Malt of the Moment
Distilling in New Zealand goes back to the earliest Scottish settlers in 1838, and the distilling industry thrived around New Zealand, and particularly in the Dunedin and surrounding Otago region...
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Distilling in New Zealand goes back to the earliest Scottish settlers in 1838, and the distilling industry thrived around New Zealand, and particularly in the Dunedin and surrounding Otago region right through until the 1870s, when government influence saw many close down.
The Willowbank Distillery was opened by the Baker family in 1974 after approaches to the New Zealand government allowed more favourable regulations. The Bakers commenced distilling whiskies and marketed blends including Wilsons and 45 South.
The large Canadian multi-national Seagrams improved the still and processes after purchasing the distillery in the 1980’s, marketing the Single Malts as Lammerlaw, named after a nearby mountain range, the source of the pure water from which the whisky was created.
Production ceased in 1997 as Seagrams rationalised their world wide business and the business was sold to Fosters who mothballed the company in 2000, and sent the silent stills to Fiji to make rum!
The New Zealand whisky company purchased the last 600 barrels of mainly Lammerlaw malt and the whisky has been maturing in the towering seaside bondstore in Oamaru’s famous heritage precinct ever since. The company has recently released the oldest whisky ever matured in New Zealand, the 24year old ‘1987 Touch Pause Engage’ Cask Strength Single Malt designed to commemorate New Zealand’s greatest sporting triumph.