Water of Life – Brix Distillery
What’s in a name? Before it gets too Shakespeare-an, let’s delve into science, shall we?
In a very confined nutshell, “Brix” is defined as the sweet tasting soluble carbohydrate content of watery solution, i.e. with one-degree Brix being equivalent to one gram of sucrose in hundred grams of liquid.
Given that the fine young gentlemen at the helm of Brix Distillery, i.e. Damien Barrow, James Christopher and Siddharth Soin, channel their alchemy to produce rum, the etymology informing their name makes perfect sense.
Tucked away in Sydney’s Surry Hills, their outlet is a welcoming nicely open and flowing melange of modern distillery, bar area and eatery framed by nicely curated, colourful yet tastefully subtle wall adornments that set the scene for a holistic operation that has the distilling of their core range of rums at its heart.
The equation: Different constituents informed by an overarching holistic approach result in a harmoniously themed whole.
The bar is an extension of Brix Distillery’s core business, proffering over hundred rums from all corners of this earthround with knowledgeable bar staff keen to assist to help induct the uninitiated and help aficionados undiscovered gems.
Fortified with a cocktail based on Brix’ White Rum, freshly crushed cane juice – the distillery’s own sugar cane press comes in handy - , lemon and soda a tour of the distillery par was given, were light was shed on how molasses from Queensland are mixed and heated with H2O before reducing the temperature in the fermentation tank where the result is mixed with a mix of champagne and Caribbean rum yeast. Once the yeast has down its job, the water / ethanol hybrid is channelled to the custom-made copper pot. The fact that the pot is multi-plated ensures that all impurities are removed and in the distillate being basically drinkable straight from the still. After diluting and condensing it further, the liquid emission is matured in ex wine barrels
After the tour, we were ushered to a mezzanine barrelling room where the blending exercise was to take place.
Sustenance came from in different courses, which not only drew on South American flavours but also offered cheese, whose texture and tastes help to highlight the subtler notes of the rums’ notes.
While a range of rums were at hand for the actual blending exercise, the unaged Brix White was a welcome starter: With its fresh aroma and the extensive fruitiness that unfolds itself on the palate, it culminates in a warm, elongated finish that I would not have expected from an unaged rum in this form. While I can see it making a great base for getting creative in the realm of cocktail mixing, it makes for a nice sipping rum.
However, my favourite of the evening was Brix Gold (40% ABV): A blend of five and eight-year-old rums sourced from Barbados aged in Bourbon casks.
Feeling normally more at home in whisk(e)y territory, I find it to be an immensely enjoyable sipping rum that with its tropical character and hints of vanilla underpinned by an oaky finish goes almost too well with a nice IPA.
Apparently, Brix Distillery has recently launched a spiced variety, which I am yet to experience, and which sounds interesting to the extent where it would warrant a separately dedicated feature.
Summa summarum, Brix Distillery and its emissions has firmly established itself on my radar – a radar whose coordinates are usually heavily informed by single malts and tequilas – so I can only imagine what a delightful experience it must be for the seasoned rum aficionado.
Read more Water of Life entries here.
Photos by @k.a.vv