White v Spiced
Although the process is generally similar, there is a difference between the end result if we are distilling to produce the 1808 Barely Legal or the Spiced spirits. The 1808 is produced so it can be diluted and bottled immediately, and yet still retain a fruity flavoured rum-like note in an unaged drink, whereas the Spirit we intend to spice has to be slightly different in profile to carry the mellowing and spicing.
Spicy doesn’t mean fast
Although we leave the 1808 Barely Legal story here, the Spiced story continues.
The high alcohol spirit is put into our re-toasted, re-coopered, ex-Shiraz French Oak 225 litre casks and stored in a sunny spot in the barrel store.
Over a period of some weeks, the warmth of the sun imbues the previously clear spirit with the colours drawn from the charred fruity wood to produce a caramel coloured spirit. Ask yourself how many other ‘Spiced Spirits’ use a barrel to colour their spirit instead of the addition of sugar to imitate the ‘look’ of a barrel age – No one else that we know of.
This mellow spirit is then diluted to 35% ABV and spiced with twenty ingredients over a period of around a week.
Why does it take so long to add rainwater and a bunch of flavours?
Codie personally hand spices and hand waters each batch: 5 spices per day and a small amount of water each day.
The reason is simple. Time allows each new addition to slowly blend into the mix. Rushing this could create a flavour profile dissimilar from before. And consistency of optimal flavour is all that matters.
The spirit is now ready to be coarsely re-filtered, bottled and most importantly, drunk.
Our Spiced is completely sugar free.
The spice recipe secret
Is obviously a secret. It’s no secret what those spices are because we’ve listed them below, but what is a secret is the amounts of each per litre: Some in quantities as small as 7.5ml per 1000 Litres.
It took Codie 328 different variations to arrive at the Spiced flavour profile he wanted to create. Spiced recipes traditionally have 5 common ‘spices’: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom and Orange. So we include those.
We wanted to create a truly Australian flavour to our Australian hero, so we added Kakadu Plum, Lemon Myrtle, Wattle seed, Quandong and Wild Rosella.
But you can’t just marry old world spice and new world spice and expect it to ‘work. We wanted them to blend beautifully in a complex, many layered taste profile and that’s why we selected the other ten spices: Ginger, Chili, Chai, Vanilla, Coffee, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cherry, Hazelnut, Macadamia.
But that list doesn’t include the dozens of ingredients Codie rejected to get to recipe 328.
Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom and Orange
Kakadu Plum, Lemon Myrtle, Wattle seed, Quandong and Wild Rosella.
Ginger, Chili, Chai, Vanilla, Coffee, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cherry, Hazelnut, Macadamia