Australia’s whisky industry is gaining serious momentum, both in terms of its global reputation and the increasing amount of high quality whisky that is becoming available.

Those distilleries who are being patient, ensuring they release whisky when it is ready are being rewarded with awards and global recognition. Research, development and experimentation are at the heart of whisky industries around the world and Australia is no different.

Australia’s climate is a challenging one to mature whisky in, with high temperatures causing large amounts to be lost to the angels, it can be difficult to have the patience required to make great whisky and to hold on to maturing whisky barrels – waiting for them to be ready.

One distillery being rewarded for its patience, its research and its development is Archie Rose, who earlier this year released its first core range whisky and the Rye Malt Whisky was launched to both critical and consumer acclaim.

Armed with knowledge of what the maturation conditions are like in Australia and what this could mean for their whisky, the Archie Rose team set about creating a whisky that fully represented Australia.

Fundamental to that approach was that whisky starts life in the field rather than in the distillery and so worked with Australian growers to support this ethos and were determined to use the right building blocks rather than the easy ones.

“We began by using German malt but are now working with growers in Griffith, NSW to revive heritage rye and barley strains and together creating malt crop volume and diversity to support our own products and the future growth of the Australian whisky industry,” says Archie Rose Master Distiller, Dave Withers.

“Our overall goal is to source all of our seven varieties of malt from NSW, which would be a pretty special result and one that we would be incredibly proud of. A successful brew, fermentation, distillation or maturation is only as good as the malt you start with.”

Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky uses malted rye over the far more commonly used unmalted rye, giving this whisky a point of distinction evident upon the very first sip.

“Everything about working with malted rye is a challenge,” says Withers. “It’s difficult to source, difficult to malt, and due to its lack of husk, formidable viscosity, and unique chemical composition, is also extremely challenging to mash, ferment and distil. We persevere with this hardy malt however, due to the incredible character it brings to the final spirit.

“Less common but more approachable than raw, unmalted rye, it provides characteristic spice and herbal elements but with more restraint, elegance and complexity than a traditional rye.”

The use of malted rye means a whisky that is layered and aromatic offering notes of spiced custard, ginger, stone fruit and baked apple pie with a fresh herbal finish that lingers on the palate.

Batches one and two both sold out in 30 minutes with batch three being made more widely available, but it too was all gone within weeks.

But with Christmas now approaching the Archie Rose Rye Whisky is available for wider retail and wholesale purchase, almost five years after the distillery first started making spirits.

“Our vision for whisky has always been to speak of our experience as Australians, utilise the incredible raw materials available to us, and strive for genuine innovation in what is typically an extremely traditional industry,” says Archie Rose founder, Will Edwards.

“We have crafted a distinct, charming and flavoursome spirit which showcases the quality of its components, being unique malted rye, local malted barley and incredible, painstakingly 36-month air-dried oak, as well as the innovative production methods we employ in the distillery.”

The whisky has already been awarded Best Australian Whisky at the IWSC Awards in London 2018 and Best Australian Rye Whisky at the consumer-voted 2019 Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Awards in California.

This is a piece of Australian whisky history and makes a great talking point for those who are looking for a gifting opportunity in the busiest of all occasion-based shopping seasons. With a $119 RRP, Archie Rose have priced this as an attainable whisky and one that is packaged in a beautiful hexagon gift box ready for Christmas.

Email to order the Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky now, in time for Christmas.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.