After five years of development, Brix Distillers has released three new products containing entirely their own spirit, which have been matured in Sydney in Australian casks.

The Core Range consists of Brix Australian Rum (matured in Australian red wine casks), Brix Australian Spiced Rum, and Brix Australian Cane Spirit – essentially a white rum containing a portion of aged spirit that has been charcoal filtered for clarity (Australian law dictates that rums must be aged for two years in oak, hence ‘Cane Spirit’).

For James Christopher, Co-founder of Brix, these new bottlings mark a progression upon the distillery’s previous offerings, and the fulfilling of a long-held ambition: to produce a range of entirely Australian rums.

“These products are essentially evolutions of the other products,” Christopher explains.

“The barrel-aged rum, we’re calling Brix Australian Rum, is now 100 per cent our product, which has been a labour of love, obviously the last four or five years of putting barrels of rum down and aging over the last number of years.”

Previously Brix had been importing Bajan rum, something the distillery had openly acknowledged.

“It was part of the waiting process for our rum to come of age, which has now happened, and we now have enough aged product to stop importing rum, and start using our own rum that we put down two, three, four, five years ago,” Christopher adds.

Indeed, of these new products, nearly every element is Australian, from the molasses used to provide the base for distillate, to the casks the spirit is matured in, to the flavourings of the spiced rum.

“The only thing we can’t claim is cinnamon. We don’t grow cinnamon in Australia, we tried working with cinnamon myrtle but that didn’t quite give the same intensity of flavour we wanted,” Christopher continues.

Brix uses molasses from the Bundaberg Sugar refinery (which is not connected to the rum brand), which Christopher believes to cultivate the best cane in Australia. The distillery also sources whisky and beer barrels from local producers, and takes many wine casks from the Hunter Valley, maintaining relationships with the likes of Brokenwood Wines, De Iuliis Wines and Thomas Wines.

Brix C0-founder, James Christopher.

This commitment to Australian produce is part of a wider ambition to heighten the stature of domestic rum in Australia, which has been largely dominated by a small group of producers.

“We’re just trying to have a different conversation, and educate people and teach people that Australian rum can be different to what you might know,” Christopher says.

“I think these products really do speak to that, they really do show people that Australian unaged rum and Australian aged rum and Australian spiced rum are different to what you would picture from your knowledge of Australian rum in the past.”

And Christopher believes this part of a wider movement of rum distilling in this country.

“We’re starting to see some really great rums come out as well from producers all around the country, to really put Australian rum on the map… We’re building a category and a rising tide floats all boats, in the same way that whisky and gin guys have built their industries, we want to see the same thing happen.”

Brix has recently signed a deal with SouthTrade International to distribute the distillery’s spirits, and with this comes something of a change of focus.

“Most of our focus to date, before we signed up with SouthTrade, has been to get our rums into bartenders’ hands to make cocktails and showcase them in rum bars and whisky bars and sipping bars around the country,” the Co-founder outlines.

“With the release of these products we have a lot more stock on hand to play with… So the focus of them really is to add to the on-premise focus that we’ve had so far, and really start to see them show up in bottle shops and independents and little stores around the country.

“Essentially to put a bit of focus on to the off-premise world, so that people can have them at home, and be taking them along to barbeques and pouring, splashing a few drinks around with their mates.”

Jonathan Bass, Senior Brand Manager for SouthTrade offers further detail on the new partnership.

“The super-premium rum segment in Australia is fairly small, which is an exciting opportunity for us given consumer engagement with rum is growing and demand for Australian made spirits still remains high.

“Leading with the fact that Brix are now 100 per cent Australian made and aged, SouthTrade is excited to be supporting Brix’s next stage of growth, in particular helping establish a stronger presence across the Indies on and off-premise nationally,” Bass adds.

Brix has also produced Agricole-style (fermented sugar cane juice) rums, and small batch products. Down the line, Christopher wants to see aged and premium Australian rums held in the same regard that Australian whisky is currently.

“We want to see people drinking our aged rum at home, on their spirit shelf alongside a nice bottle of Australian whisky, alongside a nice bottle of Australian gin that they’ve got there.

“We want to see a nice bottle of Australian rum sitting there so they can pull it down and have a sip and sort of look at it in the same light as they look at Australian whisky and gin, and think about the quality, love and passion that’s gone into it.”

“Australian rum is due for a serious change over the next coming years,” he concludes.

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