Archie Rose has launched Heritage Red Gum Cask Single Malt Whisky, its latest limited release spirit, which has been aged in red gum casks from the 1930s.

Due to supply chain disruptions during the Second World War, Australian fortified wine producers turned to native woods to age their Tawny, Apera and Muscat, with the rich fruity characters of the Sherry balancing out the strong flavours of the eucalyptus wood. Archie Rose managed to acquire some of these historic casks which have now been used to age the new release.

Archie Rose’s Head Distiller Dave Withers had heard childhood stories about these native wood casks from his father.

“I have a clear memory of my dad talking about how, when he started out as a winemaker, there were stories he heard about fortified wine barrels being made from native eucalyptus timbers in the 1930s. Many years later, I heard from one of our coopers about a small parcel of wine casks that had an oddly red colour to the timber. I called my dad right away and told him what I had discovered. ‘Wow,’ he said. ‘That’s a piece of Australian history. Get those casks,” he said.

These unique casks have been filled with Archie Rose’s six malt spirit and left to mature for four years. The tasting notes of the Heritage Red Gum Cask Single Malt Whisky describe a nose of raisins and bush honey with eucalypt and sandalwood undertones. The palate opens with glacé cherries and dried orange zest, with a lingering finish of milk chocolate, bush honey and incense.

For Withers, this whisky has typified Archie Rose’s pursuit of making quintessentially Australian spirits.

“Making Australian whisky is fairly personal for me. In some ways it is about recapturing the heritage of distilling in Australia which stretches back over 200 years but was rekindled in the 1990s. It is about expressing who we are as Australians in a drink that can be consumed and celebrated by other Australians. It is about using unique Australian ingredients with deep traditions or strong innovation which speaks to us as a nation of spirits lovers.  The red gum cask brings together so many of those passions,” he said.

Heritage Red Gum Cask Single Malt Whisky is available direct to consumer from the Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door, with a retail price of $219.99 and a wholesale price of $160.27 excluding GST.

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