Tasmanian Whisky Newsletter – Christmas 2012

Welcome to the first quarterly Tasmanian Whisky Newsletter! 2012 has been a fantastic year for Tassie whisky, read on to see why and what treats lie in store for 2013!


clip image002Sullivans Cove and Tassie whisky in general have had a helluva year. Sullivans Cove landed somewhat of a Grand Slam at the international blind tasting competitions, being crowned World Whisky Grand Master at The Spirits Business magazine’s annual Spirits Masters competition, Australian Distiller of the Year at Dominic Roscrow’s new competition, The Wizards of Whisky and finally the really big one, a Southern Hemisphere record – 96.5/100 for French Oak Cask HH0509 in Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible and Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year. HH0509 is extremely rare, with only 489 bottles available. We are working hard to track them down and will have news of availability very soon, please keep an eye on our Facebook page!

In other news, our new website www.sullivanscovewhisky.com will be up and running by early December and we have recently signed up a national distributor who will make sure that we will be available behind your favourite bar very soon! There are also rumours and murmurs of an exclusive limited edition cask strength coming soon, so keep your eyes on the shelves of your favourite independent retailer and our Facebook page for more info…

From all of us here at the distillery, we would like to thank you all for the ongoing love and support and wish you a very merry, whisky fuelled Christmas and a dramtastic New Year!


clip image0042012 has been a year of celebration for Lark Distillery with the highlight being our 20th Anniversary in May. It is hard to believe that Australia’s modern whisky era began 20 years ago when Lark was able to convince the Federal Government to amend the Distillation regulations to allow the emergence of new world craft distillation. Lark Distillery is of course proud to be the first distillery in Tasmania since 1839 and pave the way for our growing industry and reputation as Australia’s “Whisky Island”.

Lark Distillery has led the way in small cask ageing, post malt peating (using 100% Tasmanian peat from our very own peat bog in the highlands of Tasmania) and its predominant use of “refreshed” old Australian port barrels cut back to an Australian Quarter Cask (100 litres) for the entire maturation period. To help us celebrate our anniversary, we were privileged to be offered Seppeltsfield’s original Para Port barrel No 1 which was only recently decanted after holding the original port from 1878. We then selected whisky from our first 150 releases together with some of our very best current releases to finish in the very old Para barrel for our 20th Anniversary Special Release. It is an amazing lip smacking delicious whisky at 58% a/v displaying the well know Lark characteristics of rich Christmas cake and maple syrup finishing with a delightfully soft peaty note that just lingers on forever.

If you weren’t lucky enough to obtain a bottle of the Anniversary release then don’t fret because we will be producing a number of other “special” releases finished in our own Apple Brandy Barrels and our own dark Rum barrels – that’s right we also produce our very own Dark Rum, the Quiet Cannon. Some special releases and other great Lark Single Malts will be available for Christmas, don’t miss out. http://www.larkdistillery.com.au


clip image006Hellyers Road Distillery in Tasmania recently heralded a decade long milestone with the release of its first aged statement single malt whisky.

Head Distiller, Mark Littler acknowledged the relative infancy of Hellyers Road Distillery compared to the centuries old, high profile single malt brands against which Hellyers Road competes but said the challenge to increase market share was one the business relished.

“We have been buoyed by the response to our single malt whisky range and the release of our 10 year aged statement definitely gives our brand further integrity”, Mark said.

Earlier this year the distillery forwarded a shipment to France & Canada and now have our eyes firmly fixed on making inroads into countries such as the United States & UK (two of the world’s largest consumers of single malt whisky), Malaysia and China.

The Hellyers Road journey so far has been highlighted with recognition for producing Australia’s best single malt whisky in 2010 by the Malt Whisky Society of Australia. This was for its Peated Single Malt while the Distillery’s Original Single Malt was also a medal winner, a feat that variety has since replicated.

The 10 year aged statement release is characterised by the brand’s consistency for delivering a well balanced complex of vanilla, citrus and floral notes largely achieved through cask selection and the use of char fired American Oak casks during maturation. The combination of premium Tasmanian grain with some of the world’s purest drinking water also helps realise a single malt range that can compete anywhere in the world. Hellyers Road’s recent participation at Whisky Live in Paris further confirmed the Burnie based distillery was no longer a minnow in the highly competitive single malt whisky market.

