Last updated 8th June, 2022
Inspired by the diverse and vibrant rum culture of the Caribbean islands and a yearning for fine Australian spirits, distiller Paul Messenger, along with his wife Mandy and daughters Harriet, Edwina & Claudia, embarked on a journey to create a plantation distillery on their cattle & cane farm, nestled in the green caldera surrounding Mt Warning in Northern NSW.
Our vision was to create a premium, farm to bottle agricole rum with a unique Australian expression. Our journey is now in it’s eighth year. We’ve had to develop new skills and adapt new methods of small-scale cultivation, harvesting and crushing not used in the area before. We’ve designed our distillery based on fermentation, distillation and maturation methods not typically used in commercial rum distilleries and the result is a rum that we are proud to say has the unique characteristics of our part of the world – our provenance.
Husk Rum can only be made from freshly crushed cane juice so its production is restricted to the harvest season from August to November. While rum from our first harvest in 2012 was quietly maturing on oak we began creating a gin, something different that would challenge people’s perception of what gin can be.
Ink Gin was a bold risk which paid off, as people around the country fell in love with the colour play & soft Australiana taste. We quickly outgrew our tiny farm shed distillery, and in late 2016 we started building a new distillery, which would be complete with a cellar door, bar and barrel house.
In April 2017 we faced our biggest challenge to date, as the most devastating flood in 100 years ripped through the Tweed Valley, an aftermath of cyclone Debbie. With 4 metres of water blanketing our farm, and 1 metre of water through our barrel shed and distillery, it was a major setback and put construction on hold for several months as our region dealt with the clean up.
2019 saw us finally complete our new distillery after a long 2.5 years of construction. This is complete with a cellar door and cafe, and is now open to the public for tours and tastings. We can’t wait to welcome you to our farm for a visit.
Follow our journey as we continue to develop experimental blends and innovative craft spirits.
Drink Less – Enjoy More