Sydney’s own Archie Rose Distilling Co are one of the nation's most trusted brands when it comes to gin, but in recent years its master distillers have been hustling hard behind the scenes on an aged malt whisky, and at long last, the fruits of those labours are ready to taste.
This isn't just a tentative toe-dip into the whisky game, but a bold stride, with a complex dram featuring six different malts, matured in Australian sherry casks, then refined in reused bourbon and rye casks that are coopered with both toast (a technique more common to wine production) and char, bringing a rich smokiness to the flavour profile. Just 3000 bottles of Archie Rose’s first-ever batch of single malt whisky are ready to be savoured, so given such a relatively limited supply of this milestone drop, it won’t be available on the shelves of your average bottle-o. Those hoping to secure a bottle will need to enter a special lottery, which will be drawn on September 23, to secure their chance to purchase a bottle, which retails at $119. Even then, selected ballots will only have a 48-hour window in which to settle their purchase before any unclaimed bottles are released for general sale.
Just how this plucky newcomer compares to the venerable elder statesmen of the whisky market is yet to be seen, but work-in-progress samples of the Archie Rose aged spirit have already picked up gongs at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the World Whisky Masters in London and the SIP Awards in California. If you’re not one of the lucky few who gets their hands on the debut batch, you won’t have to wait too long for the second release, which is due in November. This larger supply will be headed to bars, restaurants and bottle shops across the country, so keep your eyes peeled.