If you’ve ever wanted to take the four-and-a-bit hour drive north from Brisbane to explore the Bundaberg Distillery and its famous rum, you might want to consider first taking the twenty-six minute drive south to the Beenleigh Artisan Distillery. Whilst their range of products isn’t yet as wide as that of the Bundaberg Distillery, the products that they do make they make extremely well.
The history of the Distillery is both entertaining and emotional, and a tour with one of the charismatic and informative tour guides is not to be missed. Following the tour you can take part in a tasting of your choice of three of the seven products available at the Distillery – Cane Cutter Vodka, White Rum, Copper-Pot Rum, Five Year Old Double Barrel Rum, Port Barrel Infused Rum, Honey Liqueur, and Traditional Rum Liqueur.
For those who love the taste and versatility of vodka but not the gluten content often found in grain-based vodkas, you’ll be pleased to find out that Beenleigh’s Cane Cutter Vodka is 100% gluten free. By itself it’s smoother than expected and has a more pleasant taste than other vodkas in its price range.
The White Rum forms an amazing base for cocktails and its flavour lends itself well to being mixed with soda, or turned into a refreshing and moreish passionfruit mojito.
The star of the show is the Five Year Old Double Barrel Rum – smooth, full of flavour and extremely versatile; it’s a revelation in Australian rum. In an espresso martini it’s rich, in an old fashioned it’s complex, on the rocks it’s refreshing and in anything it’s delicious.
If you’re not so keen on jumping straight into the hard liquor, give the Rum Liqueur some consideration. Even those who don’t generally like rum will be surprised by the sweet, fruity liqueur. Who knows – you might even end up taking a bottle (which, by the way, is itself stunning in design) home! Our extremely personable tour guide, Jade, asked each of us to think of our favourite childhood dessert when we took our first sip of the liqueur. Responses of “Black Forest Cake”, “Apple Pie”, and “Chocolate Pudding” had us all happily sipping away and reminiscing of happy times, amazed at how simply reliving these memories could change how we perceived the flavours of the liqueur itself.
Even if you’ve been to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, it’s well worth taking the tour of the Beenleigh Artisan Distillery. The tours highlight different elements of rum making and the histories of the distilleries are each fascinating for their own reasons. As for tasting the rums – they are, simply put, completely different to one another. Much as you can have two bottles of Chardonnay and find the taste entirely different, Beenleigh and Bundaberg rum each have different methods, history and ingredients resulting in different scents and flavours coming through.
To take a tour of Beenleigh Artisan Distillery, it will cost $15 per adult; or $10 per senior.
To take a tour and enjoy a tasting of three of their seven products; the cost is $25 per adult or $20 per senior.
Beenleigh Artisan Distillery
Open: Wednesday – Friday, 10am-5pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am-4pm
A: 142 Distillery Rd, Eagleby QLD 4207
P: (07) 3807 3737