SMH Good Living - Holey Dollar venture strikes gold

Winning gold in international competitions has become a habit for boutique rum entrepreneur Stuart Gilbert.

In 2000, he bought the lapsed trademark for Inner Circle and revived the legendary rum produced by the Colonial Sugar Refinery distillery at Pyrmont until 1986. Marketed in three strengths, Inner Circle won numerous gold medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London and various other competitions.

Gilbert produced the rum at the historic Beenleigh Distillery in Queensland, made it a winner, then sold the brand to Lion Nathan in 2007, staying on for a year in a transition role. Not one to fade quietly away, he launched Holey Dollar Rum earlier this month and made a clean sweep of three gold medals at this year’s IWSC.

Now the Holey Dollar Rum Distilling Company has been short- listed for the competition’s International Distiller of the Year award, announced on October 14.
The name comes from the Spanish coins with holes punched out that were used briefly in the NSW colony and, significantly, superseded rum as a form of currency during the Rum Corps era. Gilbert points out the business was founded in 2008 – 200 years after the famed Rum Rebellion.

Holey Dollar Rum is made in Fiji, using local hand-cut sugar cane and distilled in a 100 year old wood fired Copper Pot Still.  "We’re producing 1600-litre batches and will increase that, in time, to 4000 litres. We’re never going to be huge but we want to give consumers a better choice of rum."

Holey Dollar Rum was released on Father’s Day through Cammeray Cellars and is available in three strengths – SilverCoin Premium (40 per cent),Gold Coin Overproof (57.2 per cent) and Platinum Coin Cask Strength (75.9 per cent). It will be distributed more widely in the coming weeks.


(57.2 per cent) Colour Deep gold. Nose Rich demerara sugar, hints of spice and fruit. Palate Dark sugar notes up front, complex mixture of cedarwood, spice, raisin and vanilla; long, smooth finish. Overall A complex and flavoursome golden rum.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, September 2009
Author: Willie Simpson
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