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Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Redlands Distillery Release 2 Port Cask Single Malt Australian Whisky (500ml)
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- ABV 49.6%
Bottled from a fifty year old Seppeltsfield Port cask in February 2018 at 49.6% Alc./Vol. Less than a handful available.After ten releases in around twelve months, the Tasmanian Independent Bottlers (TIB) whiskies have taken off with recent editions now selling out before hitting the distillery website or retailer’s shelves. Our collection focusses on the ‘Old Kempton’ bottlings, with a few sourced from “A Renowned NSW distillery” (can’t say which one, but they’ve rated as high as 93 points in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible). Sourcing new make spirit from thirteen distilleries (and counting), Tim Duckett is setting out to offer genuine alternatives to official distillery bottlings. Key to his new venture is a diversity of casks, primarily from the Australian wine industry including x-Rutherglen muscat, 30 year old oloroso sherry and 50 year old port casks. Currently, TIB use thirteen different barrel types from six different cooperages, each around 100 litres in volume. Barrels are chosen specifically to complement each new-make. Duckett also doesn't let these whiskies age in peace. As with his Heartwood bottlings, he goes to considerable lengths to 'manipulate and drive' maturation in the barrel. Where the TIB releases really differ is Duckett's approach to bottling strength.
“Whiskies have what I call a “sweet spot” he says. "It’s the ABV where they are at their best. Each whisky is different, and so setting a fixed ABV on a label and then blindly producing whisky at that concentration probably doesn’t give you the best result for each individual whisky. As such, we test and trial each pending TIB release at various strengths until we find its unique sweet spot.” The aim is to produce whiskies that have a greater range of appeal with ABVs around 47% - 51% as opposed to high octane mid-sixties (technically they’re not cask strength, unlike Heartwood). The challenge of consistency within relatively small batches is also important for Duckett. “Each release has to be good, and finding and bottling it at its sweet spot is merely one part of that endeavour. Not every cask will be great, and so occasionally we’ll blend to get a better result. That’s where there’s some fun to be had.” Tasmania will count around fifty distilleries this year, so Duckett’s inventories are bound to expand, however his concern is with high quality. Uncompromising standards have already garnered several awards including three 'gongs' at Whisky Magazine’s Independent Bottlers Challenge, and he’s about to do quite well in a major world competition (can’t release details just yet). Jim Murray has also enthused over these bottlings commenting, ”The malt is so clean and intense I could almost weep”. Duckett says he has every reason to expect very enthusiastic reviews in the 2020 Whisky Bible. What'smore, they're already rare, so the likelihood these whiskies will keep going up in the near future is strong... if you can find them.