Whisky news

The 2020 Waffle Awards

Posted by: Nick and Ted

Well. 2020. We’re not going to forget you in a hurry. In a year such as this sometimes the only thing you can do is pour yourself a dram. And, hey, to celebrate making it out the other side we may as well make it a good one. Perhaps, even an award winning one! So, ladies and gents, behold: Whisky Waffle’s top drops for 2020!

The Isle of the Drammed Award for the best Tasmanian whisky

We’re super proud of the drams coming out of our home state and so have an award for the best one. This year the Isle of the Drammed Award goes to…

Heartwood A Serious Whisky

Welcome to a new chapter in Tasmanian whisky. For a while, local producers have played around with peat to various levels of success, but this is the first one that has properly nailed what Tasmanian peated whisky can be. It’s no Islay. It’s rich and syrupy but also roasted and smoky. It’s taken the best of Scottish peat and combined it with the sort of rich fortified casks that only Tim Duckett can get his hands on. The future is here. And it looks Serious.

The Drams Down Under Award for the best mainland Australian whisky

Not only do we recognise whiskies from our home state but we acknowledge those made across the water on the Australian mainland. There are plenty of new distilleries starting up but this year there was one bottle we couldn’t look past. The winner of the Drams Down Under Award is…

From Country to Coast

The From Country To Coast ‘Blackfleurieugate’ Collab is one of those things in life that you never knew you needed until somebody invented it. Heavily peated spirit from Black Gate aged in an Apera cask married with heavily peated spirit from Fleurieu aged in a Tawny cask and bottled at 48%. What. A. Combo.

The fruity, oily, salty flavours mixed with the peat are like having happy hour in a beachside smokehouse. A sweet and smokey Aussie duet, like Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave teaming up for ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow’, it’s a pairing that certainly makes you sit up an take notice.

The Tartan Slipper Award for the best Scottish whisky

We now venture back to what we still regard as the motherland of the whisky world. It’s where our love for the drop started, and where is continues to find new flames each and every year. This year, the Tartan Slipper goes to…

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

While we may have sampled this dram in a bar along the way on our respective whisky drinking journeys, 2020 was the year that Whisky Waffle fell in love with the Ardbeg Corryvreckan. There’s something peak-peat about it. Simple and yet chaos in a glass. No frills, just fire. It’s somewhat of a throwback to our early whisky drinking days when peated whisky was a thrilling new world. It’s exciting. It’s a roaring bonfire. It’s exactly what Islay should be.

The Pocket Pleaser Award the perfect pick for the parched penny pincher

It’s a fine line between buying all the whisky that you would like and not filing for bankruptcy. That’s why we have a value-for-money award which goes to a drop that we can purchase without worrying about where the next meal is going to come from. The 2020 Pocket Pleaser goes to…

Corowa Characters

Little brother of previous Whisky Waffle Golden Dram winner, the Bosque Verde, the Corowa Characters release celebrates the team at the distillery. Local Corowa legends The Boss, The Dreaded Distiller, The Fuzz and Muscles certainly know how to craft a character-driven dram.

The Characters uses American, French and Hungarian oak wine barrels from the Barossa and Rutherglen. Most are Shiraz, with some experimental Pinot Noir, Durif and white wine varieties thrown in for good measure. And the price, you ask??? Generally around $90AUD, which is phenomenal for a spicy little Aussie dram and proof that the market is maturing. Perfect for summer drams with mates.

The Weirdsky Award for the most WTF whisky

We like unusual. In fact, we actively seek it out! So each year we present an award to the weirdest flavours, cask types, origin story… whatever makes us scratch our heads the hardest. This year’s Weirdsky goes to…

Spirit Thief Belgrove Coasted Peated Malt

Tasmanian independent outfit Spirit Thief had a bit of relaunch at the end of 2020. We tried the prototype Shiraz and Temperanillo releases a couple of years ago, but since then Brett Steel has evolved the brand into a slick vehicle for exploring the depths of red wine casking.

The first bottles in the new range, Exploration Series 1, uses red wine varieties from all over the world, including Pinot Noir, Grenache, Bordeaux, Shiraz and Mataro. But there was one that really made our heads spin. 

