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A Dead Man's Drop - A Story of Spiced Rum In Australia

Bathurst in 1830 was very different to the modern-day one. Incoming convicts were assigned to properties to work and live out their days. This includes the members of what would soon become known as the Ribbon Boys or the Ribbon Gang. After being denied their tickets to freedom, the men took matters into their own hands and started uprising, battling local police and military after massing numbers in the 100’s. In late 1830 with the numbers down from the 100s to 10, the gang surrendered and were tried in the first Supreme Court sitting outside of Sydney.

The Jury consisted of men who had been beaten and humiliated by Ribbon Gang leader Ralph Entwistle. All 10 men were found guilty of murder. According to the then recently passed Bushranger Act, sentences like the one placed on the gang had to be carried out as soon as possible,and so the Ribbon Gang became the first public execution in Bathurst and the largest mass hanging in the history of the colony. Entwistle’s last words are reported to be as defiant as other famous bushrangers before him. “My old mother said I would die like a brave soldier with my boots on. But I’ll make a liar of her.” He then kicked off his boots.

But what does any of this have to do with Australian Craft Spirits?

Well, the names of those 10 men now grace the bottle of Stone Pine’s Dead Man’s Drop and Dead Man’s Gold Spiced Rum. Spiced Rum is often styled after swashbuckling pirates of the seven seas, but Stone Pine is located over 200 km inland, so that vibe didn’t fit with what distiller, Ian Glen was looking for. He did think, however, that bushrangers are basically pirates who don’t spend any time on the seas and what better bushrangers to nod to with his rum then the ones who spent their time right in his distillery’s backyard!

Dead Man’s Drop was Australia’s first black spiced rum and is a marriage of rum with orange peel, vanilla and Australian native flavours of Ringwood and Cinnamon Myrtle. The rum is aged through a solera system, where small portions of rum are moved and aged in different barrels during the process to give a more complex flavour. The flavours in this spiced dark rum work great in any rum based cocktail, or even on the rocks.


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