Nose: Fruit cake, liquorice, vanilla, candied fruit peel, and almonds.
Palate: Mountains of candied orange, fruitcake, and vanilla; along with a few chocolate-covered liquorice bullets. Also something sweet spice – that adds a little bit of zing. Seriously sweet and fruity, with a touch of spice.
Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. It covers the whole mouth in a deliciously solid layer of rum.
Finish: Long and so very sweet. Oodles of fruit cake on the finish, with more spice than on the nose or palate.
Balance: This is seriously well balanced – strong and smooth from the very first whiff till long after it’s left the mouth. The flavours evolve slowly from the nose through to the end, with no changes or surprises.
Stone Pine Distillery’s Dead Man’s Drop spiced black rum is not exactly my normal material for a review – mainly because it isn’t whisky, but rather is a spiced black rum from the Stone Pine distillery in the town of Bathurst in NSW, Australia. Today however is Australia Day, and rum is the spirit that has flowed here since the British first stepped ashore. Today is also the anniversary of the start of the Rum Rebellion – the first and only military coup d’état in Australia’s history.
Whisky might be my normal drink, but this rum is spectacularly good in my opinion, and may just have found itself a permanent spot on my shelf. Deliciously tasty on its own, I could think of a few cocktails where this rum would shine spectacularly.
Most rums, particularly spiced rums, are named after pirates and given long back-stories involving flags with skulls and crossbones, hidden treasures, and impossibly old ships. You’d be forgiven for thinking that a rum with a name such as Dead Man’s Drop was following in the same vein. You’d be wrong though, or at least mostly wrong; Dead Man’s Drop is named in reference to the hanging of ten members of the Ribon Gang – Bathurst’s first hangings, on the 2nd November 1830. The Ribon Gang were bushrangers, not pirates – although there really is quite a bit of overlap in the job description.
The Stone Pine Distillery is itself is named after the tree in the front yard of the property on which the distillery is housed, the historic homestead “Merembra” on the southern outskirts of Bathurst – Australia’s oldest inland settlement. Stone Pine is owned and run by Bev and Ian Glen, who moved to Bathurst from Scotland in 2006.