Take one portion super dirty, super funky, super cooked coastal peated malted Belgrove spirit, decant into a French Oak Cabernet Sauvignon cask for 28 months and let what can only be described as ‘The Alchemy’ happen. Satay sauce on slightly burnt peperkoek (spiced dutch gingerbread), it’s mad, complicated and weirdsky as balls. Not for the faint hearted, but definitely one for those who are adventurous of spirit. Love it, keep it up Brett!

The Bill Lark Award for service to the Tasmanian whisky industry

Once again we return to Tasmania, the state that kicked off the modern Australian whisky scene. However, instead of recognising a particular drop, we present an award to one of the amazing people pouring their heart and soul into making this little industry a success. The award bears the name of Bill Lark, recognised as the founder of the Tassie whisky movement. It goes to someone who has followed in his footsteps and continued to bring Tasmanian whisky to the world. This year the worthy winner of the Bill Lark award is:

Mark Littler

In the rapidly evolving Tassie whisky scene, it’s easy to forget about Hellyers Road, tucked away on the North West Coast of Tasmania. However, as two born-and-bred Burnie boys, Hellyers Road is our local distillery and has always welcomed us with open arms. In particular, head distiller Mark Littler has always had time for us, showing us new drops, teasing what’s to come and using us as examples to demonstrate his ‘chewing’ technique! He’s been front and centre of Hellyers Road for over 15 years and together with his team has brought Tasmanian whisky to the world through new export channels and visitors to the cellar door. Sadly 2020 was Mark’s last year with Hellyers Road and we Wafflers wish him all the best with whisky-retirement and all the varied projects still to come.

Hear from the man himself in our podcast episode 26 ‘Hellyers Road in the Bloodstream’.

The Golden Dram for the best dram whisky in the world

We close the awards for 2020 with the Golden Dram AKA the best whisky of the year. It doesn’t have to be the rarest, the most exciting, the most expensive or the most indulgent. It’s just the one we keep coming back to and thinking: this is a bloody good drop. And this year the Golden Dram goes to…

Tasmanian Independent Bottlers The Vatted Malt [3]

Please Mister Duckett, sir, we want some more! 

When you go back for seconds, or even thirds (and we’re talking bottles here, not drams), it’s probably a good indication that the spirit is hitting all the right spots. We’ve been crushing hard on TIB’s The Vatted Malt [3] since it launched in March 2020. 

A vatting of sherry casks TIB ?? 0015 & TIB ??016 (Archie Rose) and TIB AD 80 (Adams), the spirit is super syrupy and oily, with the sweetness of the sherry and the maltiness of the Archie Rose is cut by a tiny amount of the Adams, which adds a subtle dirty peat umami note. And it is gooooood!

Some people rate the Vatted [4], but we are firmly in Camp [3]. And for a mere $150, how could you say no!? Australian malted magic at its best – track down a bottle now while you still can.

Honourable mentions:

2020 was the year of Chardonnay casks! From the Dark Valley Bride’s Veil to the Hillwood Chardonnay Cask 10 we realised the potential this buttery white wine can offer.

The Founders Reserve award AKA the dishonourable mention goes to Archie Rose for tricking us into panic buying their single malt by making us all lose the ballot. Everyone, that is, except Ted, who found the golden ticket.

Finally, have some pictures of the littlest Waffler helping with the photos!

#2020WaffleAwards

Whisky Waffle Podcast Launches Patreon

Posted by: Nick

Over the past two years we have brought our Waffling to the airwaves with our Whisky Waffle Podcast. It’s reached people all over the world and we’ve recently added an interview series with people in the industry. It’s all looking pretty exciting for the future of the pod – which is why we are trying to take things to the next level by launching a Whisky Waffle Patreon!

www.patreon.com/whiskywaffle

Patreon is an (completely optional!) service where you can pay as little as a few dollars a month to access bonus content, have a say on features for the pod and become part of an inner circle of Wafflers. Hosting a podcast costs us lots of money, not to mention the countless hours spent editing and we hope that through Patreon we might be able to balance out some of that.

Here is a run down of the tiers you can jump in at. Amounts listed here are in (roughly) Australian dollars as the website works in American dollars. Each tier receives the benefits of those below it in addition to the tiers own rewards:

$3/month: Carrier Pigeon. You will get your name on our High Spirits List, access to our posts and the ability to vote on what whisky we review

$5/month: Feints Club. You will get access a bonus episode ‘The Feints’ every month. The Feints is a section (usually recorded late in a recording session) far too waffly to use in a regular episode

$10/month: Official Waffler. You will receive an induction as an Official Waffler on the pod, a personalised membership certificate and get access to the whole uncut Waffling With interviews which we conduct

$25/month: Drinking Buddy. We will send you (as a gift) a 30ml sample of our monthly review whisky so you can drink along with us!

