Water of Life – Hobart Whisky
Tasmania is quite something.
Hobart and MONA have become a second home.
We have covered Tasmania in terms of whisky numerous times and just when you thought that we have covered the lion’s share of the most delicious distilleries, a new one emerges whose distillates are based on the foundation of pure air and rainfall and the Hobartian cool clement climate, which allows for the Westminster malt barley to grow:
Devil’s Distillery Hobart Whisky is the new asteroid on the Tasmanian whisky firmament, with their First Release being a skilful marriage of selected small ex-bourbon casks, expressed at 48.8%.
I must admit that when Hobart Whisky came first to my attention, I was intrigued yet also sceptical as I was wondering if it was a novelty hooch enterprise capitalising on the reputable brand equity, esteem and reputation Tasmanian whisky at large enjoys worldwide.
Upon experiencing the band bottled emissions, the opposite is the case:
A refreshing melange of vanilla and honey tickles the nostrils, which is followed by a smooth creaminess that caresses the roof of the palate not only reminiscent of the ex-bourbon cask the drop was matured in, but also of chocolatey vanilla. Toffee, nuances of crème brulee and tannins intertwine to elongate the finish.
The second release matured in ex-port casks takes the promise of the first release to the next level: The vanilla and alveolus notes are more dominant and the creaminess of the mouthfeel is accentuated by the strong malt character. Not unlike their first expression, the ex-port cask one has toffee notes in the tannin-heavy finish.
The favourite of the triumvirate is Hobart Whisky’s third expression, i.e. Ex-Lightly Smoked American Whiskey casks from Hillrock Distillery, expressed at 50.3% abv.
Despite being a bit more on the nose alcohol content wise, the nose encounters a welcoming sugar caney sweetness framed in chocolate notes and hints of peanut that is given depth by an iota of spicy- and smokiness.
Again, creaminess is the name of the game when it comes to what Hobart Whisky feels on the palate. There is ginger, vanilla, bit of nutmeg, nougat and upon further swirling, bonbon and stone fruity flavours come through. The finish is nothing short of being sophisticated as it takes a left turn from what the palate promised upon first contact: Citrussy in nature, dominant peanut notes and the smokiness of charred oak contribute to an exit that is dangerously more-ish.
Given what I have tasted, a visit of the relatively young Hobart Whisky Distillery has become an integral part of my itinerary when I embark to Tasmania for the 2019 incarnation of Dark Mofo.