Wine and rum doesn’t sound like a good mix, and from a cocktail point of view it definitely isn’t, but a new distillery in Sydney’s Surry Hills is changing the way Australians think about aged spirits, maturing locally crafted rum in used Hunter Valley shiraz barrels.
Brix Distillers is now open to the public, and has recruited former Archie Rose head distiller Shane Casey to oversee the production of its core range of rums. Barrels have come from the likes of Brokenwood, Thomas Wines, De Iuliis and Windowrie. “Along with a deep golden colour we hope the barrels will impart a rich and delicate variety of spiciness, fruitiness and oak into the rum to reflect the local regions,” said co-founder and operations manager James Christopher.
In Australia, rum legally needs to be in barrel for 2 years before you can call it rum. “We will start to assess things then,” says Christopher, “but we will probably let it go a mininum of 3 years and also leave some to mature further and release it in later years.” Christopher also mentioned that Brix has already been approached by some local breweries to take their used wine barrels after the rum is matured and age beer in them, so watch this space!