There is a new gold rush in Western Australia, flowing from the quaintly named Middle Swan in the renown wine district North East of Perth. Kimberley Rum Company – yes their name is somewhat geographically challenged – has struck a rich vein of gold, both literally and metaphorically. Their Canefire rum has won a swag of glittery 1st prizes around the world and across their range of fabulous spirits. And it is a very extensive range, with the Small Batch Reserve commanding four figure price tags for the years 2010 and older.
The headline acts are the No.5, No.9 and No.14, the latter winning double gold in Las Vegas earlier this year. The numbers state the years spent in French oak barrels and we were fortunate to receive a bottle of No.5, which also picked up double gold in China.
On first tasting our instant reaction was: ‘this doesn’t taste like rum?!’ It has a rich creamy mouthfeel, with delightful, almost feminine notes of honey and vanilla. This rich liqueur gently evolves into its traditional character with a spicy finish you’d expect and desire from a distilled spirit. It finishes with a sharp edge, reminiscent of roughly cut sheet metal, offering a perfect balance to the opening flavours.
Unlike its Chanel equivalent, we would not recommend dabbing it behind the ears for a night out – on the other hand, Canefire No.5 is best drunk neat with a cube or two of ice. Chief Distiller Blaire Newland suggests a twist of orange peel will enhance the experience. We went a step further and muddled some mandarins with a hint of grated ginger, topped off with iced green tea in a tall glass: perfect for a lazy afternoon in the summer sun.
Canefire is well stocked by retailers in WA. For those in the Eastern states we suggest you order directly online. canefire.net