The story of Husk Distillers started in 2009 in Martinique where the founder, Paul Messenger, was inevitably put face to face with the local agricole rhum. He enjoyed it so much he was inspired to bring this style of rum back to Australia. Since then Paul along with his wife Mandy and daughters Harriet, Edwina & Claudia, embarked on a journey to create a distillery on their cattle & cane farm, situated in the green caldera surrounding Mount Warning in Northern New South Wales, Australia.
They started distilling rum at a small scale in 2012 and then at a larger scale in 2019, upgrading from a 50 litre copper pot still to a 1000 litre one. They use cane from their own farm and the rum production is restricted to the harvest season between August and November – sugar cane juice must be fermented and distilled as soon as possible due to its volatile nature.
Inspired by the AOC and regulations surrounding agricole rhums, Paul Messenger registered a trademark with IP Australia for the term “Cultivated Australian Rum” which basically means the rum must use cane juice as its raw material from known cane varieties in a Recognised Australian Cane Growing Region between Grafton, NSW and Mossman, QLD. They also forbid any sort of additives.
I find it quite curious as I don’t see that term anywhere on the Husk Pure Cane bottle that I own. I did notice on their website that the label on my bottle is a little outdated and also that their unaged rums don’t feature the word “rum” in their presentation anymore either. That must be because, by Australian regulations, cane spirits must be aged for at least 2 years in order to count as rum.
According to the label on my bottle the rum inside comes from a 2020 harvest and it’s the 8th batch the distillery has produced.
Husk Pure Cane Rum is cane juice based, pot still distilled and bottled at 40% ABV without any additives.
On the nose feels sharp and briny. Green olives, gerkins, lemongrass and cane juice. Unripe raspberries, freshly baked bread and chromo board. It smells acidic and herbaceous. Bell peppers and camomile tea with a touch of parsley.
On the palate it’s softer than I thought. Canned cane juice, honey, corn flakes and a touch of green olives. Camomile tea, white mulberries and some palm sugar. It’s almost too soft, it goes down very easily. Freshly baked bread, black pepper and a hint of saffron. The finish is short with grassy honey.
It’s probably one of the lightest cane juice rums I ever tried – the flavour is nice, but the body itself is a bit too thin for me. It’s like a potential house white rum that is a bit more interesting.
Husk Pure Cane Rum score:
Value for money: 8/15