Founder/Distiller at Soltera Rum: KERY ALGAR
TRL: Who is Keri Algar?
Fueled by tropical island rum bar dreams, Keri has single-handedly started a craft distillery to make rum in Australia under the flagship brand Soltera Rum. She uses traditional methods and a small copper pot still to handcraft spirits from local and sustainable molasses. Her award-winning products are a testament to her determination, passion, and the pursuit of excellence.
TRL: What does the rum mean to you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?
To me, rum means freedom, romance, and revelry. As quite a young woman in the Dominican Republic, I recall being on a flat-bottom lagoon boat with a tropical storm heading toward us. The crew handed out rum and cokes, cranked up the merengue, and instead of being afraid, everyone had a ball. I’ll never forget it. I took my first sip of a cuba libre on that trip. Wherever I travel, rum is enjoyed with delight, inspiring laughter, and dance. To me, that’s rum.
TRL: Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective.
That it is unadulterated with no additives post-distillation. That it evolves from nose to palate to finish, the longer and more varied that journey is the more interesting to me. That its source material is from sugarcane only.
TRL: What is the most important contribution you have made to the rum industry?
I don’t think I have yet! Oh, perhaps it’s that I’m Australia’s only solo-woman-operated rum distillery!
TRL: Benefits that the rum industry has given you.
I’ve learned a new, fascinating trade as a distiller–a magical alchemy that marries science and art.
TRL: What’s another thing you are passionate about besides rum? Why?
I am passionate about ocean sports (diving, snorkeling, surfing, spearfishing) and writing. I’ve made careers out of those two passions and now I’ve turned to rum. I think it’s a winning trifecta.
TRL: What is your favorite place for drinking rum?
A beachside rum bar, or my distillery when another craft distiller visits and offers me a sip from their bottle.
TRL: Favorite drink + Recipe.
Too many to choose from. At the moment, a bitter Mai Tai.
TRL: Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?
Rum has a variable reputation around the world. Here in Australia, it has a storied past, and its reputation is often in question. I’d love for everyone to know just how varied and versatile rum is as a spirit. How a quality sipping rum is just as extraordinary as a quality sipping whisky. I want people to understand the passion and pursuit of excellence that goes into producing a craft rum and to regard it as a thing of beauty.
TRL: Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?
To start with, eat bland food. Then, take your time. Take time between sips to discover new flavors and sensations. Lastly, try many different rums!
TRL: Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her?
I’d like to meet a rum blogger that goes by the name of The Lone Caner. I’d like to sit with him and taste a selection of rums from around the world. I think I’d learn a lot and be exposed to an extraordinary variety of rums from around the world.
TRL: What are your next goals in the rum industry?
Making rum is the fun part, being in business is hard. Some days it requires a herculean effort to keep things moving forwards, especially as I do everything from the manufacturing, labelling, sales and marketing. If I can continue to slowly expand into the Australian market, I’ll be happy. I’m also addicted to barrels, so continually learning and experimenting with the aging process is also a goal.
TRL: Plans you have when you leave the rum industry.
Set up a rum bar on a beach on a tropical island.
TRL: Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?
It’s essential. Educating the market is critical for the appreciation of rum. Bartenders produce inventive and sometimes downright ingenious cocktails that shine a light on the rum category. They help make it an exciting time to be part of the rise of rum.
TRL: How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?
Published by The Rumlab ago
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