Introducing Outcask Rum: The team behind Karu gins has arrived in the rum market

What started as a Bar Week Masterclass for rum back in 2018, became an obsession for big, thick and juicy flavour. This is an Aussie rum that provides a long-lasting and playful journey across the palette.

Outcask is a pure single rum that has the aroma of crisp green apple, mild banana, pineapple and candied brown sugar. The palate follows through with crème brulee, sultana, honey and baked goods. The finish is clean, smooth and buttery.

Outcask is a pure single rum that has the aroma of crisp green apple, mild banana, pineapple and candied brown sugar. The palate follows through with crème brulee, sultana, honey and baked goods. The finish is clean, smooth and buttery.

Karu sources their molasses from northern NSW. The taste, texture and aroma of this raw material could instantly transport you to a wonderland of European confectionery. It’s sticky, sweet and freakin’ delicious.

With beautiful simplicity, yeast and water are combined with the molasses and fermented for two weeks before being distilled in a Tasmanian-made copper pot still named Calcifer. This style still lends to more thick and chewy caramel flavours.

The new-make spirit is aged in Australian Whiskey barrels, emulating an ageing process that’s traditional, yet done in an all-Australian way. With love, they’re all given rum or barrel puns as names. Stavid Attinborough and Charmander are two of our favourites.

For consistency of flavour, Karu Distillery decants its barrels in a solera-style vatting system. This ensures that Outcask Rum’s flavour characteristics are married together, with each batch sharing flavour DNA from the original. When this gorgeous rum from The Devils Wilderness finds its way into your cocktail menu, have confidence that the flavour will be consistent from batch to batch.

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Q+A with Brand founders Nick & Ally Ayres

We’re confused… Aren’t you guys a gin brand?
We certainly make gin and have had the best time over the last four years with Affinity Gin, our Aussie Contemporary and Lightning Gin, our Navy Strength offering. We’ve earned over seventy awards for gin, including Double Gold at San Fran and the Trophy at the IWSC 2021.

We have gin, but Karu Distillery is not a gin brand. We are a distillery that wants to be known for multiple offerings across the spirit genres, not just a single category. This is why our most recent releases have been Morita Chipotle Vodka and Outcask Rum, as we wanted to show the world that we’re about great spirits and not only gin, from very early in our story.

Chipotle Vodka?
It sounds like a party and tastes like one! Morita celebrates the best flavours of Mexican cooking, which is a cuisine that we’re obsessed with. We use gin distillation methodology to create Morita Chipotle Vodka. Like our gin, we use our plate column still and vapour infuse fresh and dry ingredients into Australian wheat spirit and then cut it down with rainwater that we collect from our property in The Devil’s Wilderness (just an hour out from Sydney).

We’re often asked if it’s spicy. We deseed the two varieties (Mecco & Morita) that we import from Mexico, so that even people who go red in the face from mayonnaise can give this a go. If sipping, you get a small amount of vapour heat up front, which smoothly transitions into more smoky, savoury and sweet notes. To add flavour, we balance the chipotle with coriander seeds, green capsicum, lime and agave syrup.

If you want to add heat to cocktails using Morita Chipotle Vodka, we retain the spent botanicals (see it’s like a gin) and supply them to bars. This can be a great way to add more punch to a Morita Bloody Mary.

For cocktails, Morita has those smoky, savoury and sweet notes to play with. You can easily work Morita into classic tequila and vodka drinks. We’re excited to see what mixologists come up with for this fresh spirit.

That’s such a unique take. What else do you do differently?
We believe in capturing when a spirit ‘pops’ with flavour. When it’s time to choose where we take the “hearts” cut (the barrel grade new make spirit) there is a moment that can’t be missed. To show the staff, I bring them over to the still at a safe point before the pop and actively get them to taste the stream of spirit and tell them what I am looking for.

What I look for is something that is beyond clean, sweet and of decent quality. We want the best. I get staff to taste multiple times until it gets to ‘the flavour pop’ which is where it goes from “yeah, that’s tasting good” to “FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFar out that is tasty, that is it, the flavour popped”. We take a lower yield from our spirit runs, so that we bottle a better spirit.

What’s next?
We have always had the goal of being a commercial brand with trusted products with a good reputation for quality. When we create a product, it becomes a staple in our core range. We don’t have sixteen gins, seven rums, nine whiskies, twenty liqueurs and five vodkas on the way. Time is taken to make sure that what we add, represents us wholeheartedly.

When we release an aged spirit it’s not our research and development, it’s the actual finished product. All this said, get ready for a few alternate cask expressions of Outcask Rum in 2023 and who knows, maybe something a little sweet.