Water of Life – 5Nines
With its vastly diverse climate and geography, the state of South Australia not only produces about half of all wine on terra australis but also has an unrivalled range of grape varieties on offer.
When it comes whiskies, it has been uncharted territory for me as most of the distilleries we have covered down under are located in other states, with Victoria and Tasmania being the hotbeds for distillers.
All the more delighted I was when I learned about the South Australian 5Nines distillery appearing on the scene and their meteoric rise to the firmament of innovative quality gin produces.
Needless to say, I was intrigued when I learned about the unveiling of their own single cask range.
Founded only five years ago in the Adelaide Hills region and having specifically designed and built their own copper pot still along with a repurposed stainless-steel vat, 5Nines’ small-scale operations allows them to pay meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of their whisky production – be it engineering, design or their distilling alchemy to refine their tasty emissions with 5Nines’ own idiosyncratic DNA.
While their unpeated core expression is an exercise par excellence in the marriage of oak vanilla flavours with apples and blue gum honey, 5Nines’ Peated Variant is easily one of the best drops I have had the fortune to sample this year: Primarily made with locally sourced barley and smoked with local peat. 5Nines’ Lightly Peated variant has been matured and vatted in a carefully calibrated selection of small hundred litre ex-Bourbon and ex-Scotch casks and not being chill-filtered, the result shows in the depths of its beautifully layered flavour profile.
What tickles the nostrils is a melange of the most delicate peat, framed by honeyed vanilla and counterpointed by mossy and earthy highlights.
On the roof of the mouth, things get interesting as there is a nice interplay of sweet- and saltiness resting on a backbone of dark chocolate, with peat reverberating in the background in the most subtle manner.
An elongated finish leaves on lusting for another dram as vanilla notes are punctuated by sweet and salty nuances.
Given that 5Nines has only been operating for half a decade and their commitment to only using the best of local produce, I cannot wait what founders David Pearse and Steven Griguol will channel their passions in with future releases, which will hopefully be released soon.
image from company website