- Saluting Quebec’s Craft: The Journey of a Vanuatu Distillery with Quebecois Roots [French]
Nous tenons à exprimer notre sincère gratitude à Patrick Tousignant et son excellent podcast, « Découvrir les Distilleries du Québec, » pour nous avoir invités à partager notre histoire. Bien que nous ne soyons pas physiquement situés au Québec, notre passion pour la création d’un rhum exceptionnel est profondément enracinée dans notre héritage québécois. En tant que fiers Québécois nous aventurant dans le monde de la distillation au Vanuatu, nous sommes ravis de nous connecter avec d’autres passionnés des spiritueux et de mettre en lumière l’incroyable parcours qui nous a amenés là où nous en sommes aujourd’hui.
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Patrick Tousignant and his insightful podcast, ‘Découvrir les Distilleries du Québec,’ for inviting us to share our story. While we may not be physically located in Quebec, our passion for crafting exceptional rum is deeply rooted in our Quebecois heritage. As proud Quebecers venturing into the world of distilling in Vanuatu, we are thrilled to connect with fellow spirits enthusiasts and shed light on the incredible journey that has brought us to where we are today.
Episode on Youtube [FRENCH]
Découvrir les distilleries du Québec
Tous les épisodes du podcast : http://www.ddq-podcast.com
- Exploring Local Flavours: 83 Islands Distillery’s Innovative Barrel Research Project
At 83 Islands Distillery, we pride ourselves on our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and celebrating the unique flavours of our region. With this in mind, we are excited to announce the launch of a groundbreaking research project focused on the development of barrels made from local wood sources. Our aim is to create distinctive, high-quality rum by ageing it in barrels crafted from mahogany, mango trees, avocado trees*, and rosewood, and to uncover the impact of these woods on the flavour profiles of our spirits.
Our inspiration for this innovative research project comes from anecdotal stories dating back 150 years ago, suggesting that Cuban rum was occasionally aged in mahogany barrels. Although these accounts are not well-documented and oak barrels have been the traditional choice for ageing rum, the intriguing possibility of a unique flavour profile arising from mahogany-aged rum piqued our curiosity.
Traditional rum barrels are commonly made from oak, which imparts unique flavours and characteristics to the spirit during the ageing process. As a distillery that celebrates the rich diversity of our local environment, we want to explore the untapped potential of using locally sourced woods in our barrel-making process.
We will collaborate with local artisans and forestry experts to identify and source high-quality, sustainable wood from mahogany, mango, avocado*, and rosewood trees in our region.
Talented local artisans will create barrels from each wood variety, taking into account the unique properties of these denser materials, which may require adapting or deviating from conventional techniques typically employed with oak. As a result, these barrels may have a distinctive appearance, setting them apart from the traditional oak barrels typically seen in the industry.
We will produce and age our rum in the newly constructed barrels, monitoring the maturation process closely to identify the effects of each wood type on the flavour, aroma, and colour of the spirit.
Before the tasting process, we will prioritise safety by conducting a thorough evaluation of the rum for any potential toxicity resulting from the ageing process in the non-traditional wood barrels. Once the safety and quality of the rum have been confirmed, our experienced distillers and tasters will proceed to evaluate the rums, comparing their flavour profiles to those of rums aged in traditional oak barrels. We will also extend invitations to industry experts and enthusiasts, encouraging them to share their valuable feedback and insights on this innovative project.
The results of our research will be documented and shared with the wider spirits industry and our loyal customers, showcasing our commitment to innovation and the pursuit of new flavour experiences.
Through this pioneering research project, we anticipate achieving several key outcomes. Our primary goal is to discover unprecedented and captivating flavours in rum by utilising a diverse range of wood types. Additionally, we aim to champion sustainability by sourcing local wood, thereby reducing our carbon footprint and contributing to a greener supply chain. This endeavour also serves as an opportunity to celebrate the expertise of local artisans, foresters, and distillers. Ultimately, we hope to foster innovation within the spirits industry by sharing our findings, inspiring other distilleries to embark on their own creative and unconventional ventures.
83 Islands Distillery’s barrel research project is a testament to our dedication to pushing the boundaries of traditional rum making and our commitment to sustainability and local craftsmanship. We eagerly anticipate the unique flavours that will emerge from this project and look forward to sharing our discoveries with rum enthusiasts around the world. Stay tuned for updates on our progress and exciting taste revelations!
*We are fully aware that the avocado tree contains the persin toxin. Our primary objective in creating an avocado tree rum barrel is to evaluate and refine our ability to measure the presence and concentration of this toxin. This research is intended to contribute to the development of a robust and reliable toxicity measurement methodology. We will take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of those involved in this experiment, and we do not endorse the consumption or use of any potentially toxic substances without proper safety measures in place.
