Mhoba Rum

MHOBA Rum is the original South African small batch artisanal rum produced from their local Nkomazi sugarcane.  Produced from sugar cane, MHOBA Rum is what is termed an agricultural rum from the French term “rhum agricole” as opposed to most traditional rum which is often mass produced from molasses, the by-product from refined sugar production. MHOBA Rum is 100% pot distilled and therefore what is termed Pure Single Rum, the rum equivalent of a Single Malt Whisky.

MHOBA Rum is made directly from fresh unprocessed sugarcane juice squeezed from sticks of Nkomazi sugarcane. Their  sugarcane is grown on the farm surrounding their microdistillery on the outskirts of  the small town of Malalane in the heart of the cane-growing area in the Crocodile River Valley of Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The MHOBA Rum Distillery is housed in an old farm building which has been renovated and upgraded to accommodate the rum production.

The unique character and taste profile of their rums are due to several factors specific to their location and style of rum making.  Referred to as “terroir”, the local conditions such as climate, soil type and the varieties of cane that thrive in their area help contribute to form the distinct “sugarcane” flavours and aromas common to all of their rum. Fermentation of their sugarcane wash is performed using a local supply of yeast at the warm ambient temperatures provided by our tropical climate.


Their  proprietary, custom built small batch stills produce extremely pure and concentrated cane rum batches of between 20 and 25 litres. Each batch is distilled with great care and attention to temperature which determines which fractions of the batch are collected, discarded or re-distilled with a future batch. This careful but time consuming method of distilling allows a much more refined raw rum spirit than would be possible with large scale continuous distillation processes which do not separate any of the distillation fractions. Each individual concentrated rum batch is then checked for taste and aroma before being blended with other suitable batches and local rock fissure water to achieve an ideal ageing concentration.

MHOBA Rum is then rested, mellowed and flavoured using toasted virgin American white oak until the rum has acquired the optimum flavour, aroma and colour from the interaction with the toasted oak. Once the rum has achieved the required flavour, colour and aroma the rum is filtered from the virgin oak before being blended with other suitably aged batches and bottled at the MHOBA Rum distillery.


Sugar, water, toasted oak and time. No flavourants, no colorants. This sets Mhoba Rum apart.

Let’s first say this, Mhoba Rum has made our studio at Phonix Capture look like a liquor store more than once! It is quite intersesting to tell other clients visiting the studio after a Mhoba shoot that it is actually part of our work having Rum on our desks and in the studio cupboards! Working with Robert Greaves, master mind and head distiller at Mhoba Rum is exciting to say the least.

We first photographed some of Robert’s bottles a few years ago when he just started distilling his unique rum. Since then Mhoba Rum has come a long way, new bottle designs, more rum flavour varieties and a bigger market share. Selling rum is not as simple as just distilling a good product and hoping for the best, it takes countless hours of grafting and crafting the product, be it label layouts, marketing or just getting the Mhoba Brand name out there to Rum lovers.


The Rum industry is highly competitive and Robert Wanted us to make Mhoba Rum stand out above the rest. A lot of his sales is on online platforms such as and thus he needed quite a lot of product photography work done, in order to showcase the bottles on the e-commerce website catalogs. For Mhoba Rum we always bring our “A Game” as we often get rewarded by a good bag of biltong during the studio session!

Mhoba Rum is highly active on social media and we were tasked to provide them with updated photographic content for all their digital platforms that they use for marketing to possible customers. Photographing Mhoba Rum is interesting as we get to learn how the whole rum process works and how different processes creates different tasting rum’s. Mhoba Rum recently revamped their distillery and some of their equipment and we got the opportunity to show this new beatiful distillery through the form of a marketing video that we did for them at the end of 2018. We feel that  a good Rum is just as much an art as photography or videography.


Working with mhoba Rum has become a highlight for us in terms of Studio Work. We aim to create images that would do the great taste of Mhoba Rum justice! Do yourself a “flavour” and try out Mhoba Rum, it is Good Stuff!