$50/month: Tasting Panel. We will send you (as a gift) a 30ml dram of something local and/or interesting that we’ve been tasting recently

$100/month: Cask Strength. Basically you will become our hero and we will worship you on each episode of the pod. We’ll make you personalised tasting videos and regularly go on about your awesomeness.

Just a quick note: the tiers where we post you out a little sample bottle are Australia-only at the moment (sorry!)

Just to clarify, there is no compulsion to join our Patreon. The podcast will continue as normal and everyone will be able to access it for free. However, there will be bonus content available for those who want to come with us on this journey.

www.patreon.com/whiskywaffle

Welcome to the House of Lark

Posted by: Nick and Ted

AWH is dead. Long live Lark Distilling Co.

Recently there has been quite a bit of talk and speculation surrounding Lark and a couple of their new releases. The new Symphony No. 1 and the 3rd Wolf of the Willows collab both bear the Lark logo on their labels, however the former states that it is a ‘blended malt’, while the latter proclaims that it was distilled at their ‘Bothwell site’ (i.e. Nant Distillery).

The fact that both releases contain spirit that was not distilled at Lark’s Cambridge site sparked controversy in some quarters – should the labels really still say Lark, or should they be called something else entirely?

Enter, the House of Lark.

To cut through conjecture and rumour, Whisky Waffle went straight to the source at the Lark Cambridge production site and met with Head Distiller Chris Thomson.

Chris was able to reveal to us that Australian Whisky Holdings (AWH) has been reformed as Lark Distilling Co. and will release Lark, Nant and blends such as the Symphony No. 1 under the umbrella of the ‘House of Lark’. The bottle label will specify which distillery site the spirit was produced at for single malts, or state if the release is a blended malt (but won’t necessarily identify the individual distilleries).

However, we are able to exclusively reveal that the Symphony No. 1 is a combination of Nant, Overeem and Lark casks. In regards to the Wolf of the Willows 3rd collab release, Chris told us that he had searched the entire House of Lark portfolio for the perfect whisky to finish in Wolf’s Johnny Smoke Porter barrels, eventually landing on Nant.

Speaking of Nant, Chris confirmed that the name will survive, but will have the House of Lark brand on the labels alongside the Nant logo. He said that moving forward, Nant will continue to release bourbon, sherry and port casks, but will move away from the brand’s traditional single-casking to a “marriage style”.

Chris is now the head distiller across the entire House of Lark portfolio, giving him creative control across all the brands and access to the full range of Lark Distilling Co. barrels –

“Growing in size means that there are more casks to pick from and less pressure to get stock out, so we can take more time with the barrels.” Having more stock to choose from also means that they can select the right cask for the right purpose.

Chris acknowledges the need for transparency and that there may have been some confusion amongst consumers about the origins of the Symphony No. 1 and the 3rd Wolf of the Willows releases – “The goal has always been about quality, but we’re still learning lessons about how best to communicate that.”

Chris said that they would be working to educate consumers about the meaning and ethos of the House of Lark, as well as taking practical steps like increasing the font size of the distillery origin on the labelling for better clarity.

Our biggest takeaway from our meeting with Chris was just how excited (or in his words “beyond pumped”) he was about the new direction for the company and the move to the House of Lark identity. Speaking enthusiastically about the Symphony No. 1 release, he told us that –

“It’s about accessibility and drinkability, with enough complexity for people who have drunk malt for a decade, or you can sit back with your buddies who have never drunk malt before and they’ll love it. It can be mixed, straight, on ice or in a cocktail.

“For me this is just the next step in the evolution of Australian and Tasmanian whisky.”

Turner Stillhouse nears completion

Posted by: Ted

The Tamar Region of Tasmania has always been known for its wineries, but recently the distilling industry has been making a spirited push into the area. In fact, one of the biggest wineries in Tassie has a new next-door neighbour just a stone’s throw from their cellar door.

Visitors to Tamar Ridge Winery will soon be able to wander over to meet the crew at Turner Stillhouse. The outfit was founded by Justin Turner, a Northern Californian hailing from a wine-making family, who made the trek down under after meeting his Tasmanian-born wife. Also on the team is Tassie lad and distiller Brett Coulson, who used to work for the State’s biggest brewery before jumping aboard the good ship Turner.

