No safer bet than award-winning rum


Making rum in Far North Queensland is surely a sport, and there are few better safe bets and delicious competitors than Atherton Tableland’s Mt Uncle Distillery after their FNQ Rum Co was awarded overall Style Winner and Silver for Pot Still rums at the World Rum Awards 2020.

And it was pure hard work consisting of blood, sweat and sugar cane that paid off for boutique Tropical North Queensland distillers, Mt Uncle Distillery, after both their rums picked up awards at the recent 2020 World Rum Awards in London.

The FNQ Rum Co Iridium Gold Rum took out the overall Style Winner in the Pot Still under five year’s category, with its blonde sister FNQ Rum Co Platinum Cane Spirit collecting Silver in the Pot Still Unaged category.

While Mt Uncle have certainly carved out a fine reputation for their award-winning gins, Botanic Australis, Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin and Botanic Australis Bushfire Smoked Gin, the recognition for the rum is a sweet one indeed, says Head Distiller and Director Mark Watkins. 

“Rum in Queensland is as iconic as cane toads and the Broncos, but certainly better than both. These awards solidify our position as one of the best spirits producers in the region and in the country.

“The cane syrup base makes a huge difference to the flavour, as opposed to a molasses base. The volcanic soil where the cane grown also plays an important role in the palate depth and overall flavour.

“While other more well-known distilleries may have the market share, our focus is purely on creating a premium product that acts as a flagship product for Tropical North Queensland liquor and tourism industries. It helps that it’s something I’m passionate about and like to drink too.”

The Iridium Gold Rum is a unique expression of the distilled spirit, its rich, toasty gold hue obtained from the four years barrel aging process.

The panel of judges described the award winner as having “a nose of sherry, prune and raisin with ripe roasted apricot. There are hints of banana, caramel, mint and eucalyptus with some wood smoke and chocolate. The palate is quite rich and the oloroso tones make for a complex and comforting rum.”

The World Rum Awards is a prestigious competition normally held in London annually, but this year the international panel of judges carried out duties from their homes due to COVID-19, announcing World Rum Awards winners across several categories out of over 300 entrants worldwide.

Watkins said the last few months of operating his business had proved challenging but like many distilleries around the country, they were now supplying hand sanitiser in conjunction with Coral Sea Brew Co. to help keep up with the demand for the product during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have been taking a lot of it and a few other local aged care facilities and other essential services around the place," he said.

Located in the foothills of a banana plantation in Tropical North Tropical Queensland, Mt Uncle Distillery has built an impeccable and unrivalled reputation in producing award winning premium spirits and liqueurs still with a huge emphasis on using as many local and national Australian ingredients as possible.

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