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Please Note: The Archie Rose Bar will be closed today, Monday 30 July. We will be open as usual from midday tomorrow. Apologies for any inconvenience.

The Archie Rose Journey to Whisky

I always wanted to make Australian gins and Australian whiskies, plural. It was part of the plan from the very beginning. And what most people wouldn’t realise is that we’ve been distilling and laying down casks of whisky since we started Archie Rose in 2014.

Making whisky is without a doubt the most intensive project and largest R&D commitment we’ve ever undertaken. Want to be a whisky producer? You’re investing in trials and production now for a spirit that you’ll then let mature for four to eight to twelve years, and it’s evaporating every day. We’ve been making whisky for four years and we still haven’t sold a bottle. There are yeast trials we ran three years ago that we’re only just seeing the results of now. It’s a long journey, but we think the whisky decides when it’s ready and we never want to rush things.

On a bit of a side note, the interesting thing about being a distilling company, rather than just being a gin distillery or a whisky distillery, is that it allows us to take the lessons learned from one category, like whisky, say, and apply them to another, like gin or vodka.

There are obvious differences between how gin and whisky are made, but there are also lots of similarities in our approach. What we’re always trying to do, no matter what the spirit is, is showcase amazing local ingredients. It’s why we distil all of our botanicals individually to make our gins – because we want to produce the best possible distillate with the best possible flavour – and it’s the same approach we take with our whisky and the individual malts that make up the mash bill.

For both our Single Malt and our Rye Malt Whisky – which we hope to release from 2019 – we’re trying to source as many of our malts as possible from New South Wales. We’re working with local grain growers and local malting houses, so, wherever possible, we don’t have to buy internationally. We’re also continually looking for meaningful innovation; often doing things the traditional way first, and then reverse engineering “why” or “if” it should be done that way.

When we started making our whisky, we started with a traditional brewer’s malt and a distiller’s malt (a very typical “Australian Single Malt Whisky” mash bill). But then we thought, why only use one or two malts when brewers are using all these other interesting specialty malts? What we landed on in the end, were six malts - forming the base of our brand new Six Malt New Make. A lot of more traditional whiskies are quite cask forward, but our aim is to strike a better balance. We want to showcase the individual character of each malt and complement that with the influence of the cask, instead of relying on the cask to supply the backbone of flavour.

In Europe when they make whisky, typically they’ll use one distiller’s malt, which produces a very high yielding spirit. To give it some context: a distiller’s malt would typically produce about 400 pure litres of alcohol per tonne of malt. The chocolate malt we use – one of our six specialty malts – on the other hand, will only yield 30 to 40 litres of alcohol per tonne. It’s very inefficient, but the flavour it produces is incredible.

At the end of the day, we’re perfectly happy to sacrifice yield and efficiency in search of more flavour. Working with specialty roasted malts is challenging. Extreme variances in yield and the malts having completely different characteristics in ferment, for example, are just part of the game. It’s tough, but it’s also the exact reason why we work with them. We know those complex chocolatey, coffee and burnt caramel notes await. So, in the meantime, sit tight and pour yourself a Six Malt New Make.

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  • Six Malt New Make
    Launching on 19 July, our limited edition Six Malt New Make is a first glimpse into how the base spirit of our Archie Rose Single Malt Whisky starts its life – as a rich and complex unaged spirit displaying earthy notes of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted nuts and toffee.
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Distillery

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Come in for a drink:

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Location

85 Dunning Ave
Rosebery NSW 2018

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Location

85 Dunning Ave
Rosebery NSW 2018

Open in Maps

Distillery

Book a tour:

BY APPOINTMENT
9:00am - 5:00pm

Book Tour

Bar

Come in for a drink:

Sunday - Monday: 12pm-10:00pm
Tuesday - Saturday: 12pm-11:30pm

Drinks Menu
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To experience this site you must be of legal drinking age in your country of residence. Please enjoy Archie Rose responsibly in countries where the consumption of alcohol is lawful, for persons who are lawfully permitted to consume alcohol. By entering this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions. Find out more at www.drinkwise.org.au. Archie Rose Distilling Co. Pty Limited Rights Reserved. Archie Rose Distilling Co. supports the Responsible Service of Alcohol. NSW Liquor Act 2007. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. Liquor Producer Wholesaler Licence: LIQW880014624 | Liquor Hotel Licence: LIQH440018958

To experience this site you must be of legal drinking age in your country of residence. Please enjoy Archie Rose responsibly in countries where the consumption of alcohol is lawful, for persons who are lawfully permitted to consume alcohol. By entering this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions. Find out more at www.drinkwise.org.au. Archie Rose Distilling Co. Pty Limited Rights Reserved. Archie Rose Distilling Co. supports the Responsible Service of Alcohol. NSW Liquor Act 2007. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. Liquor Producer Wholesaler Licence: LIQW880014624 | Liquor Hotel Licence: LIQH440018958