New Tasmanian whisky, Hidden Lake, has released its first liquid, with just six casks making up the rare, ultra-premium single malt, single cask first release.
There are six expressions – 10-year-old French Oak Tawny Cask Strength, six-year-old White Oak Cask Strength and Bottle Strength, eight-year-old American Oak Tawny, seven-year-old French Oak Tawny, six-year-old American Oak Apera – in the first release, which officially launched yesterday, 23 June 2022.
Hidden Lake is a joint venture between Mighty Craft and Chris Malcolm, who has been an integral part of the Australian whisky industry for more than a decade. Malcolm, former CEO of Australian Whisky Holdings and former executive chairman of Lark Distillery, oversees the Hidden Lake brand as both its founder and director.
“I fell in love with Tasmanian whisky a decade ago,” says Malcolm. “For me, this is a very exciting launch because it’s been years in the making. Hidden Lake whisky comes from the personal collection I’ve acquired on the market over the years and some we’ve made ourselves.
“This is an outstanding opportunity to showcase what Tasmania can do and what some of talented people in Tasmania have created.
“This rarity and quality of this whisky starts with the barrel,” says Malcolm. “It starts with how the barrel is prepared – the shaving, toasting, charring – then what type and style of new make matches that barrel. It’s not a quick process. It takes time, and it’s a handmade process from start to finish, so that what is finally produced is an ultra-premium whisky. That time and that effort is certainly worth it when you taste the final product.
“When it comes to barrels, we have the first and oldest white oak program in Australia. There are very few distilleries in the country who are using white oak today – in fact, I only know of two.”
Mighty Craft Managing Director Mark Haysman, said: “Whisky is the largest spirits category in Australia, with 43 per cent value share and a 6.9 per cent CAGR, and we’re already in a strong position with 300,000L under maturation, and our plan is to have 1,500,000L by the end of the 2025/26.
“With brands such as Hidden Lake, Kangaroo Island Spirits, 78 Degrees and Seven Seasons, along with our expanding production, sales and distribution capabilities, we are well placed to scale and grow this exciting category in both domestic and export markets.
“Our spirits businesses have outstanding whisky potential and capabilities to barrel age premium offerings that originate in three of the most respected craft provenances in Australia – the pristine altitudes of the Tasmanian Highlands, the unspoiled natural surrounds of Kangaroo Island and the uniquely Australian environs of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.”