The birth of a Legend.


After nearly 61 years of on and off conflict, the British colonised the ancient capital of Mandalay, ending the third Anglo-Burmese war in 1885. In 1886 the people of Mandalay worked together with the British, who had experience of blending rum in the Caribbean, crafting a new rum with a Myanmar flair. Thus, Mandalay Rum was born and enjoyed by both the citizens of Mandalay and the garrison alike.

Make Love, Not War. Or in our case, make rum, not war.

Make Rum, Not War.

The original building built in 1859 was one of many weapons factories belonging to the last crown prince of Myanmar, Ka Naung. It was renown for manufacturing cannons used to defend the country. Later, in 1886, the factory was converted into a distillery. Changing its days of manufacturing weapons to producing the country’s oldest known rum which unites communities and spirits. Thus every bottle of Mandalay Rum contains a true part of Myanmar’s history and heritage.

The secret is in the wood.

Aged in Yamane Casks

The distinct flavors of Mandalay Rum comes from casks made with indigenous Yamane Wood, which imparts well rounded flavors and a smooth finish that embody Myanmar and can’t be found anywhere else on Earth. The centuries old, unique double blending and ageing process of Mandalay rum has remained the same, ever since opening the doors of the distillery in 1886. The raw spirit is first blended in Yamane wood vats containing decades old aged spirit, imparting flavors of the original blend. This blend is then aged in Yamane casks allowing time for the spirit to interact with the Yamane wood forming a rich flavor before blending a second time to gurantee consistency and quality.

Shared Heritage

Myanmar’s history has been full of pivotal moments since 1886. Myanmar was colonized, fought through world war 2, and achieved independence. of the country. During World War 2, Mandalay palace was bombed. In spite of this, the forts of Mandalay Palace still stand as a symbol of Myanmar’s unwavering sturdiness. Today, Mandalay Rum’s logo embodies the strength of the forts of the centuries old palace and the spirit of the nation. Through its shared history, Mandalay Rum carries the rich cultural heritage from the experiences shared together with the people of Myanmar.

What is Rum?

Rum is better known as the drink of sailors, soldiers and more notoriously, pirates. It was first mentioned in texts dated to 7AD but became popular in the 17th century as Caribbean's began to rediscover that molasses, a product of refining sugarcane could be fermented into alcohol, making rum more aromatic than whiskey which is made from barley. Today, Rum has vastly improved in quality and taste and enjoyed by more and more sophisticated patrons.

Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane is the soul of Mandalay Rum. Mandalay Rum is made from Molasses produced while refining indigenous Myanmar sugar cane. It is fermented and distilled into the raw spirit that will be aged in Yamane Casks to become Mandalay Rum. After going through the aging process, a hint of sweet sugar cane aromas still lingers from the processed sugar cane.


Fermentation is the process in which the raw alcohol of Mandalay Rum is made. During fermentation, the invertase enzyme breaks complex sugars, Sucrose in Molasses, down to simpler forms, Glucose & Fructose, which is then converted into ethyl alcohol by the Yeast cells. This mixture only contains 10% alcohol and isdistilled to remove impurities which can cause headaches and increasing the alcohol's strength.


Distillation is one of the keys to ensuring Mandalay Rum’s quality. It is the process of extracting ethyl alcohol from the fermented wash using heat to split ethyl alcohol into congeners spirits, fusel oils, and rectified spirit. Congeners spirits and fusel oils are disposed of as they are the culprits for headaches whilst the rectified spirit is carefully extracted to begin the aging process which further improves the flavor and aroma of the spirit.


Mother Vats are the heart of Mandalay Rum. Mother Vats have been in use since the founding of the brand. Many are decades old, containing aged spirits of a similar age. Rectified spirits, selected by sensory and chemical analysis are poured into the mother vats for mixing and a portion of the volume is removed for ageing in casks. The portion removed is then replaced with aged spirits from the casks. This process ensures consistency with our blends and imparts an aroma of rum from the decades old original blend, with its very own piece of Mandalay Rum’s heritage. Hence, the name “Mother Vat” was conceived as every single drop of unaged spirit goes through the Yamane walls of the mother vat before ageing in casks to be born as Mandalay Rum.


Ageing in Yamane Casks creates smoothness, smokiness and woody flavors present in more premium spirits. During ageing, the hemicelluloses embedded in the cell walls of Yamane wood used for Mandalay Rum casks, break down, introducing aromatic esters and sugars imparting smokiness, woody flavors and a mild sweetness. This process occurs more quickly in the hot climate of the Mandalay region. Thus, the effects of a short period of aging in Mandalay is equivalent to a much longer period of aging in cooler climates such as Scotland, providing a quality product in a fraction of the time and cost. After Ageing the spirit is blended once again to ensure consistency and quality.

Double Blending

After Ageing the spirit is blended once again to ensure consistency and quality before bottling. Double blending is a rare technique that has been passed down from blender to blender at Mandalay Distillery. The expensive technique of blending both before and after ageing is a rare process that ensures the utmost quality and consistency in each drop of Mandalay Rum.

The Chemistry of Manadalay Rum

Distilled rum originates from suger cane plantations in the Caribbean. It was a useful way of disposing of molasses, a by-product of refining sugger cane. There is not a single standard for rum, with different countries having different regulations for the spirit, but it can be loosely split into dark, gold, light, and spiced rums.