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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 3: Lark)

by Michael Orson     7. October 2014 12:23

Lark distillery

In many ways, Lark was the flagship behind the burgeoning whisky scene in Tasmania. Established in 1992, it was the first fully licensed commercial distillery on the island since the ban of 1839, and it all began when distillery founder, Bill Lark, started speaking to a political friend of his, asking why small-scale distillation was still illegal. This set in motion a series of calls, letters and discussions, and the end result was legal distillation on Tasmania. For technical accuracy, it’s worth mentioning that Tasmanian Prohibition was partially lifted in 1901, but only for stills of 40,000 litres and over, making any kind of startup nigh on impossible.

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WINNER of the Exclusive Overeem Bourbon Cask Release Competition

by Master of Malt     19. September 2014 17:00

Old Hobart Overeem casks

For the last month we've been running a cracking little competition offering the chance for one lucky winner to join a select panel of whisky experts later this month that will decide which bourbon cask will be bottled as the first ever bourbon matured Overeem Tasmanian whisky! The selected whisky will be a UK exclusive, a release of just 50 bottles at 60% abv, with the winner also bagging themselves a bottle - a personalised one at that!

How would this lucky winner be chosen? Well, not by luck at all actually, but by writing the best tasting note for Overeem Sherry Cask 43% (with two runners up winning bottles of this popular expression).

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Reference Series – The First Batch of Extensions

by Ben Ellefsen     17. September 2014 09:10

Reference Series First Extension

This range was born almost 6 months ago with the release of the initial ‘Reference’ Blended Malt Whiskies I, II, and III, and have received some lovely reviews from all over the web – not least of which from Serge of Whiskyfun who rated the initial batch from 83-88 points.

The theory is initially simple – we took 4 components (2 blended malt and 2 single malt), and as the range progressed from I to III, the proportion of older whisky went up. This was designed to give us all an insight into the way that age affects whisky.

Today, however, is where it all really starts to get fun.

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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 2: Old Hobart)

by Michael Orson     12. September 2014 15:56

Old Hobart Overeem distillery

In a quiet residential neighbourhood in Tasmania’s charming capital city, you’ll find Casey Overeem’s house, and next to it, his garage.

Got yourself a good garage have you? Bought some nice workbenches have you? Maybe a pressure washer? Built yourself a little toolrack?

Well this chap’s got a whisky distillery in his garage, and that whisky distillery is none other than Tasmania’s critically acclaimed Old Hobart.

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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 1: Sullivans Cove)

by Michael Orson     4. September 2014 11:32

Sullivan's Cove distillery

We sent our man in Havana on a fact-hunting mission to Tasmania. Facing all manner of perils, from killer ants to the ferocious Tasmanian devil, he went boldly to every distillery on the island. In this series, we’ll detail his findings and give you everything you need to know about Tasmanian whisky, starting things off with Sullivans Cove from the aptly named Tasmania Distillery – recent winner of the World’s Best Single Malt at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards.

Located at the southeast of the island, Sullivans Cove is where the British first established the settlement which would one day become Tasmania’s capital, Hobart. Starting out as a penal colony, one can only imagine what the inhabitants got up to. By 1824 there were sixteen legal distilleries, and a metric slew of illicit stills. In short, it was party-time in Tasmania. I’d even speculate the residents used the word party as a verb. History hasn’t recorded whether or not this is true.

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Highland Park Dark Origins

by Jake Mountain     2. July 2014 10:04

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into the darkness for a whisky “dark by nature and character”. Having recently released our own Darkness! range we had a pretty good idea what this meant. (Hint: yummy Sherry!)

What amused us about the invite, however, was that there was a hooded chap printed in the background that looked suspiciously like the protagonist from the ’90s computer game ‘Thief: The Dark Project’ (emphasis added). Apparently it’s actually supposed to be Magnus Eunson, the butcher/church official by day, legendary whisky smuggler/illicit distiller by night of Highland Park foundation myth (dating back to 1798). Indeed, whilst other whiskies may have adopted the dark, we’re told that the Orkney single malt was very much born in it. BaneCat would be suitably impressed.

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The Affinity Cocktail & Handmade Cocktail Company 2014 Releases

by Jake Mountain     18. June 2014 14:19

The Affinity Cocktail

Cocktails galore! Not just on the blog though – these ones below will come right to your door. Not only are we bringing you Bramble Bar’s signature Affinity Cocktail as of today, but we also recently launched the 2014 vintage releases from The Handmade Cocktail Company. The latter including new additions as well as totally re-specced versions that have been improved significantly with even finer ingredients (no mean feat). These are exciting, tasty times, my friends.

First things first – Bramble Bar in Edinburgh. It’s awesome. For a while now they’ve been creating barrel-aged and bottle-aged Affinity Cocktails, which they serve at the bar in individual bottles for you to pour out yourself. (They’re pre-chilled and don’t require dilution.) We’re rather partial to a couple whenever we visit - it’s a perfect mix of Speyside single malt whisky and top quality vermouths (technically a red quinquina and a dry vermouth).

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Ardbeg Day

by Jake Mountain     1. June 2014 16:38

Tales From The Isle Ardbeg Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this final issue of Tales From The Isle everybody was very much in the mood for the upcoming football extravaganza. You must know about the huge sports competition that's now upon us and that everybody has been talking about all around the world - that's right, it's the The Ultimate Ardbeg Distillery Swamp Football Tournament!

Ardbeg Day is celebrated all over the world, not least at the distillery on Islay as part of Fèis Ìle. It's also fair to say that when Ardbeg do something, they do it properly, so there's an awful lot to tell you about here. I'd packed my yellow and blue havaianas and a Brazuca football, but there's always still time for a beastie or two as well...

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Bowmore Day & Gartbreck

by Jake Mountain     29. May 2014 15:00

Tales From The Isle Bowmore Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In today's Tales From The Isle I'd planned to bring you the story of the devil's final visit to Bowmore in some detail, but an action-packed day at Fèis Ìle means that this issue has rather taken on a life of its own! The story is still worth telling, however, if only in brief. The famous round church in Bowmore, constructed ten years before the distillery was established, is said to be round so that the devil had no corners to hide in. According to legend, the architectural trap worked so well that when he did finally pop by in 1837 he was instantly spotted and pursued down the road by an angry Christian mob. Entering the distillery buildings, he made his escape by hiding within a cask of whisky that was being loaded onto the Maid of Islay for transport to the mainland. It's said that he never dared to return.

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Bruichladdich Day

by Jake Mountain     26. May 2014 10:48

Tales From The Isle Bruichladdich Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this issue of Tales From The Isle we travel to Bruichladdich over on the Rinns of Islay. This was good news for us as we're actually staying on the Rinns, although we still managed to arrive late for the Octomore Discovery tasting with Jim McEwan. Oops. Bruichladdich day is also one of Fèis Ìle's most fun distillery days - watch your step though, for it takes place on the site of some dark happenings and black arts.

Indeed, this is place where things are taken right to the edge and are often shrouded in a Scotch mist of secrecy...

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