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About Us//

Who We Are?

Felix & Son Imports is a family run boutique importer and distributor of wholesale premium alcoholic rum products from the French Caribbean into Australia. Established in 2013 by Felix Ghibaudo, his son Maxime Ghibaudo and daughter-in-law Christabel Strong, this family owned and operated business already has an established and well-respected reputation.
 

Where we come from?

Both Felix and Maxime hail from France, with Felix residing in Guadeloupe for the past 6 years, and Maxime in Australia for the past 5 years. Now with headquarters in Brisbane, we have sole national distribution coverage for our products. As such, we have the infrastructure to supply some of Australia’s elite venues.
 

What we do?

As recognition of our Caribbean brands grow, so too our portfolio develops and matures in line with the market. Our range primarily contains imported rums and liqueurs from (but not limited to) Punch Mabi and Pere Labat. Our boutique portfolio of quality brands is perfectly suited to Australia's well-established cocktail culture and fast developing rum connoisseur movement.
 

How we do it?

While we sell direct to our venues, this does extend to private customer sales upon request. For our wholesaler partners, we provide a ready-made portfolio of brands and products. With our understanding of international and local drink trends, we have every confidence that our selection reflects Australian consumer demands both today and tomorrow.
 
     
Rum Sipping
Importing
Rum Love
Rum Knowledge
Bilingual

The Felix and Son Family

Felix Ghibaudo
https://www.facebook.com/FelixSonImports

Felix Ghibaudo // The Patriarch

This man puts the Felix in Felix & Son! The patriarch of the family was born and raised in predominantly the south of France. Felix, with an adventurer’s spirit and an extensive history in antique dealing has seen him travel, explore and work in many different countries. With his last conquered empire, Guadeloupe, in his wake, he was family bound and set sail for Australia. His desire- to connect the two lands with his love of the French West Indies, its culture and more importantly, its ambrosial nectar - Rhum. Felix is passionate when he gets a brilliant idea and goes to extreme efforts to meet his passion. Australia sees him starting a new adventure with his son Maxime, and daughter-in-law Christabel. Papa Felix is the man with the gusto and sterling idea to import the Caribbean nectar of the gods down under - he is our Caribbean connection and the man in the know.

Maxime Ghibaudo
https://www.facebook.com/FelixSonImports

Maxime Ghibaudo // The Son

The Son – also known as the apple that didn’t fall far from the tree! Maxime, like his father was born and raised in France. Moving to Australia some 7 years ago, Maxime further followed in his fathers footsteps of adventure and antiques. Having run a successful antiques business in Brisbane over these years, he decided it was time to try his hand and heart at something new. Never one to shy away from a new frontier, he grabs the bull by both horns and throws himself in completely. Maxime has co-directed and convened an art gallery with his Lady Christabel, and still plays his hand in antiques and art direction with props and set design. This man is always up for a challenge and meets it in the face with admirable determination and unabashed fervour. Maxime is our Lance Stirling – man on the street calling in for a visit to orchestrate a taste with destiny and equipped with your opportunity to savour your ongoing procurement - a bottle or more of the Caribbean’s finest.

Christabel Strong
https://www.facebook.com/FelixSonImports

Christabel Strong // The Girl

If there were one word to describe Christabel it would be versatile. She has worked as an actor, an artist, a choral director, a counsellor, café manager and barista. She has designed and built theatrical sets, designed costumes, worked as a model, and as a fashion designer with her own label. She is a professional singer and has directed and convened her own art gallery, works in magazines, marketing, advertising design & sales, and PR. Her credentials include psychology, organisational behaviour, change management, and L&D, which see her hold fort as Knowledge Assets Specialist for The Simulation Agency and Managing Editor for Simpublica Magazine alongside consulting to a diverse buffet of industry sectors including mining, finance, and publishing houses. The common thread in all of these roles is organisation, complemented by creativity. With a diverse career, this lady hailing from the Far Northern NSW region likes to keep things simple and make them work. Strategic and solutions focused, she is the ‘go to’ girl in the business. With a strict appreciation of quality and a loyalty to the finer things in life she adds French Caribbean Rhum to this list!

