I was looking through some photos from our 2017 trip to Queensland and uncovered yet another forgotten rum – one we stumbled across while driving around the Atherton tableland region west of Cairns.
We had driven down from Thornton’s Beach Bungalows, where we spent a glorious and lazy week, trying not to think about all the local flora and fauna intent on murdering us. It’s easy to forget, living in Melbourne, just how terrifying Australia can be – from crocs to cassowaries, there is no shortage of prehistoric-looking monsters lying in wait for unsuspecting city slickers like ourselves.
It was not an auspicious start to the day. Clearly under the influence of some kind of tropically-induced fever, we not only stopped at a mango winery to sample the sickly sweet local produce….we bought a bottle to take home (side note: the bottle sat on a shelf for two years and was finally disposed of, without imbibing a drop, when we moved house).
Thankfully the next experimental venture into Queensland booze proved a little more rewarding. Noticing a sign pointing to the Mt Uncle distillery we decided to chance it and followed our noses to the rather lovely grounds where peacocks, alpacas and donkeys roam freely. Bypassing the (also very nice looking) restaurant, we headed straight to the tasting room.
Iridium Gold Rum is made from 100% sugarcane, in the style of a French agricole rhum. The bottle states that no caramel, colouring or additives have been added – which should go without saying really, but hey, we’re in Bundy territory here folks. We liked it enough to buy a bottle (supporting the banana bending economy) – only to find the bloody thing $10 cheaper at a Liquorland in Cairns an hour later. So much for cutting out the middle man!!
In our comatose, holiday state we didn’t think twice about paying $75 – though it pains me now to think of it. Although it certainly kicks ass over it’s Queensland cousin, I certainly wouldn’t rate Iridium highly enough to fork over that kind of money again….not with so many better-value and superior rums available from the Caribbean/ Latino corner of the world.
Nevertheless, it was a vast improvement over the morning’s mango wine experiment…and there’s nothing like the warm fire of rum in your belly to help you forget about crocs, cassowaries, snakes, spiders and god know what else, waiting to devour you in “perfect one day, death-trap the next”, Queensland.