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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 8: William McHenry and The Small Concern)

by Michael Orson     20. February 2015 17:03

William McHenry distillery

This is the final instalment in my series on Tasmanian Whisky and we begin with William McHenry and Sons; a distillery located about as remotely as you could imagine, on the southeastern tip of Tasmania.

The distillery has its connections with the Gaelic whisky world; the owner, William McHenry, being a descendant of an Isle of Skye whisky smuggler. By trade, McHenry was in the pharmaceutical industry, and lived in Sydney, and one balmy Australian day at a barbecue, a friend made a passing comment about William’s Scottish roots, and the idea of making a whisky in honour of them. A few years later, McHenry moved with his family to Tasmania, settling on a beautiful 100-acre estate close to Port Arthur, an historic penal colony.


Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 7: Redlands Distillery)

by Michael Orson     13. February 2015 14:58

Redlands distillery

Born in London in 1788, George Frederick Read was an illustrious merchant, believed to have brought one of the first merchant vessels through the Torres Straight (which runs between Papua New Guinea and northern Australia). During his career, he traded between India, China and Australia, though it was in the latter country in which settled, first in a town allotment in Sydney, then later, owing to asthma, in Hobart, Tasmania’s largest city.


Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 6: Nant Distillery)

by Michael Orson     5. February 2015 11:30

Nant distillery

This week we’ll be looking at Nant – one of the most critically acclaimed distilleries on Tasmania, with high profile fans including legendary whisky commentator Jim Murray.

It began in 2004, when Brisbane-based property developer Keith Batt purchased the Nant Estate, just an hour from Hobart. This ancient estate was built in around 1821, and since the 2004 purchase, it has been lovingly and carefully restored with an investment of some $5 million. The result is arrestingly beautiful; a stunning estate surrounded by breathtakingly scenic countryside.


Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 5: Hellyers Road)

by Michael Orson     21. January 2015 09:46

Hellyers Road distillery

Born in Hampshire, England in 1790, Henry Hellyer trained as an architect and surveyor, and was one of the first officers to sign up for the Van Dieman’s Land Company shortly after it was formed in 1825.

Later to become Chief Surveyor and Chief Architect, his work in Tasmania made him legendary, so much so that after his resignation in 1832, the Court of Directors described his “unwearied exertions for the company... his personal privation and risk in exploring the country, and the admirable maps and plans.”


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.


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).


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.


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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