A tour of the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery
The Chalong Bay Rum Distillery has become a brand known the world around, but it started very modestly around 2012, in a remote area of Phuket called Chalong. The success of this rum comes from many aspects: the unique quality of the ingredients, the rigorous process, an eye-catching package and smart marketing, all combined with the passion of a small team.
What makes Chalong Bay Rum different and better than most other rums you have tried? Take a tour of the distillery and everything will be explained and revealed. Well, not everything since they keep some secrets, and you are not allowed to take any photos inside. How mysterious!
As you arrive at the distillery, don’t expect a big factory: it feels like a family run business. Most of the space is occupied by massive containers storing sugar cane juice in some, and rum in others. The convoluted copper steel distilling apparatus is the key element of the process, but again, we were not allowed to take any photo of it.
On each wall, presentations describe clearly why this rum is different from other rums in many ways. One of the vital element is the fact that they only use Thai sugar cane juice to produce the rum, not molasses like the vast majority of brands do. The result is a clear flavourful rum and high-quality alcohol, making it a perfect base for all your cocktails.
Chalong Bay Rum prides itself with only using sugarcane from Thailand, grown without chemical fertilisers and harvested by hand by local farmers, producing a 100% pure cane juice.
How the rum is done
The best and chemical fertiliser free sugar canes are harvested, then pressed to produce 100% pure first-press cane juice. The cane juice starts the fermentation process, then is distilled in a copper steel alembic. The produced rum will then rest for 8 months before being bottled and labelled by hand. In addition to the classic Chalong Bay Rum, you can taste 5 more flavoured variations: lemongrass, cinnamon, kaffir lime, lime and Thai sweet basil.
Once the 30 minutes visit is over, everyone goes to the restaurant bar counter to enjoy a free Mojito (everyone knows it’s made with rum obviously), followed by a tasting session of the several types of produced rum. If you want to make the best of your visit, you also can take a 2 hours cocktail workshop and learn how to prepare 3 different cocktails to impress your friends once back home. The entire 2 hours experience cost 1,700 baht and include 3 cocktails making and sipping, a visit of the distillery guided, a tasting session and one tapas.
Cane Crush Restaurant
To complete your experience, you should end your tour with a lunch or dinner at Cane Crush, a beautifully designed restaurant facing to the distillery. The Asian inspired food is delicious, using fresh, natural and local produce. The dishes are superbly prepared and presented by a Cordon Bleu Chef alumni. It was for us the perfect way to end the day.
Chalong Bay Rum distillery info
Location: Chalong, near Phuket Zoo
Address: 14/2 Moo 2, Palai, Soi 2, Chalong, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83130
Open: 11 am – 11 pm
Phone: 093 575 1119
Price: Visit: 450 baht, Cocktail Class: 1,700 baht
Visits: 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm