The Water of Life – Old Kempton
It comes with the history of Australia that it does not have a history that is particularly long in harking back, so it is nice every now and then to come across an entity that found its inception in the nineteen hundred not unlike Old Kempton Distillery , which is located in Dysart House, a colonial mansion in Kempton, which is nestled between Hobart and Launceston.
Now, while “Old” Kempton usquebaugh is certainly a telling name, it does certainly not have to rely on its heritage and rich history as what I am about to wax lyrical about is something else:
Having originally originated as the producer of single malt whisky, with each ingredient harvested on the original site on the Plenty Highway/estate and with those operations going until 2015, the attention to detail and assurance of quality of the ingredients reverberates on throughout Old Kempton’s current operations that have seen the distillery not only move to a new site but elevated its status into becoming a veritable player on the ever competitive global stage of quality whisky distillers.
Clocking in at 64% ABV, their limited run Sherry Cask matured Strength is something to be experienced.
Without an iota of artificial colouring, this sweet and robust little double distilled number was channelled through copper pot stills, which makes for a real sherry treat.
Saying that it is a solid drop would be an understatement par excellence.
While my first exposure to Old Kempton’s spiritus frumenti was certainly not underwhelming, their individually numbered Pinot Small Cask Single Malt Whisky small batch single malt whisky blew both my mind and palate.
What was meant to commemorate the convict William Henry Ellis, i.e. the founder of Dysart House, encapsulates and showcases the essence of why Tasmanian whiskies are held in such high esteem.
Handcrafted at the hoochery and matured in specially-selected ex-pinot oak casks, the subtlety of gives it nuances that feel almost too dear to be just swallowed down.
While I usually am not averse to swirling a good drop for an ample amount of time around my palate, I find it hard to let this one go down the hatch.
A visit to Old Kempton seems mandatory when we are visiting Tasmania later this year to cover the 2019 incarnation of the Dark Mofo festival.
Photo courtesy of Old Kempton