Rum, whether it’s white or dark, is a universal drink. On every continent, in one way or another, it’s influenced the course of history. It’s aided weary soldiers, fuelled military coups, and been used to sway electoral voters. It helped prevent mutiny on pirate ships and promised to cure deadly tropical diseases. Doctors used it as a crude pain killer and anaesthetic.
The Crush Magazine team was recently invited to ruminate over this important past by blending our own special batch of Bundaberg Rum. The sweet scent of molasses filled our nostrils, as we were guided into the dimly lit ‘Blendatorium’ in East Bundaberg. Flanked by beautiful oak barrels, it’s got an atmosphere that makes us feel like we’re being let in on some kind of secret and once we’ve made our Crush Blend, we’ll be part of an exclusive club.
Laid out in front of us is a conical flask, measuring cylinder, five glasses of different dark rums, varying in colour and age. Each glass is covered with a watch glass to lock in the aromas. The equipment hasn’t changed since Bundaberg Rum appointed its first tasting panel of both men and women in 1968 (pictured).
The rums we sample have been aged in sherry barrels from Spain, port barrels from Portugal, bourbon barrels from the USA, scotch barrels from Scotland and American oak barrels from, you guessed it; the US of A. You can’t get these liquids anywhere. They call it ‘arumatherapy’. After deciding what tickles our taste buds, we use the pipette to bring our favourite flavour profiles together. We measure, pour and blend the rums into bottles. Our secret Crush Blend is given its own label and batch number. The recipe is kept on file at the distillery. Each bottle is numbered, and we can order more at any time.
The Blend Your Own Rum Experience at the distillery is truly special and something every Bundaberg local should try at least once in their life. Who knows, you could be Bundaberg’s next master blender!