After six years resting in barrels, the next Tasmanian single malt whisky has launched onto the market today with an extremely limited run of bottles.
The work of distiller Damian Mackey, the man behind the recent launch of Poltergeist Gin, Mackey Whisky is the state’s only Irish-style whisky currently in production.
Produced in the Hobart suburb of New Town, the unpeated and triple distilled spirit was made by traditional methods in a copper pot still before being laid down in 100 litre port cask barrels.
According to the distillery, the triple distillation produces a distinctive smoothness not found in other whiskies, and is also a nod to Damian’s Irish heritage.
The key ingredient in Mackey Whisky is the premium malted barley, grown in the state’s midlands, and bred especially for the Tasmanian brewing industry. The barley retains an oily maltiness which has become a hallmark of Tasmania’s award-winning whiskies.
Damian Mackey first became interested in making whisky when he worked as a surveyor for Bill Lark in the early 1990s. Inspired by ‘Godfather of Tasmanian Whisky’, in 2007, Damian and his wife Madeleine established Mackey’s Distillery.
What followed was eight years of toiling away on weekends and evenings to create their whisky.
“Bill provided me with the inspiration to become a distiller,’ says Mackey, ‘and he and Lyn have also given me practical advice at every step of the way.”
The release of the first bottles of the distillery’s production comes in the wake of the already warm reception that Poltergeist Gin, where Mackey is head distiller, has received since its launch at the end of August.
“I always knew we’d outgrow our small operation at New Town, and the move to Shene Distillery means we can dramatically increase production of our whisky, as well as Poltergeist Gin – which is already on the market and doing very well.” says Damian. “The size of our distillery at New Town means we have not been able to produce large quantities. We’ve focussed on achieving the highest quality, which is the most important factor for all of Tasmania’s whisky producers.”
Mackey Whisky is available to buy online (www.mackeysdistillery.com.au) or on a tour of the historic Shene Estate at Pontville, Tasmania.
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