Spirit of the Season: Meet the Makers Behind Illegal Tender Rum Co
Explore the captivating journey of Codie and Hayley Palmer, the passionate minds behind Illegal Tender Rum Co., as we delve into their craft, the intricacies of their exceptional distillation process, and a tantalizing preview of the exquisite spirits they'll be showcasing at the upcoming Christmas Perth Makers Market.

Crafting Excellence, One Batch at a Time

Codie, a qualified Instrumentation Electrician, combines a family legacy in engineering and farming with a decade-long obsession for distilling. This passion has evolved into Illegal Tender Rum Co, an all-Australian spirits company on a mission to produce top-tier small-batch rum using 100% Australian ingredients, all while keeping the proceeds down under. The challenge was made easier with partner Hayley and a lot of assistance from his family.

The Distilling Process Unveiled

Codie, armed with his engineering prowess and over a decade of distilling experience, proudly assembled "The Beast," a four-plate Column Still sourced from the far reaches of the globe. This formidable kettle boasts a capacity of over 1000 litres, playing a pivotal role in the production of their rums and spirits.
The process unfolds in two stages. First, the "stripping run" treats the still like a classic pot still, rapidly extracting alcohol from the ferment. This initial run swiftly discards the undesirable "Heads" of the distillate, containing potential methanol and unpleasant flavours.

The second distillation is where magic happens. Codie introduces water, but not just any water—his secret ingredient, a cherished technique from his distilling arsenal, is deployed. This method incorporates the reuse of "feints and some Lee's" to craft the flavour profile of each new batch, ensuring every run remains distinct. Time takes a back seat to flavour in this stage. Over a span of about 3-5 days, this second distillation fully taps into the potential of The Beast.
Then, they meticulously extract the top portion of the Heart to obtain a spirit that's rich in flavour and velvety smooth, even if it's not the most economically practical choice. Illegal Tender's mission, after all, is to create the smoothest, most flavoursome rums, not merely the most rums. As for the unwanted flavours, the tails, they're left behind well before they can taint the precious rum, ensuring the purest end product.

More Than a Full-Time Role

Codie was well on his way to a rapid rise within the ranks of Rio Tinto Iron Ore in Dampier, securing a spot as one of the youngest apprentices and tradespeople ever hired. However, a fortuitous encounter in his mid-twenties sparked newfound confidence and drove him to take a daring leap of faith. Codie made the bold decision to part with his house, car, and more to finance his dream, embarking on a journey to the mid-west.

His path crossed with various distillers along the way, many of whom painted a challenging picture, highlighting the high failure rates, daunting excise tax rates, and fierce competition. But it was a serendipitous meeting with another passionate Western Australian distiller that served as the catalyst for Codie's decision to leave his job and pursue his dream.

Navigating Challenges as a Small-Business Owner

As an Australian-based small business, their biggest challenge has been navigating the complex regulatory environment, particularly with regard to excise taxes, which can be a significant burden. Balancing compliance with the need for growth and innovation has been a continuous endeavour.

Focused On the Future of Distilling

In the ever-rolling wave of tomorrow, Illegal Tender are gearing up for a thrilling ride. Their sights are set on expanding their horizons through business growth, crafting the finest, uniquely West Australian spirits and beverages, and keeping those profits right at home. They're here to make your spirits soar while ensuring every drop is 100% Aussie.

Discover the Line up at Perth Makers Market

Explore a diverse repertoire at the market, including the award-winning Distillers Cut, Spiced, Barely Legal, and Abrolhos Gin. Whether you're a rum connoisseur or a gin enthusiast, Illegal Tender Rum Co. has something to elevate your festive celebrations.

Don't miss the opportunity to experience the atmosphere, meet the makers, and indulge in the finest Australian craft spirits. Your Christmas wish list is about to get a whole lot merrier with Illegal Tender Rum Co.

View the full range on their website today.