Tours are available through Tasmanian Whisky Tours, phone 0412 099 933
At 43° South – it is the world’s southern-most family run distillery
At 43° south, William McHenry & Sons Distillery is the world’s southern- most family owned and operated boutique distillery, located at Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula. This distillery specialises in hand-made single malt whisky and high quality spirits and joins the small band of Tasmanian whisky distilleries gaining a worldwide reputation for high quality premium spirits.
At the heart of the finest whisky are quality ingredients and a clean environment and hence the distillery was set up in Tasmania, and more particularly at Port Arthur for these important reasons.
Crystal pure spring water
Fed by winter rains off the mighty southern ocean, the pure mountain water works its way underground to the spring through ancient mineral rich layers of granite and dolerite. Some 180 million years ago ago violently, a mass of igneous rock forced its way between layers of older rock pushed upwards by surges of molten rock. As this occurred the Australian continental shelf tore away from Antarctica, and separated from Gondwana land giving birth to a new continent. It is within these mineral laden rocks that lies the key secrets to fine quality whisky. When making the spirit, the mineral absorbed by the water effectively extracts the sugars from the fruits and grains. The ice-cold spring water temperature also aids the distilling process and enhances the emerging spirit.
The William McHenry & Sons Distillery has three all year round springs which supply the distillery with the purest and highest quality water.
Pristine clean air
Tempestuous gales blast inland from the west coast whipped up by the storms in the Southern Ocean. These cold turbulent winds purify the air and stimulate the atmosphere to produce the pristine rain, feeding springs and cascading mountain streams to make the crystal clear water the heart of the spirit.
Tasmania has the cleanest air and water in the world and this purity helps to transform the rich malty whiskies into something exceptional.
The air at Port Arthur has a maritime quality which adds a faint iodine note to the whisky and which is much sought by whisky lovers around the world.
The cool and temperate maritime climate means the spirits have time to mature slowly and retain their essential flavours. This slow maturation process resembles the conditions found in Scotland – the heart of whisky making.
The William McHenry & Sons DistilleryDistillery currently has three products including:-
- Three Capes – 10 year old single malt whisky
- Puer Vodka – a triple distilled Vodka
- McHenry Classic Dry Gin – a double distilled London Gin
Four other products are in development, including:-
- Sloe Gin – using sloe Blackthorn berries sourced from the hedge rows around the Tasmania’s north
- Shipsterns Dark Rum – 12 month barrel aged rum
Artisan, small craft distilling is making a comeback internationally after many decades of dominance by large distillery production with limited brands. For instance in the US and Europe a new generation of distillers with diverse, high quality products has emerged. In Australia, the industry is small but developing a strong international reputation. In Tasmania there are 8 registered distilleries (Lark, Nant, Sullivan’s Cove and Hellyers Road Distillery to name a few).
Tasmania now has more distilleries than Ireland and the whiskies are earning serious kudos overseas.
The craft method of distillation means everything is hand-made. Every brand, every bottling reflects the creative individuality of a single human being, working with small, hand-operated equipment: their quirks and insights, their special talents, their innovations.
Every spirit represented by Craft Distillers is based on rigorous, old-fashioned, hands-on pot-distillation methods. Craft methods of distillation are an antidote to all those commoditized large-production spirits. This is about authenticity, personal attention, real ingredients, and love of one’s work. These products are real – and very few distilled spirits can make this claim.
The William McHenry & Sons Distillery uses a Tasmanian made water-jacketed electrically heated 500L pot still. This allows the distiller to precisely control to the distilling process and means products from the distillery are of the highest quality.