Archie Rose Distilling Co. has been making a big name for itself in the whisky world with its award winning Rye Malt whisky, released earlier this year. This uncharacteristically smooth rye whisky has been called ‘the most important Australian whisky of the year’.
Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones that got to try the delectable Chocolate Rye Malt limited release which sold out in under two hours. But if you didn’t, or if you’re hungry for more Archie Rose creations, you’re in luck. Archie Rose is about to launch its second limited release: The Ironbark Smoked Rye Whisky.
Those of you who have tried the caramel, cream, and fruity notes of the Rye Malt will be excited to hear that this limited release pairs those flavours with meaty, smoky and saline characteristics. It’s campfire-baked damper by the sea.
As the Australian whisky industry matures, and our whiskies soar into global awards rankings, we are starting to get unique regional characteristics to our whiskies. The Tasmanian industry has its own unmistakable flavour profiles and styles. What of NSW whisky? Archie Rose is certainly one distillery shaping the character and possibilities within NSW whisky. One way in which they do this is through innovation – and this upcoming whisky exemplifies the innovation that Archie Rose is becoming known for.
The Ironbark Smoked Rye Malt uses distinctively regional NSW Ironbark for the smoke profile. Instead of smoking the rye, Archie Rose have used what appears to be a world-first method of adding smoked water to whisky. The smoked water is created by melting huge blocks of ice in a wood-fired oven. Mixing this water with the rye malt allowed for an exceptional amount of control in balancing the flavours in this whisky bottled at 40% ABV.
Archie Rose Master Distiller Dave Withers says, “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.”
The whisky will be released flocked, but completely unfiltered and including its natural haze and char remnants. Withers says, “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.” Where once unfiltered whisky was considered faulty, Archie Rose’s limited release is intended to spark a larger conversation in the Australian industry about filtration methods.
Archie Rose Founder, Will Edwards says: “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.”
Archie Rose and its Ironbark Smoke Rye Malt Whisky are certainly making lively contributions to NSW’s growing whisky identity. If NSW whisky is going to keep growing in the impressive directions it is, it will need to continue its innovations and conversations around the craft of making whisky.
Perhaps these conversations could be had over a dram or two of this limited release, matched with the wafting smoke of a classic Australian BBQ.
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 11 November or from midday on 14 November via the Archie Rose Bar in Rosebery, Sydney and www.archierose.com.au. Please view via spirit data.
RRP: $149.00 AUD
(Bonus: Free shipping for Australian orders over $60)
About Archie Rose
Founded in 2014 and located in Rosebery, Sydney – just a few kilometres south of the city – Archie Rose Distilling Co. is proudly Australia’s most highly awarded distillery producing a diverse range of whiskies, gins, vodkas and rums, as well as one-off collaborations, limited releases and spirits experiences.
Guided by their belief that spirits are best shared, they open our distillery doors to all who wish to experience the best that authentic local distilling has to offer. Through their commitment to sharing our knowledge and processes, they invite you to create your own spirit onsite or online. In all that they produce, they find continual inspiration in Australia’s illustrious distilling history, and by the quality and diversity of the crops and produce grown across our nation. They are proud to share their distinctive and innovative range to honour Australia’s rich spirit-making past and to continue to shape its future.
Find out more at archierose.com.au
Tim Steains, Whisky Drinker & TWL Guest Writer