Australian whiskies have always been inspired by their Scottish brethren; but laws governing the art of making whisky have not been as tight or rigid. The use of malted barley in their mash bill over other cereals isn’t as restrictive down under as is with Scotch and this so called freedom allows distillers to try their hand at something unorthodox if they will.
The Archie Rose Distillery had rye constitute a majority of their “Rye Malt” mash bill while local WA craft distillers, Whipper Snapper introduced the ‘e’ to their whisky with a bourbon inspired expression, the Upshot! Using a combination of locally sourced corn, malt and wheat in the ratio of 8:1:1, their whisky is double distilled, non chill filtered and matured exclusively in virgin American oak for a minimum of two years. The whiskey itself was introduced in 2016 and the distillery in 2013, founded by Alasdair Malloch and James McKeown.
ABV : 43%
Eye : Pale to Yellow Gold | No Artificial colouring
Nose : Caramel and vanilla custard sprinkled with cinnamon along with a hint of berries and raisins. Meat-like and savoury, similar to sundried tomatoes are interrupted by a warm kaffir leaf like scent that continues to linger on the nose.
Taste : Lovingly spicy with a very woody feel on the palate. Vanilla cake and cereals topped with a slight char, coupled with cranberries, tarty red apples, cherry and the spice of licorice, star anise, cinnamon and some white pepper.
Finish : Cinnamon spice infused with a pleasant vanilla sweetness.
An amalgamation of spice and sweetness, quite like biting into a vanilla cupcake baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon. A good deviation from the usual scotch inspired whiskey, this bloke keeps well with the bourbon character. In all honesty, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one, and even if it didn’t have an elaborate story to tell, it still felt quite well made.
Being Australian, it is expensive for a relatively young whiskey – thank you taxes!! And at AUD $90, there are certainly others for way less bling. But if you want a bourbon inspired pour with an Aussie soul that does a good job, this is fair dinkum!