Holey Dollar Overproof Rum

Comment Print Email Larger Smaller Holey Dollar Rum Distilling Company, NSW $65, sold nationally

Holey smokes! That's what you'll get out of every bottle; enchanting, fruitful smoke flavours usually inherent in the finest Islay scotches and charred barrel bourbons.

One of a trio in Stuart Gilbert's range, Holey Dollar wears a heady accolade, World's Best Rum, awarded by the International Wine and Spirits Competition panel. This year all three bottles (including Premium, 40 per cent, and cask strength 75.9 per cent) were again awarded Best in Class in London. Holey Dollar's sugar cane is culled with a 20-inch blade in Fiji fields and the resultant spirit from molasses and yeast is aged three years on oak.

Overproof has a thick bronze hue and a rising nose of raisins and vanilla. At 57.2 per cent, it is targeted for inclusion in highbrow cocktails, usually with a price to match. But if you're brave enough to tame its heady fume with a glass and just one rock to open its flavours, the rewards are potently plentiful. There's a note of sweet orange biscuit that slides into a hint of dried apricot.

Its fume backpedals into the sinuses with smoke and charcoal and dry wood. It finishes sharp but smooths out fast.

The twist: The HD Overproof is not marketed without some heritage. Stuart includes a classic point of interest on his website; "testing for proof involved pouring a little of the rum over some grains of gunpowder and setting it alight. If the mixture remained alight, the liquid was said to be at proof. If the liquid was stronger than proof, then the gunpowder would explode, thus overproof."

Goes well: With sounds of Seaman Dan.

4 and a half stars out of 5.


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