Hellyers Road Original 10 year aged single malt is now available. For more information on our award winning whisky’s visit our web site www.hellyersroaddistillery.com.au or follow Hellyers Road Distillery on all the latest happenings on our new facebook site.



clip image008Heartwood Malt Whisky released the “Mt Wellington Release” in January 2012 (our first whisky release). The whisky was bottled at 62.4% and originated from an ex Jim Beam 200 l bourbon cask. Fortunately or unfortunately for Heartwood, only 2 bottles remain available. The Mt Wellington Release was 12 years of age.

Through some good management and a little luck, a second barrel was released in August 2012. The Heartwood “RELEASE THE BEAST” was born. This feisty animal was bottled at cask strength at 65.4% in 500 ml bottles. 259 bottles were produced. This whisky is the first heavily (We mean heavily) sherried whisky produced in Australia. It is the result of a marriage of 2 x port barrels into a 200 l Australian sherry barrel, 4 years ago. 130 bottles went to new homes in 10 working days. A little too fast! The Beast roars at 7.5 years of age.

In the near future Heartwood intends to produce the “CONVICT RELEASE” and the “CONVICT UNCHAINED”, ex-port barrel expressions. In March next year we will also release one of the oldest Lark whiskies in existence the “LARK EVOLUTION”. The genesis is a secret until it is released.

Heartwood is still “working out” what it is doing and aims to produce Cask Strength or near Cask Strength whiskies based on ex Bourbon and Australian Sherry and Port Barrels or any combination.


Tasmanian Heartwood Malt Whisky Pty Ltd is an independent bottler of Cask Strength, whisky based in Hobart Tasmania.



clip image010Belgrove Distillery is Australia’s only rye whisky distillery. It is also one of very few whisky distilleries in the world, to grow, malt and distil only its own grain. It commenced production in January 2011

Belgrove is a fully operational farm which is 50 Km North of Hobart in Tasmania and is owned by Peter and Sally Bignell.

Peter became interested in distilling when he restored the derelict water driven flourmill that is now the heart of the Nant Distillery. A couple of years later he had some surplus rye corn that he had just harvested. What did the early Scottish crofters and American settlers do with surplus grain? They made it into Whisk(e)y.

Peter then built his own distillery in a disused stable at Belgrove. He built his still from scratch and most of the other equipment was surplus from a chocolate factory, a winery and a dairy.

Energy for heating the still and the mash comes from biodiesel that Peter makes from waste cooking oil that he collects from a roadhouse next to Belgrove farm. Spent grain is fed to the farm livestock and is recycled back to the soil for future rye crops. Farm machinery also runs on the biodiesel making this distillery’s carbon footprint well in the black. Peter believes it may be the “greenest” distillery in the world.

To date Peter has only released unwooded spirit, not a whisky. This 100% rye spirit gives some real punch to traditional rye cocktails.

Tasting notes by Julia Nourney, international spirits judge from Germany:

Belgrove White Rye 40% ABV.
Nose – Grainey, dried fruit, spicy—very typical
Taste – Peppery, slightly smokey (surprisingly) Dried mango, dried berries, dough, creamy mouth feel, molasses in the aftertaste
Great taste! Stunning! Could expect an even better taste with a bit of wood.




clip image012NANT Distillery can list 2012 as a prominent year in its short history, with a 95.5% rating in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, bar openings in Brisbane and Salamanca and the expansion of barrel investment opportunities. Since it began selling whisky two years ago, the Nant Distillery has contributed to giving Tasmania its rightful place on the world’s whisky map. What’s more, the distillery itself has become a destination for weddings, monthly whisky dinners and even just a cup of coffee with aesthetics including art by Imants Tillers and Milan Milojevic and food sourced direct from the Nant Estate.

Keith Batt purchased the Nant estate in 2004 with the ambition to “breath life” back into the historic farming estate. Recognising the site’s potential for Tasmanian and Australian tourism, and for distilling premium single malt whisky, Mr Batt set about restoring the old water driven flourmill built by convicts in 1823, at Nant Estate.

Now selling between $125 and $295 per 500ml bottle, the story of the Nant Distillery is a successful one and has drawn interest from whisky lovers worldwide raising the bar for quality Australian and international whisky. Nant’s American Oak Bourbon Wood Single Malt Whisky this year received a 95.5% rating in the prestigious Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2012. More signs of Nant’s growth include the opening of Nant Whisky Cellar and Bar in October in Brisbane’s Emporium precinct with a second bar to open in Salamanca in December.

“Jim Murray described our whisky as “liquid gold” and you can’t get a much better description than that. Now whisky lovers can enjoy Nant in a different location which still reflects the peaceful and unique setting of the distillery,” Mr Batt said.





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