Some of those who Stock our products

  • Au Cirque Cafe
  • Breakfast Creek Hotel
  • Bravo
  • Bistro C
  • Friday's
  • Montrachet
  • Treasury Casino & Hotel
  • Spiros Bottleshops Paddington
  • The Queensland Club
  • Moda Restuarant
  • The Caxton Hotel
  • Aria Restaurant
  • The Roadhouse Bafe Bar Byron Bay
  • The Wine Emporium
  • The Stamford Plaza Brisbane
  • Buzz Gasworks
  • The Great Northern Hotel Byron Bay
  • Alegria Mediterranean Bistro & Bar
  • Pony Lounge & Dining Brisbane
  • The Burrow
  • New Farm Bowls Club
  • The Rogue Rennard
  • Capulet
  • The Cobbler
  • Brisbane Jazz Club
  • YaYa Bar
  • Brisbane Polo Club
  • Lefty's Music Hall
  • Blackbird Bar & Grill
  • Statler & Waldorf
  • Queens Plaza Wine + Beer
  • The Rum Diary
  • Gambaro's
  • Depo
  • Mighty Mighty Cue & Brew
  • Jeremy's Bar & Bistro
  • The Alliance Hotel
  • Bacchus Bar Restaurant Pool
Guadeloupe

Marie-Galante island, Guadeloupe - cradle of the distillery

Marie-Galante (located in the Guadeloupe Archipelago) is completely different from all the different Caribbean islands. It is an island completely made of limestone produced by the corals what differentiate it from all the other islands that are of volcanic origins. The ground, peculiar, rich, deep and well drained, offers a unique environment to the sugar cane. Also, as one can imagine, in Marie-Galante, it is hot, 28° average and regularly rains. These 3 elements unified are what make the cane from Marie-Galante unique in taste and aroma.1
Sugarcane was introduced in the West Indies in 1493, and a voluntary missionary called pere (“father”) Labat invented in 1694 the “agricole rum”, thanks to a distillation process with alembics.
This rum elaboration technique, the same one to make cognac, gives the rum a floral and round taste.
Jean-Baptiste Labat
Rhums

canne_en_fleur

The history of Rhum - the French West Indies Spirit

Sugar cane (saccharum officinarum) was introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage of discovery in 1493. Imported from the Canary Islands, it was first cultivated on Hispaniola island. Its history begins somewhere around 1640 when cane spirits made their first appearance on Barbados.The first official mention of the word 'rum' appears on an Order from the Governor General of Jamaica dated July 8, 1661. Later, after the distillation process was improved by Father Jean Baptiste Labat, the Rum distilled on Marie-Galante began to gain a reputation in France where it compared well to the finest French Brandy. And so the French begin using the word 'rhum' to designate sugar cane spirits.Today, rum has become the spirit of French West Indies life, infused with Island warmth and a carrier of dreams, it is a fine, noble drink. From full bodied and aged flavors, to light refreshing white rums, it is a drink that is demanded the world over.

Rhum varieties

The process of making rhum can be divided in 3 major step. First step is called the fermentation. It turns sugar into alcohol. Second step is the distillation of the alcoholic solution to create highly concentrated alcoholic beverage. Last step is the ageing process, depending on the kind of rhum sought: blanc(white), paille(amber), vieux(old), ...
The main rhum varieties are :

Rhum blanc.

Rhum blanc (white rum) is a a rhum aged at least 3 months (and exactly 3 months if aged in wood barrels) before being bottled. It's a colorless rhum, with 40% to 59% of alcohol concentration.

Rhum ambré.

Rhum ambré (brown rum) is a oak barrel aged rum, for at least 18 months. Another designation is "rhum paille".

Rhum Paille.

Rhum paille (straw rum) is another designation for "rhum ambré".

Rhum vieux / hors d'age.

Rhum vieux (old rhum) has been aged in oak barrels. Special mentions can be added to this designation, depending the number of years spent in oak casks.

