By Sacha Delfosse
Inner Circle Rum is now back to being produced on Australian soil at the Heritage Beenleigh Distillery in Queensland, following this year's purchase of both by Bickford's Australia, the parent company of Vok Beverages.
Prior to the May 31 acquisition of both the brand and the distillery, Inner Circle Rum was being produced in Fiji, while the Heritage Beenleigh Distillery (the oldest registered distillery in Australia) remained unused.
"The distillery had not produced over the last five years until now. We have just completed our first production run at the distillery and the Australian-produced Inner Circle Rum is being supplied to the trade currently," Vok Beverages' brand manager, Blake Vanderfield-Kramer, said.
"We have spent the last five months working with the team at the Beenleigh distillery to ensure we kept some of the key Inner Circle Rum characteristics, like using pot still production method, while also transitioning to Australian sugarcane."
Vanderfield-Kramer believes these changes have resulted in a cleaner, more complex and fuller-flavoured rum that is "keeping in tradition with the original produced style of Inner Circle Rum" that used to be produced back when the brand was owned by CSR.
In the five years the distillery has remained dormant, there has also been a large amount of investment to improve the facility’s production and storage capacity. The focus now is to "ensure a smooth transition of the distribution".
"We are endeavouring to ensure that all trade and consumers continue to have access to the products and support for the brand over the summer period, while building new distribution and educating on the fact of Inner Circle Rum now being 100 per cent Australian-owned and produced."
"The price will not dramatically change on Inner Circle Rum. We are investing in building the brand and will have key pricing strategies and promotional support over the summer and throughout 2013," Vanderfield-Kramer said.