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Belgrove Distillery Oat Whisky (500ml)
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- ABV 58.4%
The world's Greenest distillery?
After producing Australia's first Rye whisky, we've just received and tasted two new intriguing creations from Tasmanian renaissance man Peter Bignell, an oat whisky (65% oats, equal amounts of rye, barley and wheat) and peated rye whisky (a world first).
Those new to Peter's exploits will be aware that he has taken the path less travelled; opting to steer away from many the commercial constraints faced with conventional distilling. Peter built and operates the world's only Biodiesel powered still (as of 2014), fuelled from local fish and chip oil collected from takeaway shops in Hobart. The still is direct fired, also used to run his tractors and heat his house - notably these skills were put to task in restoring the historic Nant Water Mill. Grains are grown on a nearby site, with the aim is to keep things self-sufficient and sustainable. The rye grain he uses is also from the family's Bothwell property, originally planted by Peter at the tender age of fifteen to feed the property's livestock, the same field now feeds his still.
This is a grain to glass model with the obvious benefit that all aspects are under his control. Previous releases have shown a great promise and a steady progression toward sheer brilliance. Have we seen the best of this man? We think not, but there's no doubting the intrigue and excitement that comes with every glass.
Peter elaborates further: "Along with the Rye, I also grow oats and did an experiment to see if using oat husks would speed up lautering (separation of mash and liquid), as rye mash is extremely slow. I did a mash with about 65% oats with the remainder being equal amounts of rye, barley and wheat (I grow 4 types of grain). The husks on the oats did hasten the lautering. That was the end of main part of the experiment. I did a couple of small mashes, then fermented and double distilled enough to make a 50 litre barrel. A small tour group spotted the cask just after its regulation 2 years had elapsed and asked if they could have a taste. WOW. I left it another 6 months then bottled it straight from the cask. I have made another barrel of Oat Whisky and plan to make some more very soon, but that also is at least 3 years away before it matures."
As mentioned, only one barrel of each release has been produced, with the next not due for another 3 years! Inaugural releases are always sought after so take advantage of this world whisky rarity while it lasts.
Tasting notes to follow shortly.