Great news!

This week, the The Wizards of Whisky - World Whisky Awards 2019 were held - and Australia (and Tassie in particular) did extremely well!

Excerpt from their award page:

๐—”๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฌ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿต

Australian whisky has been on quite a journey in the last 15 years. It has done exactly what I said it would do and emulated its now widely accepted and highly regarded wine industry by winning over people across the world.
Just as Australian wine went from mocking Monty Python sketches to winning the wine world's highest accolades, so, too, Australian whisky has achieved the world of whisky's highest honour. Indeed, the ultimate title of world's best whisky.

But there are differences between the categories, too. Firstly, the volume of whisky isn't remotely on the scale of wine, which is actually a good thing because many standard Australian wines and mass-produced 'factory' products, and this most certainly isn't the case with the country's malt output.

Related to that fact, Australian whisky is nowhere near as ubiquitous as Australian wine. In fact in the Northern Hemisphere it can be difficult to find.

I'm not going to lie, the number of entries from Down Under was very disappointing this year and has been in the last couple of years. But there's a very good reason for that: why enter and win awards in the Northern Hemisphere when you can't even meet current demand, let alone a demand spike caused by winning a European award? As someone in Sydney told me: "if you look from here to the United Kingdom, you can hardly see it because Asia and China block it out. And when you do look at it, you notice it includes Scotland and is very close to Ireland. It's a long way for us to go to compete with such mature and respected whisky markets."

The third difference between wine and whisky in Oz is the most important. Australian wine producers have thrived by producing easy drinking and price competitive versions of existing wine styles. In whisky the opposite is true: whisky producers use local ingredients including unique types of peat. The climate makes production very different to that in Scotland or Ireland. Much of the whisky is made in smaller casks, and because it's hard to get sherry casks, wine and port casks are used instead.

The result is whisky that in many cases is considerably different to that from a traditional market. Tasmania in particular makes unique, weighty and in your face whisky. It's John Wick single malt: not to everyone's taste, but lively, aggressive, action packed, and at times brutal, thrilling and utterly unforgettable.

Which brings me to this year's winner of The Wizards Australian Producer of the Year.

๐—ช๐—œ๐—ก๐—ก๐—˜๐—ฅ: ๐—ง๐—”๐—ฆ๐— ๐—”๐—ก๐—œ๐—”๐—ก ๐—œ๐—ก๐——๐—˜๐—ฃ๐—˜๐—ก๐——๐—˜๐—ก๐—ง ๐—•๐—ข๐—ง๐—ง๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—ฅ๐—ฆ

Yes, I know that this isn't a distiller, but Tim Duckett is a force of nature who is producing some of the most exciting and challenging whiskies on the planet, and they're not for the faint-hearted. His three entries this year - two bottled under the label Tasmanian Independent Bottlers and the other more than seven years old and bottled at a whopping 66.6% (read in to that what you will) took the judges on a journey and required deep consideration. But when's all said and done, all three were astounding.

Two were from different batches of whisky distilled at Old Kempton Distillery and matured in former muscat casks
In the past Heartwood has focused entirely on high strength whiskies which Tim started maturing whisky from the likes of Lark Distillery as long ago as 13 or 14 years. The Tasmanian Independent Bottlers' range is designed to be more palatable to the mainstream whisky drinker, and these two are rich, fruity and sweet.

The third whisky is called Shade of Night, and is an Autumnal, damp forest, moody and savoury single malt. It takes whisky as we know it in to unchartered territory. Very impressive.

๐—”๐—จ๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—ฅ๐—”๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—”๐—ก ๐—ช๐—œ๐—ญ๐—”๐—ฅ๐——๐—ฆ ๐—š๐—ข๐—Ÿ๐—— ๐— ๐—˜๐——๐—”๐—Ÿ๐—ฆ ๐—™๐—ข๐—ฅ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿต

โ€ข Tasmanian Independent Distillers Old Kempton Distillery TIB RD 0012
โ€ข Tasmanian Independent Distillers Old Kempton Distillery TIB RD 0014
โ€ข Heartwood Shade of Night Cask Strength
โ€ข Starward Nova
โ€ข Starward Solera
โ€ข Belgrove Rye
โ€ข Belgrove Rye Shiraz Cask
โ€ข Limeburners M97
โ€ข Limeburners Darkest Winter
โ€ข Overeem Sherry Cask
โ€ข Overeem Port Cask
โ€ข Lark Classic
โ€ข Lark Cask Strength

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1 month ago

Tasmanian Whisky Appreciation Society

What's happening?

Heartwood news.......

1.0) Look to the south a new era approaches

Geology has a period, an epoch.

The Cambrian had an Explosion (Cambrian explosion or Cambrian radiation was an event approximately 541 million years ago in the Cambrian period when most major animal phyla appeared in the fossil record).
The whisky industry in Australia is exploding with innovation producing new whisky lifeforms. (I'm over this analogy already)

Anyway at Heartwood we are also evolving. The majority of our past releases have been of Tasmanian Distillery or Lark Distillery origin. We now approach a new epoch in production (damn this analogy).

We have decanted our first Rye whisky originating from Belgrove rye spirit. It has been matured in an Australian Muscat cask. We decanted the whisky as it has started to take on too much "wood" character. (We do not want to suck on a fence post). However, it is still quite young, 5 years ish. It has been decanted to allow it to breathe, however, if the whisky still plans to be recalcitrant we may pop it back into another barrel. At Heartwood we have had success with Malt whiskies. Rye is a different beast, a new phyla (OH!). More work to do. Beautiful colour and nose but a little hot and hostile (Primordial soup. Its like an ear worm more a mind worm).

2.0) LD765 was the source for the Toddler, The Adolescent and the recently released Adult. The 3 whiskies will only be available as sets in Huon Pine boxes with Tasmanian Blackwood lids. We will produce 8, four have already been booked. Individual bottles sold out.

3.0) In April Heartwood/TIB is combining with Destination Cellars (Todd) and Whisky Adventures (Craig) in order to organise a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy. To be blunt, the aim will be to raise as much money as possible. We will have 80 places at $100/head. We will have a silent auction, a raffle and an awesome whisky tasting with an alternate white spirit tasting for those that do not like whisky. A number of big players in the game are donating to the event along with approximately 30 (at this stage) smaller Tasmanian businesses.

At Heartwood we will be putting up a bottle of the DREGs Volume 3 for silent auction and.....

We will be producing a 1 of 1, a one off bottle of Heartwood that will be our first "Blended Whisky" of Tasmanian origin. Mr H will not even have one. The bottle will be labelled, signed by me and presented in a Huon Pine box. This bottle will go for auction nationally..... More to come.

In Graphic Detail will prepare the label. Abel Labels will print the label. Wilderness Woodworks will provide the box. All material and time is being donate by these organisations. Thank you

All good

Mr H

(P.S. Study of whisky : Palatentology)

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