Rye is the heart of our whiskey. We source our grain from a single farmer, located in the Murray Mallee region, on the border of Victoria and South Australia. Chosen specifically for its dry, harsh climate, the rye produced there is small and dense, with flavour unmatched by rye from other areas.
The un-malted rye is then ground to a coarse flour, with 1.6 tonnes of this full flavoured grain feeding into our hammer mill at 6am every morning, and then mashed in our specially designed mash tun. The mash tun’s precise temperature control and high-speed agitator makes sure we get the very best out of the rye. Rye, a particularly ornery grain, can destroy the soul of the most resolute distiller.
The wash is then transferred from the mash tun to one of our fermenters, where it is left to ferment for a few days, while the temperature is constantly monitored and controlled. The yeast we use is a unique hybrid developed by us to impart the esters we want. We’d say this is where the magic begins, if we believed in such things.
After fermentation, we complete the ‘stripping run’ through our in-house designed and built column still. The column still stands six metres high and produces a perfect low wine full of flavour. To ensure the delicious essence of rye spice is maintained, we finish in our bespoke copper pot still, producing a pure, flavourful stream of crystal-clear spirit. What once was grain is now reborn as New Make Whiskey.
For maturation, we took the learnings from years of R&D. For the Solera Rye we developed a two-story Solera System consisting of new American oak, second fill American oak and Australian red wine barrels. The Solera process is common in the fortified wines of Spain and Portugal and by adapting it to our rye, we have created a spirit with a perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
For the Straight Rye Whiskey we double distil and then age for at least 2 years in new American Oak Barrels. The barrels we use are heavily toasted and have varying char levels – a formula we developed after years of trialling different combinations.
When each batch is ready to be bottled, its blended into the tank, filtered, hand bottled and labelled, all in house, before being sent out to the world.