Too Good at Sunshine and Sons

Image source: Contributed

A rare calendar date saw the release of a rare rum – Nil Desperandum Rum, Australia’s only rum produced using certified organic molasses. Naturally, Tony Cox was there to investigate and imbibe.

Timed to launch at 2.22pm on 22.02.2022 at the Sunshine & Sons distillery in Woombye, the inaugural release of the team’s Nil Desperandum rum brought a little sunshine to those in attendance. 

When the boys from CAVU (the team behind Sunshine & Sons’ award-winning gins, vodka and other spirits) shared a rum from the Caribbean back in 2018 this quiet drink planted a seed.

They pondered why there were no world-class rums produced from the region, given that sugar cane is synonymous with the Sunshine Coast, bountiful in Queensland and has been grown locally for more than 150 years that. 

Drawing inspiration from the rums of Barbados and Jamaica, which tend towards the fuller-bodied end of the spectrum when compared to rums from former French and Spanish colonies, they consciously chose molasses as the base for their rum.

True to Jamaican style the team only uses American white oak barrels sourced from four bourbon companies including Makers Mark and Woodford Reserve. By white barrels it means the inside hasn’t been toasted which allows the spirit to have much more flavour influence from the oak itself rather than the char effect, which can also strip out some flavours as charcoal acts also as a filter.

Head Distiller Adam Chapman also elected to have total control over the oak treatment. It is customary to age rum in barrels which have seen use for other alcohol products with port, sherry and bourbon being popular choices. Adam elects to buy in white oak which he then seasons with port and sherry. Port provides a lovely sweet, richness and softness whilst sherry, usually oloroso, provides a distinct nutty flavour.

Now to the serious stuff, what does it taste like?

Rich mahogany colour with aromas of molasses, sweet vanilla and fragrant spices and a hint of cedar.

On the palate, rancio characters are prominent with sweet citrus notes. The viscosity is medium to high providing a delicious, rounded mouthfeel with vanilla and nutty flavours all framed with a pleasant alcohol warmth – think an open fire, dark chocolate and a Romeo & Julieta No. 3. I think the boys are onto something and given Adam said it was his first crack at rum it augurs well for the future.

Another great aspect of the day was the selling of 222 of the 200ml bottles of Nil Desperandum rum to raise funds for Steps Disability Group, with the distillery kindly donating all bottles, labels and, of course, amber filling so the entire proceeds would flow to the charity. 

For those wanting to feel extra special and for rum afficionados you can go to the website and join the 1871 Club where you will receive five Nil Desperandum Limited Edition releases each year.

As Adam says, despite being a very high quality rum it is an evolutionary process but do not despair as the commitment and dedication the team has shown so far in their operations will no doubt see them reach their ambition of producing a world-class Australian rum.

About the Author /

[email protected]

After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

Post a Comment

Want more? Subscribe!

Get the latest news delivered fresh to your inbox!

Want to list your business?

Contact us to find out how! Contact us

SAVE THE DATE! 9 December, 9am-3pm @stevensstreetgallery for their Christmas Market!

Discover 20+ makers showcasing unique art, ceramics, jewellery, and more from the region`s finest artisans.

Shop local and creative this Christmas for the perfect gifts. Don`t miss free workshops and entertaining programs.

Every purchase supports local artists and boosts the creative community. A festive day trip awaits, filled with creative spirit!

Join @headspacemaroochydore for a powerful workshop - Work on Your Worries

Is anxiety holding you back? Let`s break free! If negative thoughts are on repeat or decision-making feels like a challenge, this workshop is your game-changer. Hosted by the amazing headspace GP, Dr. Amanda.

When: Monday, December 11th, 2-4pm
Where: YouConnect Hub (Warehouse) @ headspace Maroochydore

Ready to reframe those thoughts and conquer anxiety? Register now via the link in the bio or call 5409 4900 and kick those worries to the curb!

Get ready to time-travel through art history @caloundraregionalgallery ! From 8 December, 2023, to 21 January, 2024, join the ultimate print party curated by Kyoji Takizawa from the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts!

Dive into the wild world of ten artists who flipped the script on contemporary art using prints in the 1970s!

Thanks to the magic of the Japan Foundation, Sydney, and the Consulate-General of Japan, Brisbane, this show is an art extravaganza you won`t want to miss!

Time to rediscover prints and redefine your art journey! (link in bio)

Get ready for a festive double feature at @eumundimarkets !

Friday 8 December - Christmas Night Market from 4-8pm! Immerse yourself in the holiday magic with dazzling lights, festive treats, and a FREE climbing wall for the kiddos!

Then, on Saturday 9 December at 9am, join for a Saturday Market day like no other! Join the Christmas Card Workshop – a merry morning of creativity, crafts, and spreading holiday cheer!

Mark your calendars for a weekend of joy and jolly vibes!

Get ready to jingle all the way at the 59th Annual Peregian Beach Carols – the Coast`s OG carolling extravaganza on Wednesday 20 December.

This year, the dynamic trio of @peregianfamilyandfriends , @thevillageperegianbeach and @peregiansurfclub are teaming up to make your holiday season merry and bright in Peregian Park!

What`s on the festive menu?
- Live beats and carol classics by local bands, solo stars, and dynamic duos
- Foodie delights and artisan stalls to snag those last-minute Christmas goodies
- Kid-friendly fun, including face painting for the little elves
- A special sky-diving Santa soaring onto the beach (around 6pm, weather ready!)
- And hold onto your reindeer hats for a surprise grand finale at 8pm!

To unwrap all this awesomeness, just throw in a jolly $15 per family – covering EVERYTHING, from tunes to the main man himself, Santa!

Let`s make it a Peregian party to remember – see you there! (link in bio for tickets)

Sleigh bells are ringing! Have you booked your spot yet?

Join us @coolumbeer on Thursday, 7 December, as the @coolum_business_and_tourism community jingle and mingle to celebrate the merriest time of the year!

Let`s wrap up the year with a dash of holiday cheer and join your Coolum Business and Tourism community for an unforgettable evening, marking the official start of the silly season!

Secure your ticket now for a holly, jolly time by clicking the link in our bio!

Date: Thursday, 7 December, 2023
Time: 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Coolum Beer Co. | Unit 1, 2 Junction Drive, Coolum Beach QLD 4573

Tickets: Members $35.00 | Non-Members $45.00