Guest Post: A Rum Story

This post was written by one of our rum fans – Peter Rundle, of Australia. If you have a story you’d like published on get in touch via email, twitter or our Facebook page and I’ll gladly put it online.

I was leaning against the bar at The Bull Bar of The Stuart Arms in Alice Springs late one hot Saturday afternoon in 1970. I had just finished my eleventeenth beer and was so bloated I felt I was going to explode. The lovely young lady behind the bar suggested I try rum on the rocks with a little cola. Now, the people who have never tasted rum believe it is only for sailors and prospectors who drink it out of pannikins.

Those that have had rum only know two types: Bacardi for the girls and Bundy for the boys. Many who have tried the latter cannot understand how anyone could drink rum. Fortunately for me, I was given Goddards Gold Braid rum, a genuine West Indian rum from Georgetown Barbados. My life has never been the same.

Picture courtesy of


When I returned to Adelaide I discovered that Goddards was distilled in Adelaide by G.F Cleland & Sons who at one stage made their own rum.

From that time, I became a regular Goddard’s drinker. Occasionally, I would try other rums but good ones were hard to come by back then. I can recall that Beenleighs had a gold rum out for a while which was quite nice but that soon disappeared.

I managed to convert my two brothers to rum drinkers but back in the 70’s most people thought I was a bit of a hard case when I brought out a bottle of rum which I took everywhere.

two brothers to rum drinkers but back in the 70’s most people thought I was a bit of a hard case when I brought out a bottle of rum which I took everywhere.

In 1985 I moved to Darwin to live. I was faced with the terrible prospect of drinking Bundy because that was about all you could get up there. Any visitors from Adelaide were implored to bring supplies but it was never enough.

I finally convinced the manger of a local liquor shop to start bringing in Goddards. When I converted some of my Darwin mates to rum, the shop was doing quite a good trade in Goddards. Then one day, no more Goddards. Clelands had stopped distilling it and it was gone. On a trip down south, looking in every liquor shop to see if they had any old stock of Goddards, I discovered Coruba.

I have been drinking this ever since. In the last ten years, the range of rums available in Australia has increased dramatically. I have at least two dozen different rums stored around my house. I have converted so many people to rum drinkers that my wife thinks I am a menace to society (she hates rum). Even my sister is a pretty good rum drinker now. I used to dip my son’s dummy in my rum & coke when he was an infant and now he loves his rum. When I had my first tentative meeting with my future son-in-law I discovered that not only he and his father were Port Adelaide supporters but they were also rum drinkers – instant acceptance!

Because of the heat in Darwin, I learnt to drink out of handles. Now I have a big range of them from a large pewter mug I bought in Malaysia to a German stein which will take a litre.

I am disappointed when I go overseas and go to duty free and find that there is a very small range of rums stuck in a corner and acres of whiskey and brandy. Why can’t we have something like this?!

rum collection
Duty free!

I was on a cruise a few years back on an English ship and you could purchase Lamb’s Navy Rum in one litre bottles for ten pounds.

It is a lovely drop and my brother-in-law and I managed to get through about one of these a day. We called them ten pounders.

I was in San Francisco earlier this year and I went into the local Safeway supermarket to get some rum. I didn’t recognise many labels, so I just took all their top shelf supply of Zaya Rum which cost about US$34 a bottle.

To my taste, this is about the best rum I have ever had. As far as I can see, it is not available in Australia. I am looking into how I can import it. I brought some back with me but the bottom of the bottles are very thick and weigh heavy!! Luckily, I came back by ship and not plane.

I had a wander about the house recently to list what rums I had. More than I thought!

Coruba Gold
Appleton Estate VX (Another of my everyday favourites)
Bicardi Oro
Bicardi 8 y.o.
Bundaberg Distillers No.3
Bundaberg 8 y.o.
Bundaberg Pure Gold ( Beautiful tasting limited edition. Nearly all gone. Bottle available on  e-bay  for $2,275 right now)
Bundaberg 10 y.o. Master Distiller Collection
Pirate Rum ( Made in Malaysia. The worst rum I have ever tasted)
Favell’s London Dock (Just about as bad as the Pirate Rum. Distilled in Canada)
Captain Morgan
Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
Mount Gay XO
Ron Ancjo Pampero
English Harbour
Angostura 1919
Flor de Cana 7 y.o.
Flor de Cana 18 y.o.
Ron Matusalem Clasico
Ron Zacapa Grand Reserve
Amber Estate Reserve
Havana Club Dark
Lamb’s Navy Rum
Inner Circle OP (75.9%)



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