Tasmanian distillery Sullivan’s Cove has been named the world’s best single malt whisky at the World Whiskies Award held on Thursday night in London. Sullivan’s Cove’s French Oak Cask variety was judged the global winner, as well as Australia’s best, from a high-quality pool of single malt entries. They included Scotland’s Bunnahabain, Aberfeldy, Glenkinchie and …
Brown-Forman Australia is hopeful of receiving further allocations of Jack Daniel’s small batch products following an overwhelming response to last week’s release of Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye. Brown-Forman Australia senior brand manager Matt Harada told TheShout the Unaged Rye represents the outpost’s first successful attempt to get small batch products out of the US. …
Australia’s 4th Malt Whisky Convention Adelaide 2013 May 31st – June 2nd 2013 Australia’s oldest connoisseur focused whisky festival Held under one roof at Hilton Adelaide Specialist master classes and presentations International and local guest speakers Massive trade and consumer show Gala whisky dinner Exclusive convention whisky Early bird discount tickets www.mwsoa.org.au MWSoA …
The US Ambassador to Australia is planning to introduce Tasmanian whisky to President Barack Obama. Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich is so taken with the island state’s award-winning single malts he was planning to pick up some bottles for President Obama on a visit to Hobart today. “He likes a whisky,” Ambassador Bleich told reporters. “I’ve already …
WIZARDS OF WHISKY
AUSTRALASIAN DISTILLER OF THE YEAR
Sullivan’s Cove, Australia
Easily misunderstood as a pretty wilderness south of the mainland and famous for the Beaconsville mine collapse that left two men trapped a kilometre underground for two weeks, Tasmania is commonly referred to by the rest of Australia as a hippie backwater. But the world’s 26th largest island is home to a well-respected and growing craft whisky industry.
Tasmania’s large, unspoilt swathes of ancient forestry, cool climate, pure air and unpolluted water make it the perfect place to produce whisky. At the moment it’s fairly boutique, with volumes a mere drop in the ocean compared to Scotland, say. But its potential is huge as a swathe of international plaudits and awards have recognised the island’s colourful cluster of distillers are a force to be reckoned with.
Distilling on the island began in 1822, when it was still known as Van Dieman’s Land. Just two years later 16 legal distilleries were all operating on the island state, however, this only lasted until 1838 when the then Governor, John Franklin, enforced his own version of Prohibition, banning all whisky distillation.
Her family business Old Hobart Distillery is Tasmania’s newest whisky distillery but has already won a number of international awards for its product.
Ms Overeem, 25, started distilling whisky with her father, Casey, in 2007.
The Old Hobart Distillery was launched in December last year and has been selling whisky to local, interstate and international markets ever since.
It received the highest score from the Malt Whisky Society of Australia for Australian whisky of 2012, and was awarded overall winner of the Australian section at the World of Whisky event in Sydney.
Ms Overeem said while whisky distilling was still very much a man’s world, women were slowly getting more involved.
You’ve probably seen him at events like Hobart’s Wooden Boat Festival. He’s the man who makes those amazing sand sculptures.
He is also the man who so beautifully restored the old water mill at Nant in Bothwell. And, until the drought hit, he used to grow and sell about two million strawberry runners to all parts of Australia each year.
He also collects waste cooking oil from a few cafes, puts it through a home-made Heath-Robinson set-up and turns it into bio-diesel to run all his farm vehicles, home central heating and hot water.
Most recently, he built himself a 500-litre copper pot still and has become Tasmania’s and, as far as I can tell, Australia’s first producer of rye whisky using the only home-made, bio-diesel-powered still in the country.
You could say Peter Bignell is a most talented and versatile man. And his rye whisky is, for me at least, a knockout.
When he was 15, Peter brought a particular variety of rye from the mainland and grew it to feed sheep and cattle at the family’s Thorpe property at Bothwell. It is the same rye he is growing 40 years later for his whisky on his Belgrove property at Kempton.
The process he uses is much the same as that by which whisky and other distillates are made the world over. Put simply, part of the rye grain is malted (germinated), then mixed with milled rye to form a mash, which is steeped in hot water to convert the soluble grain starches to sugars. The liquid is then drained, fermented and distilled with, in this case, the residual dried mash going to fatten some lucky Berkshire pigs.