About the Distillery
Well, it’s official. For the first time in the 8 years of the club, we’ve had such an overwhelming response to, and so many requests for more of a particular whisky that we’ve decided to run it again. For the benefit of the newer members, when we featured ‘Cradle Mountain’ in November last year, we had to organise an emergency re-bottling to cope with demand. And even then we completely sold out. We’ve been being asked for ‘more’ from members ever since.
Cradle Mountain is a little bit special, a little bit unusual and definitely a whisky with a great story. For July we are going back to good old Tassie – once again sampling the offerings of ‘The Small Concern Whisky Distillery’ which was located in Ulverstone, Tasmania. I say ‘was’ because the SCWD stills are no more – sadly having been sold for scrap some 10 years ago.
The early days of the SCWD were heady, exciting. One of the first two whisky distilleries in modern Australia in 1992 – it was second only to Lark in establishing itself. Recognised as very good very early on – with Springbank Distillery making large purchases of spirit from them to use in their blends in 1994. Unfortunately though, a lack of investor interest ultimately saw the end of the distillery as a working concern. Now the distillery is – sadly – largely forgotten. Lost in time and the Tasmanian mountains – where barrels and barrels are still aging.
I almost met with the owner – David MacLennan – in September 2012 when I was visiting Tassie. Unfortunately events conspired against a face to face meeting, but we had many telephone conversations since, and it was during one of these chats that I convinced him to dust off the bottling machine and bottle a few more for our membership. He agreed – but with the proviso of giving him some time to organise bottles (from Italy, no less), and roping in some help to bottle and label. Finally the time is upon us – and I’m very excited to offer David’s product -Cradle Mountain Single Malt Whisky – this month.
We’re not only excited to present this whisky once more to the club because it’s a rather nice whisky – we’re also excited to have been able to resurrect what is essentially a ‘ghost malt’ with another special bottling, just for our club. So we hope you enjoy it, and ponder what may have been whilst you let the finish linger. Once it’s gone… it’s gone <sniff>.
7yo nearrly 16yo.. now aalllmost 17yo!!
The Cradle Mountain Single Malt Whisky is totally Tasmanian – from the Franklin barley grown in the northern parts of Tassie (very popular with beer brewers), to the pure snow-stream water coming from the Cradle Mountain National Park. It comes from American Oak Barrels 7285 (kegged 12th October ’97) and 7291 (kegged 18th October ’97). Both casks were sherry washed before filling. This whisky is now only 3 months shy of 17yo. It is triple distilled to ensure the raw spirit is a pure as possible before going to age in the American Oak. Cradle Mountain whisky is not chill filtered so the full flavour of the whisky is retained.
Please note: Even thought the packaging says it’s 7yo – this is actually not right. This whisky is actually just shy of 17yrs old. So small is ‘Small Concern Whisky Distillery’ that it wasn’t feasible to make new packaging/labeling.
The late Michael Jackson said of it (at 7yo):
“It is a pale straw colour with fresh leather, waxed fruit, perhaps lemon-grass, and hay in the aroma. Very soft body with a smooth palate which is clean-tasting (no doubt deriving in part from the local water). Fruit-skins, citrus and lemon-grass in the palate. Fruity acidity in the finish, then a surge of mustard and pepper.”
Jim Murray says:
“… a knock out malt from a sadly now-lost distillery. Faultlessly clean stuff with lots of new oak character but sufficient body to guarantee complexity.”
Here’s just some of the many comments from members:
“Tried the Cradle Mountain Whisky last night.The best tasting whisky I have tried,beautiful soft flavours.So glad I joined the club…” Ian M.
“I can’t seem to get last months Cradle Mountain out of my head. … could I please get two more bottles along with this months offering. I’ll be spending some time with some Scott’s and Americans over the next few months and I would love to show them what the Aussies can do.” Kim S.
“Any chance you can get any more of the cradle mountain malt? If so how much will it be? I’m probably after about 3 or 4 bottles if available.” Michael R.
“Hey guys was there any more of this whisky left? It’s great!”
“I savoured the amazing Cradle Mountain whiskey that so far has been my favourite” Julian M.
“This is an exceptional drop. Is there any possibility of purchasing more?” Roes P.
Bottlers Tasting Notes
Pure rainwater from the isolated craggy peaks of the Tasmanian Highlands helps to produce the unique, smooth taste of Cradle Mountain Single Malt Whisky.
Triple distilled for extra smoothness, Cradle Mountain Malt is made using the world’s finest Franklin barley and one of the purest sources of water on the earth. These quality ingredients coupled with the determination and vision of our dedicated people result in a whisky of unparalled smoothness.
Cradle Mountain Malt has a pale straw colour with a faintly honeyish nose. It has a smooth palate and is clean tasting with a lingering afterglow.