RumFest 2017: Mhoba

There’s a new kid on the rum block. Mhoba in South Africa. Their website states:

‘IT’S SIMPLE: Sugar, water, toasted oak and time. No flavourants, no colorants’.

Look past the young models & skimpy outfits, and discover a small hands-on micro rum distillery run by founder, owner & distiller Robert Greaves [above].

 

18 Mhoba stand

  • His rum is made from 100% sugar cane that grows in abundance in the local vicinity.
  • His experiments with yeasts even included a Champagne variety, but in the end a local yeast yielded best results.
  • The spirit is double reflux distilled in a pot still. They take a very small cut [info needed].
  • The rum is then charcoal filtered using custom hand-built stainless steel & glass vessels.

 

Robert tells me his distillery is ‘proper craft’. Everything is hands-on. He even hand-built the sign for the Mhoba stand [above right]. Let’s get to the juice!.

 

19 Mhoba small batchMhoba ‘Small batch’ pot stilled white rum [2017] Ob. 43%

Single [pot] distilled white rum.

  • N: Creamy.
  • T: Light spirit, mildly clean – which is good. No objections so far.
  • F: Savoury sweetness.
  • C: Open, honest,…[blah]. Decent white rum.

Scores 78 points

 

Mhoba double distilled white rum

Mhoba ‘Select Agricole’ White sugarcane rum [2017] Ob. 43%

Double distilled white rum.

  • C: Similar character to the single distilled white rum but far softer. Much like the difference between Armagnac over Cognac, I prefer the single distillation in both cases.

Near miss

 

 

AGED MHOBA RUM

 

This [2016] news clip, shows staff at Mhoba toasting oak wood chips in saucepans over gas stoves for maturative use.

Using US virgin white oak, Robert tells me they are currently charring whole staves over open fires and chopping them up into strips before sticking them into 54 litre glass flagons filled with white rum.

 

 

19 Mhoba Robert agricole

Mhoba ‘Select Agricole’ Aged sugarcane rum [2017] Ob. 43%

Stave-matured in flagons for 2 years.

  • N: Soft pineapples and lime notes.
  • T: Cloudy start but no inherent issues. Mild & murky yet super easy to drink/mix.
  • F: Gets a bit lost in the woods.
  • C: The nose has improved with the novel ageing experiments though I actually prefer the un-aged white rum.

[No score]

 

It’s early days for Mhoba and yet already Luca Gargano has shown a firm interest in bottling their white rum. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Mhoba Velier bottling at next year’s RumFest.

Mhoba and Luca.png

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