Distillery Wins World Award
A stellar 24 hours in the history of Hellyers Road Distillery was franked overnight with the announcement from London that its Burnie Visitor Centre Manager, Sharon Deane has been declared a 2018 World Whisky Icon.
The awards ceremony held at London’s prestigious Waldorf Hotel included many of the globe’s foremost spirits brands, key stakeholders and personalities. Sharon was recognised for her significant role in steering the Burnie based Visitor Centre from attracting just a few thousand visitors each year up to the 40 plus thousand who now come through its doors annually.
Speaking from London shortly after receiving the award, Sharon said she was very humbled to be recognised by her peers in this way and thanked her hard working team back in Tasmania for the essential and dedicated role they have played in building the success of the Hellyers Road Visitor Centre. “This award is attributable to the outstanding team we have working for us at Hellyers Road Distillery. It could not have been achieved without their support” she said.
Sharon is one of the founding staff members of the distillery business with almost two decades of service accrued. She is thought to be the longest serving whisky visitor attraction manager in the world. Sharon will use her remaining time in the United Kingdom to visit several Scottish whisky distilleries before returning to Burnie in mid-April.
Hellyers Road opened the Visitor Centre in 2006 on the back of a multi-million dollar investment by parent company Betta Milk. It was opened primarily to support the company’s whisky brand but has now grown to be one of North West Tasmania’s premier tourist attractions.
Earlier in the day Hellyers Road’s Slightly Peated 10 Year single malt was announced as the Australian Distilled Spirits Award’s Champion Whisky for 2018 at a ceremony in Melbourne. The distillery’s Master Series Original 15 Year whisky also won Gold in what was a tremendous outcome for the Tasmanian Whisky Industry.
Master Distiller, Mark Littler and Company Chairman, Neville Latimer were in Melbourne to receive the awards which were judged by an independent panel of industry experts.
“It’s very exciting for Hellyers Road to be recognised for producing Australia’s champion whisky. Australia, and in particular Tasmania, boasts some wonderfully skilled distillers who are creating world-class whiskies so this award is really special. The fact we also won a Gold Medal with our only other whisky entry is also very pleasing” Mark Littler said.
Hellyers Road’s two medal winning whiskies will now be showcased in tastings to be conducted in Melbourne at an exhibitor and trade tasting event to be held today at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.