The site was a hive of activity when we dropped by recently for a visit, with a team of builders working hard to transform the old Gunns Ltd building into a functioning distillery. As well as the production floor with the still, fermenters and bond area, the site will also include a cellar door and bar area where visitors can sample the products and check out the action. “We just want it done by summer!” exclaimed Brett as we surveyed the organised chaos in front of us.

Taking pride of place in the space is the towering 3000l hybrid pot/column still, a synergy of stainless-steel and copper. “It’s probably one of the only American-designed and -made stills in Australia,” commented Justin proudly. The lads are hoping that they can fire it up by the end of the year and start pumping out some spirit.

As well as a ‘traditional’ Tassie single malt, Justin is keen to showcase the whisky from his own part of the world, with plans for American-style corn and grain whiskies, noting that “because of the column, the still will make a lighter spirit, which will work really well with that style of whiskey.”

Justin and Brett will use virgin oak and ex-bourbon casks sourced from America for aging, but are also hoping to make use of the plentiful supply of wine barrels from next door. “It will be cool for people to come along this road and go to the Tamar Ridge cellar door and try the wine, then walk over here and try a whisky from the same barrel the wine was aged in.”

Justin (L) and Brett looking forward to when the construction is finished so they can do some distilling

While the whisky is still a few years off, Turner Stillhouse currently produces a couple of gins which are available for purchase. Hopefully by the end of the year visitors will be able to kick back at the bar with some cheeky drinks and take in the view over the Tamar Valley. Watch this space!

The North Unites for Tasmanian Whisky Week

Posted by: Nick and Ted

LtonDist0815-113 (1)

The South of Tasmania has traditionally been the heartland of its whisky industry. Lark. Overeem. Sullivans Cove. Redlands Old Kempton (and more). Big names that have dominated the stage since the early days.

In comparison, the north of the state has been something of a wasteland whisky-wise, with Hellyers Road the sole torch-bearer for far too many years. But no more! In 2019 the North is fighting back and has assembled a heroic band of new distilleries, each armed with a grain-based spirit that has spent at least two years in a barrel!

Launceston Distillery, Adams Distillery, Fannys Bay Distillery, Corra Linn Distillery, Ironhouse Distillery and of course Hellyers Road Distillery have whisky and they’re not afraid to drink it. And they want you to have a dram too!

These Northern warriors will join forces, alongside new-kid-on-the-block Turners Stillhouse, on Tuesday 13th of August as part of Tasmanian Whisky Week festivities. The event will be held at Cataract on Paterson in Launceston, commencing at 6:30pm.

LtonDist0518-135

The evening will feature tastings from each distillery, probably the first time in history that such a range of whisky produced north of Campbell Town will be on offer at one event, with each dram presented by the team that created it. The ticket price includes a superb menu of canapés designed by the venue featuring fine local Tasmanian produce. The evening will be hosted by yours truly, the Whisky Waffle boys, so we’d love to see a big turn-out of fellow Wafflers!

Tickets are $80 and can be purchased at https://taswhiskyweek.com/eventbrite-event/northern-night/ Yes, we know it’s a Tuesday night and you probably have to get up for work the next day, but gosh darn it, this is an opportunity that cannot be missed!

LtonDist0815-102

What: Northern Night

Where: Cataract on Paterson, Launceston

When: Tuesday 13th August @ 6.30pm

Cost: $80 (a bargain for 6 rare Northern Tassie drams plus canapés and great company!)

Why: Because you’d like to be part of a historical night!

Tassie takes on the 2019 World Whisky Awards

Posted by: Ted

Winner of the Best Australian Single Malt

Tasmanian whisky has been smashing gongs on the world stage again. The winners at the World Whisky Awards in London, widely recognised as the pinnacle for the industry, have just been announced and little ol’ Tassie has strutted it’s stuff in style. Repeat offenders Sullivans Cove, widely lauded for picking up Best Whisky in the World in 2014 and launching our little state squarely into the spotlight, has picked up the award for Best Single Cask Single Malt for the second year running. The drop that seduced the judges this year was TD0217, a rich, spicy, fruity French Oak cask release.

