By Andy Young, editor TheShout, and Stefanie Collins, editor b&c
The Archie Rose Distilling Co. last night celebrated its first birthday, unveiling its first casks of aged rye as well as some other surprises.
In an extremely eventful first 12 months Archie Rose has laid down over 300 casks, turn over 3000 distillery tours and picked up several awards – including a master medal in the inaugural Distillery Masters competition. And as founder Will Edwards revealed last night there is still a lot more to come.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better and more rewarding first year of operation,” Edwards said. “It’s credit to our amazing team and the hard work we have invested over the last few years to make Archie Rose a reality. Most importantly though it’s down to the way Sydney and Australia have embraced the distillery, our tours, the Archie Rose Bar and of course our Gin, Vodka and White Rye.
“2016 is going to be huge with the release of a brand new product and a handful of limited collaborative releases. We’re looking forward to expanding internationally and to seeing the bar team (along with my mum) show their creative flair with a range of in house vermouths, bitters, shrubs, berries, pickles, leathers and much more. The boilermaker list is expanding and we will continue to source incredibly rare whiskies and spirits.”
He added: “As far as whisky goes, we’ve got around 280-odd casks of single malt now laid down, and about 73 casks of rye. And with the gin and vodka as well, which was really the goal for year one, we’ve managed to get in available nationwide, which is a big thing for us.
“And then there’s the bar. Harriett runs a great team here, we’re constantly working on new things and tying the distillery to the bar with distillates. So the bar is a great part of it and the education that we are able to offer at the bar.”
Edwards also revealed that the distillery is planning to release some new products next year.
“One thing is, I guess, the opposite of tailored gin. We looking at and working on making a gin for us, that the team likes and I’m sure you’ll like it as well. It’s probably going to be a bit higher ABV and I’m sure we’re going to pump up the juniper and the spice and a few other things.
“So we’re working on the new gin and we’re also working on a rum, which I am sure a few of you will be excited about.”
Prior to the announcement, Edwards revealed to b&c that distillery production manager Dave Withers has been studying rum distillation through the prestigious Heriot-Watt University, in Edinburgh Scotland, and has been dedicating himself to sourcing the highest grade molasses that can be found in Australia – no easy task given the potential costs involved.
The process will also present some unique logistics issues – cold chain storage is just the beginning – according to Edwards, however the distillery has managed to navigate potential problems and is looking forward to beginning production on a unique rum product, and potentially a limited supply of rhum agricole (a cane juice-based style of spirit).