Return to Oz

Return to Oz

Hey there Rum Lovers! It’s time for you to Return to Oz, but that doesn't mean you’ve got to follow the yellow brick road. No. We've got a more delicious solution for you.

With a range of distilleries whose output is not widely available outside of Australia, Boutique-y’s Return To Oz throws a spotlight on the Rum, along with some fabulous whiskies and a brandy as well! Oh, and before we go much further - there is a lot more to the Aussie Rum scene than the famous Square Bear (hint: Bundy); And the good news is we’re here to help you on your way. If you want to know the lengths the team went to, then take a moment and watch this vid by the Boutique-y Whisky dream team!

To quickly summarise, this release takes us back to Black Gate Distillery, with a higher-proof offering for your glass. Then we step things up with two new producers to the portfolio; First, a delicious 12-year-old Rum from Mt Uncle Distillery, and secondly, a 14-year-old Secret Distillery bottling that enthusiasts will certainly be keen to lay hands on - we can’t share the name - but I think folks won’t have to think too long about it.


Black Gate Distillery, Australia

Black Gate Distillery, Batch 2 - 3 Year Old / 57.2% ABV

Pot Still Rum, Single Distillery [Pure Single Rum as per Gargano Classification]

Rum production at Black Gate is approximately one third of the whisky output. Circa 1,000 litres p.a. The molasses is sourced from Queensland, and is fermented using a speciality Rum yeast for up to two weeks. Direct fired pot-stills with double distillation result in a fuller flavoured spirit! The Rum is then matured in 100 litre Tawny wine casks - the Australian equivalent of Port.

Rum production at Black Gate is led by Genise Hollingworth, one half of the husband and wife team, and word is that this Rum was distilled on their 10th Wedding Anniversary!

Our Batch 2 release bottles the last bit of the delicious liquid we originally sourced and released as Batch 1 (which we reduced to 50% ABV), but this time at a beefier, even more full-flavoured 57.2% ABV. And damn good it is too!

The Label: Created by Emily Chappel (TBWC’s regular label artist) It’s a beautiful day at the distillery. In the background Brian and Genise’s Bungalow, the hot Aussie sun beams down. In the foreground the tiny dachshund Frankie is herding a group of kangaroos away from the distillery.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: A big ol’ slice of sticky ginger cake - molasses and golden syrup. Chocolate fudge, fruit cake, dried dates and sultanas. Gentle clove and tobacco, under-ripe pineapple, clove, and tea.

Palate: Lots of ripe Victoria plum and mango. Blackberry jam. Treacle tart. A touch of black olive.

Finish: Tannic and lasting. Roast parsnip sweetness balances against ginger and chilli heat.
Mt Uncle Distillery, Australia

Mt Uncle Distillery, Batch 1 - 12 Year Old / 64.9% ABV

Pot Still Rum, Single Distillery [Pure Single Rum as per Gargano Classification]

It’s always exciting to release a Batch 1 as it means we’ve a new producer with which to push the corners of the Rum map out a little further.

Mark Watkins created Mt Uncle Distillery back in 2001, and is well known for making a variety of spirits, including (obviously) Rum! His starting point is sourcing cane syrup from the local sugar making factory. The syrup when combined with yeast, dunder, and water results in a wine which was then distilled in their 1,500 litre Holstein pot still. Matured entirely at Mt Uncle Distillery in an ex-Red Wine Hogshead with a heavy toast for 12 years, this delicious Rum was shipped to the UK in a neutral container for bottling.

The Label: The lush countryside of the Atherton Tableland is described as a "fertile plateau" evoking images of One Million Years BC. Our ‘hero’ and founder: Mark Watkins stands boldly - ready for anything - in front of a terrifying array of beasties, running amok and chasing down the locals.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Gloriously fruity on the nose. Green pineapple, honeydew melon, ripe nectarine, mango. Sherbert top notes, with a touch of oak and burnt rubber.

Palate: Sweet and oily onto the palate, lots of victoria plum, jammy, with a touch of allspice.

Finish: Tannic oak and green tea. Tart cooked rhubarb, green pineapple, and a touch of anise.

Secret Distillery #8, Batch 1 - 14 Year Old / 65.7% ABV

Traditional Rum, Single Distillery [Traditional Rum as per Gargano Classification]

Now we might not be able to display the producers name on our Secret Distillery #8 bottling, but we might say that it was produced at Australia’s oldest operating distillery. We can also say it's not Bundaberg…

This fabulous long-aged Rum was produced from Queensland molasses, fermented for twelve days using the distillery's proprietary yeast. Then the wine was then ‘stripped’ using a continuous column still, and then further distilled via a spirit run in their 15,000 litre Copper Vat Still (in August 2007). It was entered into American Oak Vats & Casks in Australia in September 2007 and aged for ten years. Finally the Rum was transported to the UK at the end of 2017 and refilled into a Once Used ex-Bourbon cask. It’s an absolute cracker of a Rum and well worth seeking out.

The Label: We can’t focus on the ‘who’ specifically, so why not consider some Aussie Rum history? In 1865 a duo from England purchased 300 acres of land fronting the Albert River. They named the clearing after their old Devonshire farm and planted sugar cane. Around the same time, a man called James Stewart, known as ‘The Bosun’ was operating a floating sugar mill, aboard the S.S. Walrus, along the Albert and Logan Rivers. He found a productive use for the excess molasses he produced - making Rum! In 1884 the SS Walrus washed up on the river bank . No-one was aboard - except The Bosun’s Copper Pot still - and the distillery was born.

Our label features the famous S.S. Walrus and ATOM’s finest in the form of Simon McGoram, our man in Asia-Pacific standing proud on the prow.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Complex and engaging. Green pineapple, crisp white pear, and lemon oils. Cane sugar sweet, fresh coconut, runs up against burnt rubber, a little cocoa powder, and gentle liquorice. A delicate floral note of jasmine intertwines.

Palate: Sweet onto the palate, lovely fresh mango and green pineapple. Butterscotch and dark chocolate. Dates and raisins. A touch of burnt rubber.

Finish: A lovely balanced grip lingers nicely. A soft touch of ginger, with a smoky, burnt rubber note. Black pepper, black tea, and a lovely zesty orange note.

Don’t forget, the Return to Oz release is all about Whisky and Brandy, as well as the Rum - so take a moment to check out Boutique-y Dave’s write up on the Grain and Grape!

Buy these these releases online at Master of Malt and other exceptional spirits retailers. All on and off-trade enquires should be directed to Maverick Drinks.