Even closer to home for Whisky Waffle was the winner of the Best Australia Single Malt, with Burnie locals Hellyers Road taking home the award for their Slightly Peated 10yo. When I congratulated Master Distiller Mark Littler and his team on the win he told me that “all of us at the distillery are very excited about receiving this global gong for the Slightly Peated 10YO. It is a London seal of approval supporting not only the quality of our whisky, but also our vision to create a world class whisky business from the North West Coast of Tassie”.

Congrats to Mark Littler and the Hellyers Road team!

Also worthy of mention is the winner of the World’s Best Single Malt (aka, the best of the best), the Teeling Whiskey 24yo Vintage Reserve, the first time an Irish drop has picked up the prestigious award.

Check out the rest of the winners here: http://www.worldwhiskiesawards.com

Return to the Southern Wild

Posted by: Nick

southern wild bar

Good news for fans of Tassie spirits on the North West Coast of Tasmania: Southern Wild Distillery has reopened their doors to the people! The makers of Dasher and Fisher Gin have been shut for over six months preparing to the make the move into their new Providore Place location – a more central and spacious premise than their old home. No longer will vats and racks of bottles encroach on customer elbow room – and the fabulous Southern Wild still fits the space nicely, rather than dominating.

sw goerge and still

The opening was celebrated with a launch on Sunday night and founder George Burgess paid tribute to the people that made it possible, in particular the Tasmanian local growers of the botanicals used in the gins. As the doors were opened, he took groups through, introducing the bar, the still and, excitingly, the laboratory upstairs where enthusiasts can book into gin-making sessions to create their own personalised product with their chosen list of botanicals. The new setting looked resplendent under lights, and the last-minute quest to find replacement plants for the replacement plants paid off superbly.

sw dasher and fisher

Bad news for whisky fans, however, as George confirmed that despite the extra space in his new venue, there is still no room for mash tuns, fermenters and other barley-based spirit making equipment. Sadly, it seems the wait for a new North West Coast dram must continue… Hopefully a couple of lads up the road in Spreyton might just be able to help with this! Stay tuned for our next article to find out more…

sw nick and still

The 2018 Waffle Awards

Posted by: Nick and Ted

2018 has been a huge year in the Waffle-verse. It’s been crammed with trips to Japan, to Scotland, and 25 days of Christmas Aussie Whisky. We conclude this action-packed twelve months with a reflection upon our favourite drams of the year.

That’s right – it’s the 2018 Waffle Awards!

So get ready for a series of deeply subjective and divisive decisions as we reveal the whiskies that impressed us throughout 2018!

1 The Isle of the Drammed Award Whisky Waffle

The Isle of the Drammed Award for the best Tasmanian whisky

We are, as far as we know, the only whisky awards to have a category specifically for Tasmanian whisky. But with so many stellar drams coming out of our home state we think it deserves to be the latest chapter in Jim Murray’s whisky diary. This year the Isle of the Drammed goes to:

Launceston Distillery Tawny Cask

2018 Isle of the Drammed Launceston Distillery Tawny Cask

We visited Launceston Distillery out at their ex-Ansett hangar a few years ago, right when they were beginning their whisky journey. Now they finally have some product out and we’re happy to say – it’s been worth the wait! There are ex-sherry and bourbon releases out there, but our favourite is the port cask, or ‘tawny’ as it’s correctly labelled. And it’s fantastic – big, bold and fruity with flavours of chocolate and blackberries thrown in. It’s everything we love in a Tassie drop and is a worthy winner of the 2018 Isle of the Drammed.

2 The Tartan Slipper Award Whisky Waffle

The Tartan Slipper Award for the best Scottish whisky

So many amazing and interesting drams continue to come out of whisky’s motherland. And yet, they also produce a few simple drops that deserve more recognition than they get. With that in mind, this year’s Tartan Slipper goes to:

Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

2018 Tartan Slipper Glenfarclas 15

Occasionally you find one of those drams that continues to impress every time you go back to it. It’s not necessarily blingy or in-your-face, it just quietly keeps on doing its thing and gives you a warm welcome whenever you drop by to say hello. For us, the Glenfarclas 15 Year Old is one of those drams. We’ve tried both younger and older releases from Glenfarclas, but none of them seem to have the balance and intangible x-factor that the 15 does. It has a dash of the liveliness of a younger dram, without being harsh, and retains a complexity of character that can sometimes get lost in the older, smoother drams. The best bit is that if you can get it on special, it’s also very forgiving on the wallet. The Glenfarclas 15yo is family-owned, heavily-Sherried whisky at its best.

