Nicky Jurd

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Rum of Origin: For some things, there is no competition

Whether you want to celebrate or commiserate tonight, TropicNow columnist Nicky Jurd has you covered when it comes to choosing a bottle of rum


New South Wales have a bit of a snooty opinion of Queenslanders.

They call us banana benders, think that Sydney is better than Brisbane and insist that their rum was once so good that it caused a government takeover.

Well, things have bloody changed since then. What once may have been a mighty state of all things awesome, like rum, is now a cold, derelict shell of a place.

NSW pride is more strongly associated with riots in Cronulla than winning things worth winning. Like competitions of football. Or rum.

And so I review the 2 best rums we can find in each state!

The Winner – Queensland

Bundaberg Master Distillers Blenders Edition 2015

This rum is pretty hard to beat. In fact, it just won the best rum in the world at the World Drinks Awards.

So New South Wales didn't really stand a chance. Like, ever.

Bundaberg Rum has a definite cult status in Australia. I've stood at the rum shelves many a time lamenting a Diplomatico vs a Zacapa 23, and in the 10 minutes I spend making a decision, at least 20 bogans have pushed me out of the way to buy a standard bottle of Bundy Rum.

I have absolutely no affinity to that stuff. It's a poor example of a rum, and definitely a poor example of Aussie rum.

So until the Master Distillers was an award-winner, I never took it seriously. But this rum is now well and truly on my radar!

The Epic Bottle

It has an epic bottle. It's thick, heavy and almost worthy of being a decanter. Strong, clean lines and sleek brand implementation.

Feels food in the hand. You could use this bottle as a weapon. But don't.

Deep Rich Nose

The nose offers so much here. It's a gorgeous fragrance, I reckon you could wear it as a perfume. It's a very heady experience, and I sniffed my glass for a good 5 minutes before taking my first sip.

  • Deep, rich caramel sauce
  • Tropical bananas
  • Christmas spices; vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and nutmeg
  • Dried fruits of apricot, raisins and currents
  • Sweet fortified wine
  • Long, Lingering Palate

This rum goes on and on and on. Long after you've taken your last sip, you'll still feel it dancing on your palate. There's easy evidence of the port and sherry finishing barrels. And the smoothness! So dangerous.

  • Caramel lollies
  • Tracle sandwiches
  • Dried Christmas fruits
  • Baking spices
  • A lick of smoke
  • Smooth, easy-drinking and lusciously long finish

I'll definitely be looking out for the 2016 edition of this fine drop!


The Loser – New South Wales

Dead Man's Drop

I feel like this spiced rum was made for cold winter nights in NSW with the fire roaring and a bit of romance on the rug.

It's the kind of rum to get you in the mood for some loving, and by that suggestion I need to be straight up clear and say this rum is definitely a bit girly.

It's sweet, super flavoursome and light hearted. It's definitely something I'd drink with my girlfriends.

The Dark Scary Bottle

You know this rum is serious about its name. The liquid is black as night, and definitely one of the darkest rums I've ever reviewed.

Spicy Nose

  • Sweet treacle and vanilla
  • Loads of fruit cakey smells
  • Strong anise and cinnamon
  • Lingering citrus of mandarin and lemon

Warms your Cockles

Even though this rum is a 40 percent ABV beast, it still drinks much like a liqueur. Something I tend to think of when drinking every spiced rum. This would be an approachable drop for someone new to sipping rum.

  • Very sweet brandy snap biscuits
  • Strong sweet citrus; mandarin, orange, tangerine and satsuma
  • Christmas spices
  • Finishes short-mid, with a distinctive liquorice conclusion

Don't be sad NSW.

You might win the footy.


To read more of Nicky's in-depth and often hilarious reviews of rum, head over to her very awesome Rum Wench blog.