The Story of Inner Circle Rum

Inner Circle Rum is an Australian dark rum. The name Inner Circle comes from the fact that this rum was created in the nineteenth century for those who were indeed members of the “Inner Circle.” It will have been the people who owned the distilleries where the rum was produced. This was the rum kept for the owners, similar to the Family Reserve rums we’ve seen from other producers like Foursquare, Bacardi, and Goslings.

Inner Circle from Australia is one of those rums made initially by a now-defunct company called the Colonial Sugar Refinery, with a long history that was mostly unknown outside of its home country. CSR was founded in 1855 and, by the 1890s, had established refineries in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. In 1901, they came with a distillery in Sidney, making rum using pot still and Fijian – Australian cane.

Story of Inner Circle Rum

Inner Circle Rum was created last century by the CSR company exclusively for the enjoyment of that company’s employees and exceptional clients – hence the name. From the beginning, the primary goal was to produce the best rum possible.

  • 1855- The Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR) was established, and they quickly established refineries in Australia, New Zealand, and the Fiji Islands.
  • 1873- The Harwood Distillery is established on the Clarence River in northern New South Wales, Australia, marking the beginning of commercial, domestic rum production.
  • 1901- CSR established a distillery in Nausori, Fiji, utilizing the extremely high quality of Fijian sugar cane due to traditional harvesting techniques still used today.CSR launches a distillery in Pyrmont, an inner-city suburb on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour. This distillery used pot stills to distil rum from Fijian and Australian raw materials, resulting in a one-of-a-kind, distinct, and high-quality product. This early work is reflected in the current Inner Circle product.
  • 1950- Inner Circle receives its first gold medal at the Sydney Agricultural Show, the first of many local and international awards. The CSR board of directors was very proud of their rum, which they kept for many years for the exclusive use of the CSR Management inner circle. The annual ceremony of presenting a bottle as a gift to its most prestigious clients created a unique following that would eventually force this exceptional product into the marketplace.
  • 1970- Inner Circle Rum was introduced to the Australian market and quickly became a cult favourite. Those who discovered the Brand “only spoke in whispers but sang its praises loudly!” Initially, it was available in three strengths: underproof, overproof, and 33% overproof. The label’s coloured circle made it instantly recognizable and became known as a red, green, or black dot.
  • 1986- CSR sells their rum distillery interests, and Inner Circle is taken off the market – a great Aussie icon vanishes. Stuart Gilbert, an Australian Olympic sailor still mourning the loss of his favourite rum, sought out and became acquainted with Malcolm Campbell. The latter had been in charge of the distillation and quality control of Inner Circle from 1972 to 1986 when he oversaw the very last bottling. To Stuart’s delight, Malcolm still had the original recipe in his possession and a sample of the original yeast in his refrigerator. Inspired by this revelation, Stuart purchased the rights to the brand name and wished to offer his product to the world’s rum enthusiasts!
  • 2004- Inner Circle Rum purchases the Beenleigh Rum Distillery, which will begin producing high-quality pot still rums after some re-engineering.
  • 2005- The company purchased offices in Pyrmont’s old CSR Cooperage building. The headquarters will soon be located where the story began more than a century ago.

The Inner Circle brand name debuted in 1950 and was inspired by the limited high-quality rums produced for distribution to the company’s preferred elite and clients. It received a wide commercial release in Australia around 1970: at the time, it was bottled in three strengths, which got identified by coloured dots – Underproof (38-40%, the inner circle red dot rum), Overproof (57% or so, the inner circle green dot rum), and 33% Overproof (73-75%, the inner circle black dot rum).


After being discontinued in the 1980s, Inner Circle Rum was reintroduced in 2002. The rum is a blend of aged rums from Fiji and Australia. Inner Circle is packaged in a standard bar bottle with a bulbous neck. The neck also displays a few of the gold medals the rum has received over the years. The presentation of the bottle is clear, uncluttered, and straightforward. It doesn’t leap off the shelf. 

Inner Circle Rum is 100% Australian-owned, traditional pot still, born and bred in Australia, made with Australian and Fijian ingredients. If you prefer your rum rich, full, and bitey, this is the rum for you.

Let’s make a toast to those old fellas who did think Inner Circle was so good it had to be kept just for them; bless their cotton socks while sipping this good old Aussie rum.Explore a wide range of Inner Circle Rum at Sippify including black dot and green dot at great prices, direct to your doorstep. Get yours now!