3 The Pocket Pleaser Award Whisky Waffle

The Pocket Pleaser Award the perfect pick for the parched penny pincher

We acknowledge that often the more expensive a bottle is, the higher the quality. But this perspective often sees cheaper gems overlooked. We love discovering tasty drops that don’t hit the wallet too hard. This year, the Pocket Pleaser goes to:

Dobsons Old Reliable

2018 Pocket Pleaser Dobsons

Dobson’s certainly come across on the cheap-and-cheerful spectrum whisky, nothing giving this away so much as the white wine bottle it is packaged in. But look past this and you’ve got an easy drinking buttery toffee dram which will displease no one. And as an Australian drop available for under $80 you cannot go wrong. It’s a top quality quaffing whisky – or, better still, a session whisky. It goes down beautifully when paired with an Australian summer.

4 The Weirdsky Award Whisky Waffle

The Weirdsky Award for the most WTF whisky

One of worst things a whisky can be is boring. So we have an award for the dram that pushes things in the complete opposite direction. Rarely is this award won by a favourite drinking drop, but gosh, it’s always fun to try. This year the Weirdsky Award goes to:

23rd Street Hybrid Whisk(e)y

2018 Weirdsky 23rd St Hybrid Whisk(e)y

Scotch whisky, blended with American bourbon, aged in Australia. There is no way this should work… and yet… it somehow does. The corn notes add a sweetness to a speysidey character and the overall effect is a pleasant easy-drinker. It’s an insane sounding drop, but definitely worth a taste.

5 The Bill Lark Award Whisky Waffle

The Bill Lark Award for service to the Tasmanian Whisky Industry

Every year we consider it a privilege and an honour to be a part of the whisky industry here in Tasmania. There are so many wonderful people involved and each year we like to acknowledge one for their contribution to the scene. This year, the Bill Lark Award goes to:

Mathew Cooper

2018 Bill Lark Mat Cooper

We’ve always swelled with pride over the fact that Tasmanian whisky makers are happy to help out one another and share their expertise with new distillers. No one on the scene demonstrates this more than Mathew Cooper of Fanny’s Bay. So many of the new players in the Tas whisky scene, particularly in the north of the state, have received invaluable wisdom and assistance from this man as they’ve got started, and others have simply gained the confidence that they’re on the right track due to a few kind words from Mat. He is generous with his time, his praise, and his pouring and he was even prepared to demonstrate the distillation process to a couple of Wafflers over the course of a few days earlier this year where much information was passed on and many drams shared.

However no mention of Mat Cooper could be complete without acknowledging the contribution of his wife, Julie. As well as designing the Fanny’s Bay labels and helping behind the scenes, she embodies the welcoming and generous spirit of the distillery and the Tasmanian whisky industry in general.

6 The Golden Dram Whisky Waffle

The Golden Dram for the best dram whisky in the world

This is it! The top drop! Out of everything we tried throughout 2018 what do we consider to be the best? So without further adieu the 2018 Golden Dram goes to:

Laphroaig PX Cask 13 Year Old

2018 Golden Dram Laphroaig PX cask 13 year old

Sorry folks, you’re going to have a hard time finding this one. On my extensive tour of Laphroaig I was presented with the opportunity to bottle some 13 Year Old whisky straight from the cask! There were several cask options available, but I couldn’t go past this one. I mean, Laphroaig fully matured in sherry casks – how often do you come across that? Now I’ve got the bottle home and shared it with m’colleague we decided it was a wise decision to plump for this particular dram. It’s rich and complex, firey at 52%, and packed with all the smoke anyone could desire. It’s the dram of the year and one that I’ll be very sad when my 200ml runs out…

And finally, two little mentions to finish on:

We give an Honourable Mention to a couple of fantastic South Australian discoveries from Ted’s advent calendar: Fleurieu and Iniquity. We hope to find out some more about these two whiskies in 2019!

The Founders Reserve Award (AKA the dishonourable mention) is also split two ways: – to Yamazaki Distillery for failing to have any single-malt whisky for sale in their gift shop. Come on Japan, get your act together!
and to Tiger Snake Whiskey by Great Southern Distilling Co. for being so… meh. Allegedly it’s meant to be an Aussie take on bourbon, but it doesn’t really do its Southern inspiration justice. Doesn’t really do much for Australian whisk(e)y either. Such a shame when the Limeburners is so good.

