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You may think it to be old fashioned to age rum in a wooden barrel, but it’s genuinely the best way to do it. Our range of award-winning rum and spirits are a testament to that fact. The barrel-aging process heavily influences the flavour notes, and colour profiles of the rums and spirits. We are going to learn how to age rum in a barrel, and why it is wooden barrels that influence flavour and colour. There’s more to it than you may think. 

How to age rum in a barrel? 

As the name suggests, aging rum takes time, but is totally worth it. So that’s all, you may think, pour some rum into a barrel and leave it there for a while. Well, no. There’s a lot more to it than that. Rum making is an art, and our master distiller Codie Palmer personally sees to the process. 

Fermenting and distilling

Okay, get on with it, what is the process then? Firstly, we have to actually make the rum, which itself is a complicated process that takes time, varying from 5 to 11 weeks. To speed things along, we use locally sourced and treated rainwater, and by local we mean from the clouds above our heads. Then we ferment the water with brown sugar (not molasses as a lot of other rum producers do) with a secret blend of yeast to produce a base spirit. 

Next, we double distill the spirit to draw out the “fruity” flavours of the rum, and add some water, with a secret ingredient. Time is taken in the production of rum, because flavour should always trump speed. Our rum becomes incredibly smooth and flavoursome, totally unique to our range.

Aging the rum

If we were making a white spirit, such as our 1808 Barely Legal range, we would now be ready to bottle. But seeing as we want aged rum, we must now move on to utilising our oak barrels. So, now begins the process of aging rum. We pour our clear rum into ex-Shiraz French charred oak casks to further imbue flavour into the spirit and store them in a sunny spot for a few weeks. The sun works to draw the colours and fruity flavours out of the wood to give our rums and spirits that rich, deep colouring we are known for. Other rum distilleries use a cost-saving measure by adding sugar to imitate the look of an aged barred rum, but we don’t. Again, our process isn’t about saving money or time, it’s about producing the best-tasting rum we can. 

aging rum in barrels

Over a period of around a week, our rum connoisseur adds more rainwater and spices each day to allow the spices to properly blend the flavours into the mix. This is another secret process, not regarding the ingredients, but the amounts and times they are added, so we can’t spill the beans (or the spices in this case) on this artful process. 

For a run-down of our spices, we include the 5 traditional spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and orange. But for a true Australian rum taste, we add lemon myrtle, wattleseed, quandong, wild rosella, and kakadu plum. In order for the flavours to blend and merge together satisfactorily, we include ginger, chai, chilli, coffee, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, hazelnut, macadamia, and cherry. Finally, we bottle and send out our award-winning finished products, ready for your taste buds. 

Why do wooden barrels produce the best aged rum?

Now you know how to age rum in a barrel to a certain degree, but you may need more practice and experience to reach the level of standard Codie produces. Now we’re going to talk about why to produce a good rum you need to age it in a barrel. 

Studies have suggested that over 200 chemical reactions happen within the barrels, which all add to the unique character of the spirit. We use charred barrels because they allow the spirit to seep deeper into the pores of the wood, which adds colour and flavour. Each kind of wood and charring process gives out a unique flavour. We use the ex-Shiraz French oak barrels to draw out fruity flavours. 

Now for something special

Before we tell you about our range of spirits and rum for sale, we must tell you to go check out our collaboration with Finlay’s Brewing Co in Kalbarri. They’ve gone and reserved some of our ex-red rum casks to fill with their very own 10.8% imperial stout. If you’re into your rich, dark and oaky stouts, with a touch of the best rum in Australia, you should check them out. The barrels are currently aging and should be ready in around 6 months. Remember great taste, takes time. 

Illegal Tender Rum Co Spiced Spirit

Check out our range of aged rums and spirits

I’m sure we’ve convinced you that aged rum and spirits are best. We have a wide range of rum for sale online, so head on over to our website and have a look. We have spiced spirits, white rum, aged rums, and even gin from our friends at Stableviews Distillery. They’re all worth a sip, we promise. You can find our products in almost any large liquor retailer across Australia, or you can order rum online directly from our website.