Pure sugarcane juice, yeast, toasted oak and time. No flavourants, no COLOURANTS.
MHOBA Rum is the original South African small batch artisanal rum produced from our local Nkomazi sugarcane. Produced from sugar cane, MHOBA Rum is what is termed an agricultural rum from the French term "rhum agricole" as opposed to most traditional rum which is often mass produced from molasses, the by-product from refined sugar production. MHOBA Rum is 100% pot distilled and therefore what is termed Pure Single Rum, the rum equivalent of a Single Malt Whisky.
Growing and harvesting the Sugarcane
The making of our rum starts with planting and growing the main ingredient: sugarcane. This is all done on the MHOBA Sugar Estate, which is located on the outskirts of the small town of Malelane in the heart of the cane-growing area in the Crocodile River Valley of Mpumalanga, South Africa. The unique sugarcane varietals that grow in this area are developed by SASRI to suit the local temperatures and climate.
Once the cane is ready for harvest, it is all cut and detrashed by hand, removing the tops and leaves, and then shredded in a manually operated, hand-fed machine.
Pressing the Sugarcane and Fermenting
The shredded sugarcane is then pressed in a hydraulic press, which was designed and built by Robert Greaves: founder and owner of MHOBA rum. This way, we produce anything between 1000-4000 litres of sugarcane juice a day. The bagasse (leftovers) are either made into organic fertiliser for the cane fields or burnt to generate heat for the stills.
The pure, freshly squeezed sugarcane juice is added to one of 12 unsealed fermentation tanks. After the addition of locally supplied yeast, fermentation takes place in the warm ambient temperatures provided by the local climate. Fermentation lasts anywhere between 1 and three weeks, depending on the style of rum being produced.
Distillation, Blending and Ageing
Our proprietary, custom built small batch stills produce extremely pure and concentrated cane rum batches of between 20 and 25 litres. Each batch is distilled with great care and attention to temperature which determines which fractions of the batch are collected, discarded or re-distilled with a future batch. This careful but time consuming method of distilling allows a much more refined raw rum spirit than would be possible with large scale continuous distillation processes which do not separate any of the distillation fractions. Each individual concentrated rum batch is then checked for taste and aroma to decide if it’s destined for aging or not and which of his 10 expressions it’s best suited for. From here, the process for each rum is slightly different. Some rums go straight to bottling, some are blended first and some are casked and left to age in the maturation cellar.
Botteling and Boxing
The bottling is as manual as the rest of the rum-making process. The rums are funnelled into bottles, and then labelled . All the labels were designed by the owner/founder of MHOBA rum and they’re all printed and engraved on site. The premium rums are labelled with bamboo and packaged into individual bamboo boxes, which are cut, engraved and assembled at the distillery.
GREAT CARE IS TAKEN IN PRODUCING EACH BOTTLE OF MHOBA RUM TO PRODUCE WHAT WE BELIEVE IS SOUTH AFRICA'S MOST AUTHENTIC AND UNIQUE SMALL BATCH PREMIUM RUM.