Black Gate Rum


I didn’t set out to make this blog solely about Australian Rums but it seems to be heading in that direction. There’s plenty of information around the net about Caribbean, Central American  and European bottled rums but I’m always surprised at how little information there is about rums from down under. If you ask anyone about Australian Rum Bundaberg will usually spring to mind. Like it or loathe it, Bundaberg Rum is an Australian Icon. I quite like some of their “higher end” offerings but I can’t stand their standard U.P Rum. I wouldn’t even use it as a mixer. To me it has a bizarre taste that is quite unlike any other rum I’ve ever tried.

So I hope that my little blog does bring some awareness in some small way to the wider world.

I’ve written notes on the Black Gate Rum before but unfortunately I didn’t save them so I thought I’d have another go. So frustrating as I would have loved to have been able to compare my notes from the last time I tried this.

Black Gate Distillery is located in Central Western New South Wales and run by Brian and Genise Hollingworth with Brian as the Whisky Distiller and Genise as Rum Distiller. (Although this rum bottle is signed by B. Hollingworth)

This is a young, single cask offering at a month or two over two years old. Double distilled in 2014 using a direct fire copper pot still and bottled in 2016 at 51% ABV. Bottle number 6 of 165 bottles from cask number 017. I always love that kind of information on a bottle. I’m not sure why but it does make the experience feel a little more intimate.

The bottle is another one of those tall thin ones that seem to be de rigueur in Australia. I’ve said it before but I’m not keen on these bottles. It’s only a personal thing but I much prefer a stout sturdy bottle and besides, these tall bottles are a pain in the arse to fit in my rum cabinet. First world problems aside, the bottle comes with a real cork stopper which is always nice.

Initial aroma is heavy on the toffee/ fudge notes. Most pleasant. It smells very sweet almost like a caramel liquor. Then the oak and sherry notes come through…Sherry? hmmmm on second thoughts maybe sweet Muscat.

Surprisingly this rum has very little in the way of alcohol burn. I’m surprised because on face value at 51%, Pot distilled and being so young, I thought it would be quite fiery. It’s not though and I find it quite sweet to taste. I really don’t think it is adulterated but I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if I was told there was a tiny bit of sugar added.

It is delicious though, There’s Green banana, pineapple and a little pepper. I think I might also detect a touch of mint! It’s an easy rum to drink and quite complex but not challenging. I can’t help but think Black Gate rum will be stella when it really comes of age. I really hope they have some set aside for another 8 or so years. I’ll certainly be waiting with my dollars if they ever release an aged version.

The finish lingers a while. It’s not massive but it hangs around for a while long enough to enjoy. The sweetness transforms to a pleasant dryness as it fades away.

Australian distillers really are a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully, given time, rum drinkers outside of Australia will realise that there is more to the offerings from down under than just Bundy. In another few years time, when these rums really start to come of age, there’s going to be some giants coming out of Australia.


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