in the heart of the tweed caldera
On the east coast of Australia in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales lies the deepest caldera in the Southern Hemisphere. At the focal point of the caldera and still dominating the region is the eroded core of the once mighty Tweed volcano. Known as Wollumbin or ‘cloud catcher’ by the Bundjalung people, it was named Mt Warning by Captain James Cook in 1770, to warn mariners of the treacherous coastline between Fingal Head and Point Danger.
Nestled in the caldera below, set on 150 acres of farmland with the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Gondwana Rainforest to the west, lies the small distillery where Husk Distillers practice their craft.
Our farm distillery is not currently open to the public - cellar door and bar opening in 2019.
What is Agricole rum?
Agricole rum is rum made from freshly crushed sugar cane juice, instead of molasses.
Only about 3% of the worlds rum can be called Agricole and most come from a few small islands in the French Caribbean, notably Martinique.
Unlike molasses, sugar cane and cane juice can’t be stored and must be crushed and fermented as soon as possible. This means that agricole rums are seasonal and can only be made during the sugar cane harvest.
Rhum agricole from Martinique is subject to strict rules of production governed by the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), similar to the rules that control champagne and cognac. Husk Distillers are not governed by the AOC and this gives us freedom to create our own unique expression of agricole.
Agricole rums are typically pure and unadulterated with no added sugar or flavours. Prior to maturation agricoles are generally fresh, herbal and dry, with a crisp finish. They develop a complexity and balance upon maturation, when they are intended to be sipped neat.
Agricole rums are seasonal and made from freshly crushed cane juice.
Our Innovative Spirits
Husk Distillers are first generation, new world distillers. At Husk, we strive to create rare and unusual spirits. We are driven to craft the finest spirits that reflect our beautiful environment, practising sustainable distilling and using raw, natural and native ingredients.
Paddock to Bottle Distilling
As the only paddock to bottle rum distillery in Australia, we grow 100% of the sugar cane used to make our rum right here on our farm. Our cane grows only a few hundred metres from our mini sugar mill and distillery and is cut, crushed and transferred to the fermentation vessels in under 4 hours.
We’ve been experimenting with different cane varieties since 2012 and we select our varieties based on the drinking quality of their juice, rather than commercial sugar yield.
“It makes sense that the best tasting cane juice will produce the best tasting rum.”
Because we use fresh sugar cane juice instead of molasses, our rums have what the French call 'terroir'.
Terroir is a term which describes the characteristic taste and flavour imparted to a product by the place in which it is produced. The geology, soil, topography, water and climate are all reflected in each rum harvest, just like in winemaking. All of those characteristic flavours are produced by the action of our yeast on the freshly harvested and crushed cane juice. These natural flavours are concentrated and enhanced during distillation.
These environmental factors change from year to year - one year we might have a flood and the next a drought. You will notice the harvest date written on each bottle of rum, reflecting the climatic events of that year.
Our rums have “terroir” – they reflect our provenance, from paddock to bottle.