“Understanding rum is a lot about the backstory,” says the Lobo Plantations’ bar manager and rum aficionado, Dre Walters. So rather than list its 230-odd rums on a menu, the team at the Lobo Plantation has just released the Lobo Rum Journal; a 100-plus-page compendium of tasting and production notes, plus the histories of noted distilleries and the people that started them.
Withers and general manager Jared Merlino have had plans for producing the Journal since the bar opened, but the care and detail needed for its research has meant it has taken about 12 months to complete. The Journal was a collaborative effort between all the staff, with regular staff tastings being held to produce the tasting notes. Staff also took it upon themselves to champion the inclusion of specific rums in the Journal; just ask Paige about Fair Trade Rum or Rowan about Diplomático Reserva.
The book itself looks like a well-thumbed travel diary of the world’s booziest holiday. The tasting flights are in the back. They’re presented by one of the bar’s highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic “rum legends”. The flights are six rums that originate roughly from the same geographic region, such as the Central American Flight or the Caribbean Rum Flight.
The opulent High Roller Flight is another matter, featuring a tasting of six of the most-rare rums in the world. The flight costs $399 per person, and for $1599 per person you can add a 1930s Daiquiri made from one of the last bottles remaining from the original Bacardi distillery in Santiago de Cuba. Designed to show the depth and commitment of the bar to sharing the history of rum, this flight is truly a unique experience if you have the spare cash.
While the Lobo Plantation itself offers a unique drinking experience, the Lobo Rum Journal offers an education and a fun drinking journey like no other Sydney bar.
The Lobo Plantation
Basement Lot 1
209 Clarence Street, Sydney
Mon to Thurs 4pm–midnight