What is the “individual malt stream” process behind our whiskies, and why have we patented it?
Our goal at Archie Rose has always been to build a distilling company that showcases Australia’s incredible ingredients and innovation in distilling globally, while providing as many people as possible with the opportunity to drink quality, local spirits.
The most recent step towards this goal is the completion of our new distillery at Banksmeadow, which allows us to commit to techniques and processes we’ve spent over six years delving deep into at our Rosebery distillery, including dialling in our use of specialty roasted local malts and historic, non-commercial, Australian barley/rye varieties, cold-distilled botanical distillates, and individually distilled malt whisky streams.
As part of this we’ve decided to patent the “individual malt stream” process that will underpin our whisky production moving forward, whereby, to use our Single Malt Whisky as just one example, each malt in our six-malt mash bill is milled, brewed, fermented, distilled and matured separately or with a single base malt, allowing our team to tailor every step of the production process, including brewing temperatures, yeast selection, cask type, distillation rates, and maturation conditions to each specific malt, rather than having to settle for “average” conditions that suit the whole mash bill collectively.
In summary this process means we are splitting our mash bill into its fundamental components, rather than processing them together, and keeping each malt stream separate throughout the entire process from milling to blending. Additionally, the patent also requires that at least two of the malt streams used in the final spirit contain roasted malt, further making this style of production truly unique to our spirits, and one of the defining characteristics of Archie Rose whiskies.
This is the first time we’ve decided to patent one of our processes—these are the primary reasons why:
As a company that prides itself on transparency and innovation, it was essential that we felt comfortable sharing and explaining our unique production process publicly, to hopefully encourage further exploration and appreciation of speciality/roasted malts, while also inspiring future innovation within the distilling industry (coincidentally, one of the fundamental reasons patents were developed). With this ethos of openness in mind, and considering the nature of whisky production—whereby you come up with an idea, spend months or years perfecting it, spend months or years utilising it to lay down casks, and then wait years for those casks to mature before you can actually release the spirit that features the innovation—we felt it was a responsible decision to provide ourselves with a degree of comfort that we can produce our whisky, and allow it reach peak maturity, without any perceived pressure to release the spirit earlier than we would like, while still enabling us to share the details of our unique process with consumers and distillers alike.
Furthermore, to utilise the process commercially (i.e., at scales larger than trial batches) is incredibly difficult, costly and complex, and as such we have had to design and invest in a number of pieces of speciality brewing and distilling equipment specifically to enable us to utilise this process—as traditional equipment (e.g., a mash/lauter tun) is unable to effectively produce whisky using this method. In view of our immense commitment to this new process, and assumption of the substantial associated risks, we felt it was responsible and necessary to invest in a patent, similar to how other manufacturers do across almost every industry, to provide us with a solid platform to be able to continue investing in and making our own truly unique style of Archie Rose whisky.
In summary therefore, the intention of this patent is to enable us to be open and transparent in sharing our innovative production methods with consumers and distillers alike, to hopefully inspire further innovation within the distilling industry, while providing us with the comfort that we can produce our whisky, and allow it reach peak maturity, without any perceived external pressure to release the spirit earlier than we would like.
OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Will this patent restrict any other Australian distilleries from producing whisky the way they currently are?
No. By definition a patent cannot restrict anyone from producing in the way they were prior to the patent being submitted. In the unlikely event someone has been using our exact patented process, prior to the date we submitted the application, but not disclosing it (making it impossible for us or IP Australia to discover as part of the thorough research phase), there are provisions that allow them to keep using the process going forward.
Will this patent restrict the traditional blending of whisky or vatting of casks?
No. As per my comment above, by definition it is impossible for a patent to do this, and our patent is centred around processing malt in individual streams from start to finish, while also having at least two of those individual streams contain roasted malt. So in summary, it will not restrict the traditional blending of whisky or vatting of casks that has been undertaken for centuries.
Is this patent applicable to any spirit other than whisky?
The patent is specific to how we process grain/malt, and requires the use of at least two individual streams of roasted malt, so it is extremely unlikely for it to relate to any spirit other than whisky.
Will this patent restrict further innovation within the distilling industry?
One of the reasons patents were originally developed was to inspire and encourage innovation within industries, as prior to their development many innovative processes were kept secret, not allowing others to draw inspiration from them and build upon them to drive innovation forward.
As a company that prides itself on transparency and innovation we wanted to be able to openly share and explain our unique production process with consumers and distillers alike, to hopefully encourage further exploration and appreciation of speciality/roasted malts, while also inspiring future innovation within the distilling industry and championing Australian distilleries as an innovative force within the global distilling industry.
Please feel free to get in touch with any questions via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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