When most people think of Australian rum, they think of Bundaberg. And “Bundy,” as it’s affectionately called, has a cult-following, love-it-or-hate-it reputation. Anyway, this isn’t that. This is South Sea Rum, which comes courtesy of the Perth-based West Australian Distilling Company. And besides its country of origin, it has little in common with Bundaberg. Which, in our opinion, is a good thing.
South Sea Rum is an agricole-style rum distilled from the free-run juice of pressed Queensland sugarcane. From there, it’s blended with rainwater and then finished in both used and new American oak barrels for a minimum of two years. The end result is a light gold-to-amber rum that’s full of fresh cane, vegetation and subtle smoke on the nose. Drink up to find flavors of vanilla, buttercream, nuts, dark chocolate and something similar to wet stones. Some woody spices come through, and it finishes very dry, with a leathery note that lingers for minutes.
Overall, this is interesting stuff. It’s got tons of flavor, albeit some competing ones, and lots of complexity that keeps you coming back for more. A bit of ice mellows things a bit, but it’s unnecessary, as South Sea is an easy-going rum.
For now, it’s available in select Northeastern states (NY, NJ, CT and RI), but look for its availability to expand in coming months.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume
CE Rating: ★★★