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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.



Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Walking along the coast of the Tasman Bay one sunny day in Nelson, New Zealand, we came across an interesting and well kept building from the early 1900's. "South Pacific Distillery, Roaring Forties Spirits", the sign read. Intrigued, as we have never visited a spirit distillery before, we went inside. 



Upon entering, to meet us was Brian Hetzel, Director of this enterprise. Asking if he wouldn't mind showing us around, he only hesitated for a moment before warming up to the idea. 

He began by explaining that this particular building was sitting on reclaimed land pulled from the cliffs above and pushed out. The building, formerly Anchor Shipping, was built from 1927-1929 and because it was concrete reinforced, it survived the 1928 earthquake, when many buildings did not.


Pushing aside a set of double wooden doors, we arrived in an immaculate, well organized, albeit modest, distillery with gleaming copper pots. Irresistible to us for photos, we snapped his picture. Brian explained that the South Pacific Distillery was currently a one man operation and that he distills in the traditional method, using these copper pots. He went on to describe how he puts molasses and water into a tank, heats it up for the warm fermentation process and adds regenerated yeast, which takes the musty flavor out. After a certain amount of time, he then takes 10% of the yeast out to place in a suspended state for future use. Continuing with the fermentation process, he brings the temperature down and controls it, allowing it to ferment for 6 days. 



His rum is then casked in French oak casks for up to 5 years, depending on which rum it is. These French oak barrels are evidence of both commitment and quality, as they run $1800 NZ each. However, this care and attention is rewarded and noticed, as his Roaring Forties Dark Rum received a Bronze medal in the Rum Fest 2000 Barbados BWI competition. Surely a hat's off to Brian's efforts, this Dark Rum is his best seller.





After our tour, we were invited for a tasting, which we eagerly accepted. The award winning Dark Rum was rich and full bodied, with a warm flavor that opened in the mouth. The Rum Over proof was a bit more brash, however, since it was single casked, not blended, one could definitely taste the fine oak wood. 



There at the Distillery, he offers for sale his award winning Dark Rum, an Over proof Rum, Vodka, Gin, and several flavors of Schnapps. He even makes a "Johnny Reb" Bourbon, aged in new charred white American oak barrels, which distinguishes it as an "American Whiskey".  





Quite pleased and warmed by our tastings of rum, we purchased a bottle of the Dark Rum and also one of his Gin, which boasts that in the distilling process "only fresh botanicals" are used. 

The Roaring Forties, as any sailor would know, are the 40 degree south latitude seas which circle the globe. These seas are powerful and for many thousands of miles, unobstructed. When they finally do reach a land mass, they are relentless and dangerous. A fitting nomenclature for his distinctive spirits.

If you are in Nelson, New Zealand, and are looking for something a little different to tour, try the Roaring Forties South Pacific Distillery.

Located at 258 Wakefield Quay
P.O. Box 1359
Nelson, NZ
Ph 03-546-6822

Fax 03-546-6826
or email him at:

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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