Australia’s homegrown spirits scene is a great thing that keeps getting greater, thanks in no small part to Archie Rose Distilling Co. The nation’s most awarded distillery, it keeps churning out the hits in terms of flagship releases and experimental ones alike. Landing squarely in the latter camp is the Trials & Exceptions series, which uncovers distinct flavour profiles by way of local ingredients and innovative production methods. Red Gum Smoked Single Malt Whisky is the 7th release to join this exclusive family and it pays living tribute to our thriving landscape in all kinds of glorious ways. Your taste buds won’t know what hit them.
Lending Archie Rose’s new release its unique and bold essence is native NSW Red Gum, which was used to smoke the NSW grown-and-malted barley provided by Voyager Craft Malt. The locally-sourced ingredients play into the distillery’s larger philosophy that malts are crucial to a whisky’s character, as well as its mission to source all seven malts from within the NSW. The result is a true Aussie single malt with a versatile flavour profile to match, and one that pays homage to our nation’s iconic Eucalypt trees. It’s the first in a two-part series of dedicated native wood-smoked malt trials, brought to life in partnership with Voyager.
Red Gum Smoked Single Malt Whisky is also the latest expression made possible by Archie Rose’s “individual malt stream” process, whereby each malt in the mash bill is milled, mashed, fermented, distilled and matured separately. By taking this novel approach, Archie Rose enjoys and employs greater control over every aspect of the production process. Everything from the yeast selection to the cask type to the maturation conditions is purposefully tailored to each specific malt, so as to make zero compromises in the pursuit of quality and distinction.
“We had been using peated barley from the west coast of Scotland in our whiskies. We were dragging this grain halfway across the world to be used in an Australian whisky which just didn’t feel quite right both from a provenance and a sustainability perspective. We saw an opportunity to create an Australian smoked malt which would showcase the great Australian scent of BBQ or campfire smoke,” Archie Rose master distiller Dave Withers said. “After a number of conversations with our mates at Voyager they agreed to support us in establishing a series of dedicated Australian native wood smoked malt trials. This release is the product of two of those trials.”
“It’s a hell of a lot of work but we do it because it allows us to get the most out of the malt and really accentuate its key defining features. The result with this release is a distinctly Australian whisky not for the faint-hearted. It has a pronounced level of smoke with notes of smoked meats and bacon as well as a strong floral presence with a salty edge.”
In addition to local Red Gum-smoked pale malt, Archie Rose sourced local amber malt, local chocolate malt, light crystal malt, and aromatic roasted malt for the complex mashbill of their latest release. It’s now available in Australia and guaranteed to be quite unlike anything you’ve ever tried. So it goes with the Trials & Exceptions series, which reaps genuine power out of local grain and careful technique.
“This whisky is an incredible feat. We are proudly an Australian distillery and when we started out, many of the unique malts we wanted to use in our whiskies were either not grown and malted in Australia or were not available in sufficient quantities,” Archie Rose founder Will Edwards added. “This is a prime example of how we strive to, with Australian maltsters and farmers, develop new malts to push the boundaries of whisky production, improve sustainability by not shipping in foreign malt from around the world, and showcase the best of what Australia has to offer.”
The new Red Gum Smoked Single Malt Whisky is available for RRP$199 via a pre-release ballot that opens from 9 February 2022 at 11AM and closes 11 February 2022 at 12PM, with winners notified within one hour of the ballot closing. Consider it one more notch in our nation’s ever-evolving belt of unmistakable expressions, each of which could only come from this particular corner of the world. Keep doing us proud, Archie Rose!