yeasts that are designed for fine winemaking, in this case yeasts that are traditionally used for Chardonnay, and one for Pinot Noir. This creates a fragrant, gentle, but still complex wash of around 7% alcohol. 

This wash is then sent to a column still. Another choice that backs up the vision for this style. Brought from the still at around 78%, it is now what we call new-make rum.

From here, this fresh Rum is slowly brought down to about 58% ABV with filtered water over about three weeks.

The last part is, without question, the most important. We elevage (age/raise) our rums in a section of casks we have secured from around the world. Often from areas or estates that would never share barrels. Generally, they are all ex-grape/wine casks, meaning the previously held either fine wine, some type of fortified wine or a brandy, (like Cognac).

This combination of pure, delicious new-make rum and fine barrels is the essence of this new Red Mill, but still leaves us all sorts of room for creativity with barrel combinations, blending ideas and areas to develop.


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