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It goes without saying that rum is a great spirit loaded with complex flavours and notes. Or at least that’s what the reviews say, right? How we taste rum will be individual and unique to the one drinking it and you may disagree completely with how a rum tastes according to its review. Maybe they say it has hints of banana and raisins, but you might think it has a more toffee-like flavour. The thing is, neither will be wrong. As we keep on saying, rum is a complicated drink, and the reviews you see on the bottle should be taken as a guide, for taste and quality. But, we’ll get into reviews some more, a little later. Before we learn more about the taste though, we need to know how rum is made, and what’s involved in the distillation process. 

How rum was made

Historically you may know rum as the drink that pirates drank, to prevent scurvy. But you may not know it was actually invented and produced by slaves. Rum production began in the West Indies during the 17th century. Slaves and poor folk worked in sugar cane fields to produce sugar. Slaves discovered that the thick and dark sugarcane byproducts, known as molasses could be fermented to produce alcohol, known as “kill-devil” or “rumbullion.” By 1667 it became what we now know as rum.

how to make rum

The cheap and almost endlessly producible commodity became an essential aspect to life in the 17th century. Water was found to be dangerous when barrelled for too long in long voyages, and rum was a cheap preference that had an indefinite shelf life that could keep sailors and pirates alive. Rum really was the backbone of sailing and piracy. 

Rum is still made from molasses today, except it’s produced in bulk. Some companies can produce around 100,000 litres of rum a month, but they’re usually flavoured and meant for a mass market, even if they claim to be from a “craft distillery”. 

How we make rum at Illegal Tender Rum Co.

Here at Illegal Tender Rum Co, we produce award-winning rum. We have Nine fermentation vats and a 1200 litre still, and produce 3000 bottles a month. There is an obsession with taste that drives our company to produce the best quality rum we can make, that is truly ‘hand-crafted,’ overseen in minute detail heavily influencing our distillation process. Our rum has numerous spices in our mix such as; cardamon, lemon myrtle, ginger, orange, and quandong. This company’s dedication and obsession to produce a highly drinkable and quality rum that has always driven us and has given us our 20 World Spirits Awards – And Counting. You can read more about our distillation process and how we make sure our rums are sugar free.

distillation process

What does rum taste like?

As you may know, rum has a complicated flavour that is influenced by a lot of variables. It all depends on, of course, the ingredients, your taste buds, what you’ve eaten and sometimes even your mood. So, does rum just have an unexplainable flavour then? No, it doesn’t. Rum is fermented from sugarcane & sugarcane byproducts, known as molasses, so it will inevitably have a sweet flavour to it. 

Due to differing distillation processes in companies, rums that you taste will have slightly different flavours to them; some are aged in wooden barrels, and others in vats. Cheap rum will have a flat flavour that doesn’t elicit any notes or complexities in its taste. Usually, these rums are best used with a cheap coke, for a party. Better quality rums have these complex notes and tastes that can stand on their own in a glass or as a beautiful compliment to a cocktail. 

There are different types of rums that can be produced all with their own distinct flavours. Using our range of Western Australian rum from Illegal Tender Rum Co. as an example for taste:

Distillers Cut: Our award-winning rum offers flavours that range from brown sugar and cane to a distinct buttery crème Brûlée. There is a slight warmth from the rum that will fill your body, giving you that relaxed feeling. And some mild fruity notes like raisins.

1808 Barely Legal: This is a white spirit using a double-distilled un-aged cane spirit. This white rum has a crisp flavour that is accompanied by some citrus notes.

Spiced: Our spiced spirits are made from all locally sourced Western Australian ingredients. There are a number of spices in here, which include: wild rosella, wattleseed, Kakadu plum, and a whole load more. This is a spicy distilled spirit that is great to sip on ice or perfect with a mixer. And it is completely sugar free as we use 20 x distilled essential oils as our spices!

Spiced Spirit

What to look for when buying a new rum 

When you want to buy a quality rum there is more to it than a large price tag. Check the bottle for credible reviews, and also look online for reviews and awards. Typically professional reviewers are going to know if the Australian rum you want to buy is of good quality.

Get a bottle of Illegal Tender Rum Co.’s award-winning rums and spirits

We have a selection of premium spirits, and aged rums, all offering beautiful flavours for you to enjoy. All of our products are brewed in an Australian rum distillery, in Dongara, Western Australia. Find Illegal Tender Rum Co.’s bottles at your local bottle shop, or order rum for sale online directly from our website.