A $180 rum made by the Bundaberg Distilling Co. has delivered the legendary Queensland distillery the title of best dark rum maker in the world for the second year in a row.
“Bundy” as it’s known to many Australians, especially rugby fans, took out two of the top titles at the 2017 World Drinks Awards in London.
The Master Distillers’ Collection Solera was named Best Dark Rum in the World for, while its cousin at around a third of the price, the $65 Small Batch edition won the gong for Australia’s Best Gold Rum. The $180 Solera rum also scored a Gold Medal at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which many consider world’s most prestigious and influential spirits competition. Gold only goes to spirits the 43-member US judging panel deems “exceptional”.
The Solera’s win gives the distillery in Queensland’s northern sugar cane region back-to-back victories in London after the Bundaberg Blenders Edition 2015 was named Best Rum and Best Dark Rum in the World last year. The Small Batch has now won best gold rum two years running.
Bundaberg, now owned by global drinks giant Diageo, released the Master Distillers’ Collection Solera last October
Senior brand manager Duncan Littler says they are two of the most complex rums the distillery has even produced.
The solera blend comes from aged dark and white rum reserves matured in former port, bourbon and sherry barrels.
After blending, it’s then aged using “Vat Solera” process, which is most often used to produce madeira, sherry and even balsamic vinegar, with some of the vat taken out for bottling – never more than half – before it’s topped up again. Expect vanilla, fruitcake and butterscotch notes, but the bad news is the the solera rum sold out shortly after release last year and your only chance of finding one, if they haven’t already been snapped up, is at the distillery.
Bundy’s Small Batch editions blend younger rums with aged reserves from the distillery, before it’s matured in cognac and brandy barrels, resulting in vanilla, honey and spice flavours for a more wallet friendly $65. Each batch has its own reference number and the bottles are also individually numbered.