- TC Judy and TC Kevin Impacts on Sugarcane Crops
After the back-to-back cyclones Judy and Kevin hit the sugarcane fields of Efate within just three days, our team sprang into action, surveying the damage and assessing the impact on the current and upcoming sugarcane season. Over the course of two weeks, we meticulously combed through the fields, analysing the extent of the damage and strategising on how to mitigate the effects of the storms.
Despite significant challenges, including limited resources and a lack of experience in sugarcane farming, we quickly developed a plan to salvage as much of the sugarcane crop as possible. We prioritised the harvesting of the largest canes that had fallen over, while also taking care to prevent the development of rot or disease in the fields by cutting the broken canes.
The cyclones have caused significant damage to the sugarcane crop in Efate. Although we believe that we will be able to salvage some of the sugarcane, up to 60% of the new crop for the next season has unfortunately been damaged. However, we can take solace in the fact that most farmers had expanded their fields this year, which will somewhat mitigate the losses. Additionally, the damaged crop will regrow, which will help us stretch the season longer in the year, allowing us to recover some of the losses incurred due to the storms.
To better understand the impact of the cyclones on the vegetation of Efate, we compared the satellite imagery that we took in December 2022 to one taken a few days after the cyclones on March 9. The loss of green cover is significant, and it is clear that the cyclones have caused extensive damage to the environment. However, we remain committed to supporting the growth of the sugarcane industry and helping farmers to recover from the effects of the storms. By leveraging our expertise and resources, we believe that we can help farmers to minimise the impact of the cyclones on their livelihoods and ensure a brighter future for the industry as a whole.
At our company, we are committed to supporting the growth of the sugarcane industry and helping farmers to weather the challenges that they face. We look forward to continuing to support sugarcane farmers in the future.
- Discover the Art of Rum-Making: Distillery Tours and Tastings now Open!
Join our Distillery for a unique and unforgettable experience. Our knowledgeable guide will lead you through the production site, where you’ll learn about the process behind our 100% Vanuatu-made pure cane rum. You’ll also get to taste some of our finest rums and local liquors during a fascinating tasting session.
Take a journey through the complexities and nuances of Vanuatu’s 83 Islands Distillery rum gems and immerse yourself in a world of rare and exotic flavors. With tours available Monday to Friday at 9.30AM, 11AM, 1.30PM, and 3PM, there’s a time to suit everyone’s schedule. Each tour lasts approximately 1 hour and is limited to just 16 visitors, making it an exclusive experience.
Book your place on one of our rum-making tours now by visiting our website and booking online. Pre-booking is required, so secure your spot well in advance to avoid disappointment. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the true essence of rum and taste the finest locally-made spirits in Vanuatu. Contact us today to book your tour!
- Hand Sanitiser Bottle Return Program
Since the start of the global COVID pandemic, 83 Islands have filled, sold and distributed over 33,500 bottles of hand sanitiser in Vanuatu. When the crisis initially hit Vanuatu in March 2020, we sold hand sanitiser in bulk and refilled customers’ bottles on the site. We moved to a high quality plastic bottle for safety reason. Although hand sanitiser can kill most viruses and bacteria, some bacterial spores that could be found in dirty containers could theoretically survive even our strong 80% Ethanol hand sanitiser. This is why WHO recommends using hydrogen peroxide in hand sanitiser, its oxidative power can destroy those spores. At 83 Islands Distillery, we use a more powerful industrial food grade oxidiser to clean our bottles before filling them with hand sanitiser. Furthermore, we only use water filtered by reverse osmosis to guarantee that there is no organic contaminant in our products.
Two years later and with COVID now in the country. It’s time to start reusing some of those 33,500 bottles. To ensure the highest safety standard, we will not refill bottles on the spot. To make sure the bottle wasn’t contaminated while empty, we will take it, clean it and refill it. This process will take at least 24h. This is why we will simply give you a credit towards a new or refilled hand sanitiser bottle.
Right now, we will only accept 83 Islands Distillery Hand sanitiser bottles or Jerry can of 1, 5, 10 or 20 litres. When and if the government lift the curfew, we will also accept our 500 ml bottles.
- 1L – 100 VT Credit
- 5L – 200 VT Credit
- 10L – 400 VT Credit
- 20L – 500 VT Credit
Starting Monday March 14, to return your bottle, proceed to the public entrance of the distillery and drop your bottles in our dedicated bin next to the bottling facility building. Our employee will give you a credit in exchange for the bottles.