Distillery

Domaine Poisson distillery

Concealed by tall trees, “Domaine Poisson” Distillery is invisible on the national highway leading to Saint Louis on the island of Marie-Galante. The domain’s name refers to Catherine Poisson who purchased it in the 18th century, and has been a sugar refinery before becoming a distillery in 1934.  “Pere Labat” brand was given to the rum manufactured by “Domaine Poisson” as a tribute.
The distillery, one of the smallest in the world, is the only one owning lands, with 150 acres cultivated, and a yearly production of approximately 400,000 bottles produced with old fascinating 19th-century machinery, still in use.3
Agricole

The unique taste of agricole rum

The rum produced encloses very specific sugarcane aromatic characteristics (“blue cane” and “white cane” only), which make agricole rum a reference among worldwide amateurs. The cane is manually cut, and no artificial flavour is added to the rum.
6 4
5
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History & origins

 Sugarcane introduction into the West Indies.

From 1635, French settlers introduced export crops such as coffee or cotton into the West Indies. Sugarcane acclimatisation was also tested and it was at first cultivated for sugar production. This production did not offer sufficient profitability, due to poor sugar extraction techniques.

From sugarcane juice to alcohol.

It had already been noted that juice naturally fermented under the climate and ambient yeast into an alcoholic beverage. In 1694, the French priest "Père Labat" got the idea of applying distillation to this beverage. This new step created a spirit that became known as rum. Sugar mills rapidly added a distillery to their facility, offering a profitable use of the by-product: the molasses.

Distillation technical improvements.

Cane wine was then obtained by diluting remains of sugar production (the molasses) with water. Distillation was made through basic equipment where hot alcohol vapors were cooled in vessels running through cold water. Until the early 19th Century, this basic production mode, as described by Pere Labat, was still used.
At the beginning of the 19th century, French West Indies rum was suffering from harsh competition from English speaking West Indies islands. Those Islands (such as Jamaica) had acquired unparalleled skills in the rum production process. That technological advance was obvious in the distillation area with a real expertise on isolating distillation body through cutting of fore-shots, heads and tails. The produced rum was hence safer (without any methanol/fore-shot) but also tastier (without most of the acrid tails). Those techniques evolved to reach the devices used today: distillation columns.
Fresh sugarcane and its juice have to be processed quickly as oxidization and wild strains of bacteria or yeast found on the cane peel are prone to develop and later the quality of the product. Rhum agricole has hence to be made close to the fields where the cane grew. Rhum agricole is therefore a terroir product.
 Terroir derives from the French word terre (land). Initially used in the wine context, it denotes the specificities of a geographic origin, its soil, climate, growing techniques; all those specificities contribute to the product uniqueness.
 This specificity in raw material gives rhum a wider bouquet. This is especially the case for white rum (rhum blanc) as in older rums barrel aging tends to smooth down the differences.
Sugar cane prices, which once rocketed, plunged heavily due to worldwide over production and the growing availability in Europe of beet sugar. The plummeting prices made mortgages unbearable to many debt-ridden distilleries driving most of them to bankruptcy. The surviving one had to find how to make other products form sugarcane. An obvious option was to make rum directly from fresh sugarcane juice and not from molasses, avoiding running the sugar production process.

Rhum agricole was born.

Process

8

Preliminary step: Weighing

Sugar cane is delivered and weighed. One sample is manually picked to assess the quality of the load (sugar rate). The ox-carts and the trucks drop the sugar cane to be processed in the yard.
   

10

STEP 1 – GRINDING: part 1

Sugar canes are put on a conveyor leading them to a chopper. The then obtained stems are forwarded to the mills.

Grinding: Part 211

The mills press the stems; this produces a sugary liquid, which is a mix of cane juice named “vesou”, and a fibrous residue called “bagasse”. The “vesou” is then filtered and dispatched for fermentation. The bagasse is re-used as a natural fuel with the boilers producing steams, which are part of distillation process.
12  

 STEP 2: FERMENTATION

After being filtered, the cane juice is transferred into large steel tanks 36 to 48 hours for fermentation, turning into “cane wine”. At this stage, the alcohol per volume does not exceed 5%.  It is then routed by pipes to the distillation column.

