Willowbank Distillery, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand
We continue the evening of distilleries lost from Scotch Whiskey Club of Quebec with secondly the South Island New Zealand 18 years old.
The Willowbank Distillery, which produced this expression, was founded in the sixties, and was in its time the southernmost distillery in the world. They started producing whiskey with steel stills at the very beginning, with rather dubious results. Since the acquisition of the distillery by Seagram in 1991, the stills were changed to copper stills, which resulted in much better whiskeys.
Unfortunately the distillery closed in 1999. Yet the New Zealand Whiskey Company bought aging stocks and they continue today to bottle them sparingly, giving us the chance to try these whiskeys even if they are no longer produced. Funny, the distillery has since been converted into condominiums. Admit that it must be really cool to live in a fire distillery.
As former director Peter Jackson once said:
The world is indeed full of perils, and there are many dark places in it; but there are still many beautiful ones, and although in all countries love is now mingled with affliction, perhaps it only becomes greater.
Pale color of barely golden straw.
A wind of hops as it emerges when one enters The Barberie a Thursday afternoon. Berries, bubble gum and cotton candy. Banana touch with a light leather smoke.
Sugar cooked with an air of leather that fades quietly. Very sweet, according to a whiskey of this age.
Smoke from saw blade or wood chips. Like in a sawmill or at the shoemaker's. Very interesting length.
Nice effort from New Zealand, but a little too disparate to be worthy of the Gondor.