Stuart Gilbert is a Sydney born and based 1984 Olympic Yachtsman, 8 times World Champion Windsurfer and rum enthusiast who has travelled the world windsurfing and sailing in various world competitions (and quietly in the quest of finding rum(s) of unique quality and taste that he once enjoyed before being taken off the market). He entered into the spirits industry in late 2000 after seeing a gap and the opportunity that there were no great rums of quality available in the Australian market place.
In 2001 he applied for the trademark for non use and was finally granted by the Australian Trade mark office after opposition by Bundaberg Rum Distilling Company (now Diageo). In 2002 he relaunched an Australian iconic Rum brand named Inner Circle, with the help of the last distiller from the CSR distillery based in Sydney that was closed in 1986. His products went on to winning the IWSC Trophy for Best Rum in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 among winning other international spirits competitions. Stuart visited a number of Distilleries on his quest to educate himself of producing the finest potable spirits from Islay. During this time he bought the oldest registered distillery (only two in Australia) and re-engineered the distillery to world’s best practice, after being mouth-balled for 8 years. Due to factors outside his control and being the untimely passing of the founder of Distribution Company, he sold the business to the second largest brewer in Australia.
In 2008, Stuart formed the Holey Dollar Rum distilling Company named after the Rum Rebellion in Australia in 1808, and went back to grass roots and became a blender of fine rum that took out the highest honour by winning 3 Gold Medals and “Best in class”, The IWSC Trophy for Best Rum and International Distiller of the Year in the 2009 IWSC. In 2010, Holey Dollar Rum won another Gold Medal and” Best in Class “in 2010 together with being shortlisted for Spirit Producer of the Year (Asia pacific) at the IWSC. Stuart frequents and the original distillery to ensure quality control of the Pot Still rums he produces under the new label and has been an International rum judge since 2003 and has been on the panel of judges at the IWSC two years in a row.