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 Preservation and ageing

 White Rum

The major part of the rum is sent to 10,000L oak barrels for 1 to 2 months, from where it will get a slightly “aged” aspect.
Before bottling, the alcohol is reduced to 50% or 59% per volume by adding pure water.
Some white rum will stay 2 years in barrels, becoming Amber  (“ambré”) rum or “doré” (golden color).

Old Rum “Vieux”

Another part of the rum is put for at least 6 years in 189L oak barrels previously used to make Bourbon. That is where our old rum “vieux” get its color and part of its aromas.
Quality

Père Labat  rum : unique and unforgettable

The unaged Père Labat rum agricole is of very high quality, fruity, vegetal, very perfumed, and fresh. In terms of the eye, the rum has a slightly off-white color with an ‘aged’ aspect, neat and limpid and an abundant capillarity.

NOSE

Regarding the nose, it is delicate and distinguished with a subtle and complex aromatic palette where one after the other, vegetal and fruity, fresh and finely ethereal on a balsamic and woody background notes can be found.

Palate

In the mouth, the rum is smooth and lightly perfumed in first impression. The alcoholic richness appears and is amplified, well refined by extraordinarily intense aromas and in retro-olfaction finesse. It is fine in mouth with a suave and long aromatic persistence. This why the Pere Labat rum is considered one of the best.
pere labat vieux
 
Recipes

 Ti Punch  recipe

Ti' punch (the name comes from the creole pronunciation of the French petit, meaning "little,") is a stand-by in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and other French-speaking Caribbean states, where it's usually taken as an aperitif.

Ingredients: (for one glass)19

Lime (1/4 some lime)

Cane sugar (1/2 measure)

Rum (4 measures)

Preparation:

Pour the cane sugar in glass.

Cut lime in quarter and mash it on the cane sugar.

Pour rum.

Mix with love and enjoy it!

Note:
You can use old rum to make a "Ti vieux". Traditionally, you must drink it without ice floe (you can drink a water glass after). Purists use cane sugar powders.
Blanc

White rums

 Pere Labat 50 % alc. per vol – 70cl 

This young rum is best enjoyed with ice, in cocktails or mixed in a Ti Punch, which is the French West Indies’ traditional way to drink it.
19

 Pere Labat 59% alc. per vol – 5cl, 70cl 

Very smooth despite its alcoholic strength, it is enjoyed plain or as a liqueur.
Gold medal at the General Agricole Competition in Paris in 1999, this classic is the locals’ favorite rum, and Père Labat’s flagship.
Golden

Rum | Doré | (golden)

 50% alc. per vol  - 70cl 

This white rum stayed in oak barrels for 2 years, getting a delicate golden colour, the first aromas of ageing mixed with the strength and perfume of a young rum.Aged 2 years
Vieux

Old rums : « Rhums Vieux »

 Respecting an ageing process of at least 6 years, Père Labat offers rum connoisseurs a wide range of old rums « Vieux » 70cl with 42% of alcohol per volume. They are available in very limited quantities, especially the « Cuvée Prestige » and “Ultra Premium” series.

Rhums Vieux

            Pere Labat 6 years
            Pere Labat 8 years

Rhums “Cuvée Prestige”

            Single Cask 1982
            Single Cask 1985
            Single Cask 1989
            Single Cask 1995

Rhum Ultra Premium

            Single cask 1969
Tradition

 "We root in our legacy and we strive for heritage but we fight against a restrictive history".

 -Rhum Du Pere Labat
sugar refinery
 

Our Headquarters

Suite 1A, 17 Peel St,
South Brisbane, Qld 4101
 

Our Email Address

contact@felixandson.com.au
 

Call Us

0423 229 842   Christabel
0401 570 471   Maxime

Contact Us

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