We recently interviewed company chairman, Neville Latimer to harness his thoughts on the Hellyers Road Distillery journey from dairy cooperative to world-class whisky producer.
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.
Sharon Deane covets the World Icon of Whisky Award received in London
Master Series Original 15 Year Single Malt
Since launching the ultra-premium Master Series range in 2016, these whiskies have been heralded for their quality courtesy of several award wins including Gold at this years’ Australian Distilled Spirits Awards announced in Melbourne on Thursday evening.
Master Series whisky releases are all unique single cask releases drawn from some of the distillery’s oldest stock. The winning expression is a 15 Year single malt from Hellyers Road’s Original profile. It is a delightful whisky bottled at 58.5% ABV, with no added colouring, it’s non-chill filtered and crafted from premium Tasmanian barley. This is a lovely whisky and very worthy of the recognition received!
TASTING: A deft scent of freshly peeled mandarin greets the nose. A soothing oily mouthfeel is quickly confused by the emergence of sour rock candy, lemon and orange that conjures summer fruit zest. The finish lingers through a calming vanilla sweetness to cap an alluring single malt experience
Slightly Peated 10 Year Single Malt
Gold and Champion Single Malt status at the 2018 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards has really blown the lid on this superb, but largely unnoticed, single malt whisky from the Hellyers Road range.
Slightly Peated 10 Year is predominantly made up of Hellyers Road’s Original profile single malt with a very deft sprinkling of the distillery’s award-winning Peated single malt added during marrying.
Aged for 10 years in American Oak, this whisky exhibits all the favoured flavour characteristics of the Original profile whisky with a subtle hint of smokiness thrown in. It provides quite a unique whisky experience and has found favour even with those who would not normally gravitate to a peated whisky. We are proud to have this champion in our stable!
TASTING: The omnipresent citrus tones remain with an alluring hint of burnt Australian bush presenting on the nose. A vanilla sweetness complicates the palate while the creamy aftertaste is confused by a gentle waft of smoke.
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Hellyers Road Slightly Peated 10 year single malt
Gold Medal & Champion Single Malt Whisky
Our Visitor Interpretation Manager, Sharon Deane was anointed a Whisky Icon for her role in steering the success of the Visitor Centre for more than a decade. Sharon’s guidance and leadership has been instrumental in the growing success of the Visitor Centre. Icons of Whisky awards convenor, Doug van Tienen announced to the audience that he believed Sharon was possibly the world’s longest serving visitor attraction manager.
Congratulation Sharon – you’ve always been an icon in our eyes!