Any self respecting whisky connoisseur is familiar with the name Oamaru. This sea side town became home to New Zealand’s last 443 barrels of rare drams of whisky from the original Willowbank distillery. Such was the knack of the distillery that it produced the prolific Wilsons and 45 South whiskys before falling into the hands of Canadian distillers Seagrams and later Australian brewers fosters who efficiently shut it down.
What are the criteria to judge that it is indeed a good whisky ? It is difficult to choose a good whisky and also the quality that is needed to savor it.
Moreover, un bon rhum agricole does not lose its place, this alcohol is produced from the distillation of fermented cane juice
These 443 barrels are generally looked upon as the revitalizers of New Zealand’s whiskey industry as they brought together investors who re branded them and put on the market for sale. As such, the country has now become synonymous with some of the greatest whiskeys in the world.
Made from some of the best 1993 barrels this whisky is now a rare find on the market. As with spirits of its caliber in New Zealand, the New Zealand Whisky Collection 18 year old Single Malt Whisky has been aged for at least 16 years but the name suggests that it was left to mature in a barrel for 18 years (if not more for older components). It was first aged in the White Oak Barrels and then aged some more in the bourbon barrels. Made from 100% malted New Zealand barley, the flavor is richly floral and fruity with a hint of peat and has the trade mark of the Willowbank distillery. It was the first single malt produced after the 443 barrels were discovered.
This whisky derives its name from the two different casks used for the aging process. It is first aged in a European Oak cask before being transferred to an American White Oak barrel that is used only once for each blend. It leaves a spicy taste on the palate as well as aged berries.
This blend is made from 100% New Zealand sourced ingredients. It has a smoky flavoring owing to the malted barley that is smoked using South Island Peat. Thomson Whisky South Island peat has a strong vanillins flavor because of the aging and maturation in oak barrels.
With 6 years of maturation in the American Bourbon barrels before aging for 10 more years in French oak New Zealand wine barrels, it is sweet while still retaining the spicy and fruity flavors within. The wine barrels give it a unique flavor. This blend also has the trademark of Willowbank distillery with 30 % of it made of premium grain whisky from unmalted barley in the Willowbank distillery.
Remarkably, New Zealand’s whiskys have rebounded with amazing wins in various spirits competitions. They are going to be around for a long time to come.
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