Introducing Our Latest Limited Release Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky
On Thursday 14 November we’ll launch Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky – only our second limited edition whisky release, drawn from seven casks as the fifth release under the Archie Rose Concepts label, reserved for the rarest and most experimental releases.
A sequel release to our Smoked Gin launched in March 2019, Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky features smoked water created by melting huge blocks of ice in the wood-fired oven of our neighbouring mates, Three Blue Ducks, using sustainably sourced NSW ironbark.
After trialling various Archie Rose whiskies, the caramel, cream and fruit accents of Rye Malt Whisky was selected as the ideal spirit to match with the meaty, smoky and saline characteristics of the smoked water, underpinned by the unique subtle baking spices of rye malt with the end result delivering aromas of campfire-baked damper by the sea.
In creating this whisky Master Distiller, Dave Withers, explored using varying amounts of smoked water at a range of different alcoholic strengths, settling on an atypically low 40% ABV in order to best highlight the water-soluble smoked notes. At this lower ABV the decision was then made to release Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky flocked, completely unfiltered and including its natural haze and char remnants. The release of this cloudy, and historically considered “faulty” spirit aims to start the conversation about the role, type and extent of filtration in whisky production, and how it can be used to both add to and detract from a finished spirit and drinking experience.
“We explored a range of different strengths but found 40% struck the best balance between retaining the natural profile of the Rye Malt Whisky and drawing out the smoked notes from the water,” says Withers. “We felt that in this instance, due to the lower strength, filtering the whisky would detract from the smoky profile so the decision was made to leave it in its rawest form.”
“Filtration in whisky production is rarely discussed openly, and in line with the transparency we strive for in all aspects of our production, we wanted this release to spark an open conversation about the use, benefits and drawbacks of unfiltered, filtered and chill-filtered spirit.” says Withers.
Archie Rose Founder, Will Edwards added: “We’re not content to simply accept the status quo with regard to filtration, nor are we the type to enforce our viewpoint that one method is superior to another. Our view is that varying types of filtration - whether it be doing none, through to natural settling, ambient and chill-filtration - when properly considered and expertly applied, are just other elements of production that can be utilised the same way yeast selection and cask type are, to craft a perfect spirit. It’s a geeky conversation, but one that we feel is important to have.”
Using selectively sourced rare malted rye and the finest malted barley from progressive malt houses, paired with virgin American oak casks air-dried for 36 months, Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky is testament to our focus on malt, and approach to working with rye, being a far more difficult malt to process than barley but offering a point of distinction evident from the very first sip.
Bucking the typical smoked whisky process of drying malted barley with smoke and heat, the distilling team instead selected casks of mature whisky which would naturally complement the flavour profile of the ironbark smoked water, achieving a balance between the unique aspects of the malt, cask, ferment and smoke.
“Our post maturation smoking method is truly unique and we know of no other distilleries that have employed this production technique,” says Withers. “It provided great control of flavour and the ability to deliver a smoked rye whisky which speaks authentically of its country of origin, or in this case specifically of NSW.”
“We are constantly searching for innovation and progression within what is a very traditional industry,” says Edwards. “This whisky is a great example of our willingness to push the boundaries and create special releases utilising the incredible raw materials available to us across the country.”
Drink Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky neat, sip it outdoors and enjoy it as an Australian BBQ whisky.
“This whisky is worth having a lingering affair with. It’s undeniably original. Sure, put it in an Aussie Rob Roy, you won’t regret it, but also, pour yourself two fingers neat and enjoy the sooty and sweet,” says Head of Hospitality, Harriet Leigh.
Nose: The aroma is immediately coastal with sea spray and surf. A second pass reveals smoked bacon wrapped in campfire cooked damper drizzled in maple syrup. With time the aroma of vanilla eclairs and brandy cream emerge. A charcuterie board of cured meats sit in the background.
Palate: Salted toffee with dark chocolate shavings and ginger snap biscuits. Spiced maple syrup and charred damper. A faint touch of rose.
1,197 bottles of Archie Rose Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky will be available for purchase via a ballot allocation drawn on 8.59am (AEDT) 11 November or from 12pm (AEDT) on 14 November via www.archierose.com.au or the bar at Archie Rose Distilling Co. in Rosebery, Sydney.
Learn more about Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt Whisky via spirit data.
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