Wafflers 4

Keep on waffling into 2019.

Nick and Ted.

#2018WaffleAwards

Tasmanian Whisky Week 2018

Posted by: Ted

 

TWW2018

 

Good news wafflers, Tasmanian Whisky Week is returning once again in 2018 with a jam packed lineup of fantastic whisky related events! As the industry expands, so does the scope for celebrating the achievements of this home-grown success story. From the seed planted by Bill Lark’s epiphany-on-the-lake in the 90’s, the Tassie scene has blossomed ever since, with over 20 distilleries, as well as several independent bottlers, now in operation.

The 2018 edition of Tasmanian Whisky Week runs from Monday the 13th to Sunday the 19th of August. During the week, whisky fanatics and novices alike will have the chance to attend nearly 20 events all over the state (although thanks to high demand some of these are now sold out). Some highlights of the week include:

MarkDrink

Northern NightEnjoy a night in the North with Adam’s Distillery, Corra Linn Distillery, Fanny’s Bay Distillery, Launceston Distillery and Ironhouse Distillery as they share their journeys and their whiskies at Saint John’s Craft Beer Bar.
Midlands MasterclassMeet the makers from the midlands! Enjoy a night of tastings from Belgrove Distillery, Old Kempton Distillery, Shene Estate and Nant Distillery in the beautiful sandstone surroundings of The Den in Salamanca.‘ (Sold out)
Liquid Gold at Gold BarIndulge in the liquid gold of Lark Distillery, Spring Bay Distillery, McHenry Distillery and Devil’s Distillery under the lights of the Gold Bar atrium.‘ (Sold out)
Tasmanian Spirits ShowcaseThe … Showcase brings together 20 Tasmanian craft distilleries for tastings, food, entertainment, and coopering demonstrations from Tasmanian Cask Company! The perfect event for fans of all and any spirits, this is not just a whisky-lovers showcase.
New Make NightThe Tasmanian Spirits Showcase brings together 20 Tasmanian craft distilleries for tastings, food, entertainment, and coopering demonstrations from Tasmanian Cask Company! The perfect event for fans of all and any spirits, this is not just a whisky-lovers showcase.
Founders NightSpend an evening with the founding distilleries of the Tasmanian Whisky Industry, and hear stories and experiences from the founding fathers themselves, … savouring whiskies from Lark Distillery, Overeem Distillery, Sullivans Cove Distillery and Hellyers Road Distillery.‘ (Sold out)

Whisky Waffle will be getting into the spirit (ahem) of the week by showcasing a few of the newer distilleries that have recently celebrated their first releases (including one that is making its debut during Whisky Week!), so keep an eye out on the blog.

LarkBarrels

Head over to the Tas Whisky Week website to get all the details of all the events and participants and make sure you find some time this week to celebrate one of the finest whisky industries in the world. Even if you can’t make it along due to geographical distance or lack of time, make sure you raise a glass of fine southern single malt and give a hearty toast to Tasmanian whisky!

Visit https://taswhiskyweek.com/

Whisky Waffle go on holiday

Posted by: Nick

Nick packs

You can’t help but smile when articles on (sometimes) serious whisky blogs have titles which sound like Famous Five novels. But the headline does succinctly sum up what’s going to happening across the next month or so.

The holiday has already begun for m’colleague Ted who is off in South America, checking out the Amazon, walking the Inca trail and saying hi to the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands.

Ted and a Fish

While tomorrow, I am off on an equally exciting holiday – and one that may be of interest to you, my fellow Wafflers. I’m going to be spending six weeks travelling through Europe – including nearly a fortnight visiting The Motherland. That’s right, people: I’m going to Scotland!

While I’m there I will be filling my days with multiple distillery visits, including but not limited to: Balvenie, Glendronach, Aberlour, Glenfarclas, Glen Moray, Talisker, Oban, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Kilchoman, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. Naturally my reactions to all visits will be revealed on the blog in due course, though possibly after I’ve returned home. However, if you keep an eye on a social media pages – in particular Instagram – then you’ll get a taste of what I’m up to. Just not literally, sadly.

Anyway loyal Wafflers, thanks for your support over the years. We’ll be a bit quiet on the blog for a while but will return as strongly (and as sloshed) as ever in August.

Keep on waffling,

Nick and Ted