Our Taste Test series not only talks about the remarkable spirits coming from small Australian craft distilleries, it also highlights fascinating connections with our history and culture.
Stone Pine Distillery is in Bathurst, NSW where Australia’s gold rush era began in the 19th Century.
About Stone Pine Distillery
Back in 2015, Stone Pine Distillery released Dead Man’s Drop Black Spiced Rum. It was the first of its kind in Australia, and was (and still is) a superb spirit.
Its lighter sister, Dead Man’s Gold, is the next step in the evolution of the flavours that owner-distiller Ian Glen uses in his spiced rums.
Ian also plays with unique seasonal flavours to add into his spirits.
His Orange Blossom Gin, which harnesses the floral citrus notes of hand-picked flowers from orange trees on the Central Plains, is just one example of his talent.
About the bottle
Dead Man’s Drop and Dead Man’s Gold are named in reference to 10 men of the infamous Ribbon Gang, who were executed in 1830 as bushrangers in Bathurst’s first and biggest public hanging.
The names of the 10 doomed men adorn the bottle, noting Ralph Entwhistle first, who was the leader of the 130-strong outlaw gang, the largest bushranger gang in Australian history.
This is a spiced gold rum, a style that’s become so popular in recent years. But unlike many mainstream spiced rums, which are often too sweet, or focus too much on vanilla or anise, Stone Pine’s is beautifully balanced.
Spiced rum is often associated with the swashbuckle of the high seas, evoking pirates, giant squid and jolly sailors. But with Bathurst being over 200km from the ocean, that doesn’t really work.
However, the name Dead Man’s Gold not only nods to the heritage of the region but somehow still has a somewhat piratical feel.
Along with the bright aromas of Stone Pine’s classic gold rum, there’s a comforting toffeed honey, and a buttery toasted coconut on the nose with plenty of warm vanilla.
The first sip gives over even more of those flavours, but there’s a glorious richness from the macadamias.
You get warmth from the cinnamon myrtle but not from the 40% ABV of the spirit - the silky smooth barrel-aged rum - which instead gives oakiness and caramel.
It’s so hard to go past enjoying this delicious spiced gold rum neat or on the rocks, but mixing it into classic cocktails works beautifully.
Swapping out whisky for this spiced rum makes an incredible old fashioned or in the place of regular dark rum in a dark and stormy.
But even in something simple like a splash of orange juice over ice, Dead Man’s Gold is just excellent.