Introducing Birds of Isle Bunya Nut Rum: Celebrating Australia’s Landscape and 65,000-year history

WORDS: Kitchen Communications PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Birds of Isle, a new female-owned and operated Australian rum brand, is proud to announce the official launch of its Bunya Nut Rum.

Bunya Nut Rum is a premium craft spirit that has found a new way to incorporate Australian terroir. It celebrates the unique flavours of Australia while honouring the country’s 65,000-year history.

“We’re on a mission to change the narrative surrounding rum, positioning it as the ambitious and elegant spirit we created,” says Chanel Melani, co-founder of Birds of Isle.

Female-owned and operated by career changes and partners Chanel Melani and Sally Carter

“Rum could be our national spirit. The northeastern coastline of Australia is full of sugarcane, so we’ve decided to embrace it in a complex and thoughtful way that we think could change people’s minds about rum.”

To release rum in Australia, it must be aged in wood for a minimum of two years.

For Birds of Isle’s first release, the team selected a blend of five Venezuelan rums aged 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 years in American oak ex-bourbon barrels.

These rums were carefully chosen for their light and dry Spanish-style flavor profile, which could not be locally sourced.

Unlike other rums in this style, no sugar has been added.

The rum was then finished in Australia for another seven months in French oak ex-muscat barrels from the Barossa Valley, a rare finishing cask for rum.

Finally, the rum was soaked with native roasted bunya nuts and fire-charred bunya nut shells.

The nuts were hand-foraged from prehistoric Bunya Pine trees found in Bundjalung Country-Northern Rivers in New South Wales.

Bunya Pines are endemic to Australia and have grown here since the Jurassic period (145 million to 200 million years ago).

Birds of Isle worked closely with an Indigenous chef and cultural advisor to learn about this ingredient from the Indigenous community first-hand, and to ensure a respectful representation of this native botanical.

The bunya nuts impart a sense of terroir to the rum, adding subtle notes of chestnut and pinewood.

Inspired by peated whiskies and smoky mezcals, the fire-charred shells impart a uniquely Australian flavour.

Birds of Isle Bunya Nut Rum opens with burnt sugar notes, transitions to a peppery middle and finishes delicately smoky and dry.

It has aromas of crème brûlée and oak while the palate reveals hints of anise, pepper and char. Bunya Nut Rum is best served over ice with tonic and an orange peel twist.

Australia crushes approximately 30 million tonnes of sugarcane annually, making it the nation’s second-largest export crop.

Rapidly renewable, sugarcane is more effective at capturing carbon than other common plants and is a renewable energy source.

It’s also used to create bio-based plastics and sustainable paper alternatives. Demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, Birds of Isle utilises sugarcane waste pulp for its label, uses upcycled packing materials in its cases, and sources custom curbside recyclable boxes for online orders. Birds of Isle is currently ageing its first distillation made with local molasses sourced from the Northern Rivers.

Plans for additional rum releases are also underway in its South Murwillumbah distillery.

Bunya Nut Rum is now available direct-to-consumer online at this link. It is also available in select locations in the Northern Rivers, including Bistro Livi, M-Arts and Murwillumbah Cellars in Murwillumbah, and Elements of Byron, The Sunseeker and No Bones in Byron Bay.

Product specs include:

● 700ml bottles
● 40% ABV
● $130 AUD

About Birds of Isle

Birds of Isle is a premium rum brand dedicated to changing the face of rum and celebrating the diverse landscape and culture of Australia. Founded by Chanel Melani and Sally Carter, Birds of Isle is a female-owned and operated Australian rum brand. Birds of Isle is committed to crafting exceptional rums with ambition and imagination. With a focus on new ideas, sustainability and community, Birds of Isle is redefining the rum-drinking experience.

For more information follow @birdsofisle and visit www.birdsofisle.com.au