It is undeniable that, of late, world whisky has become a rapidly escalating phenomenon. The Western consumer largely believes that it is a Celtic tradition, and it is rather surprising to learn that our Kiwi cousins first had a distillery of their own in 1867. The New Zealand Distillery was short-lived, for its stills gave their ghost just six years after its inception. It was around this time that the Auckland-based Crown distillery operated, though only for three years. It was not until a century had passed, though, that whisky production became an industrious, earnest endeavour. The Willowbank Distillery, owned by the Wilson family, laid down its first spirit in 1969. The earlier drams were met with mixed reactions and it was the new ownership of Seagram that really improved the quality, replacing the stainless steel stills with copper. The new whisky was named Lammerlaw and was of far more palatable persuasion, released in 1991, though the distillery closed in 1994. The remainder of the whisky stocks have been acquired by the New Zealand Malt Whisky Company and were released under their Milford brand. The company are also in the planning stages of a new distillery, to be built in Bannochburn in the South Island. A warehouse has already been acquired for their new venture.