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Nant Disitllery First Release

Young, but shows a lot of promise

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@jdcookReview by @jdcook

14th Nov 2010


Nant Disitllery First Release
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: Nant Disitllery
  • ABV: 43%

I recently attended A Tasmanian Whisky Appreciation Society (TWAS) tasting night, where the theme of the night was the state of Tasmanian whisky. We tasted the Sullivan's Cove Double Cask, the Nant first release single malt, the Trappers Hut 9 year old, a Lark Distillery special TWAS bottling, a small batch Hellyers Road, an Old Hobart Distillery Sherry Barrel, as well as young spirit from the new Mackey's Disitllery and from a barrel from independent bottler Tim McDuckett (I'm really not sure of the spelling of this person's name - so if I got it wrong, I do apologise!).

The second whisky of the night was the Nant Distillery's First Release single malt. I've previously reviewed a special bottling from the Nant Distillery (connosr.com/reviews/nant/…), so I was looking forward to this one.

In the notes for this one I have written down that it was matured in 20L french oak port barrels barrels (yes, very small ones) for 2.5 years, and then finished in american oak barrels (I'm assuming they are bourbon barrels, but I didn't get confirmation on the night). Also, the spirit was completely unpeated. We were rushing through these a little bit, so I may have mixed up some of the above, but hopefully I got it right!

The nose was light and sweet, but quite ripe. Caramel and grassy notes vied with malt and grapes to keep my attention. The nose was fairly simple, but very pleasant.

The taste was initially light, but then a warm, young and fiery wave hits, leaving it rich, full of caramel, green grass, grapes and raisins. Quite simple, but very engaging.

The finish was moderately long, full of fading grass and grapes.

If I added a fair old dash of water, it faded the fire a little, but left it a little boring.

Patrick, the Chief Distiller at the Tasmanian Distillery, made a point when tasting this that it was quite young, but was an excellent drop for its age, and that he loved tasting so many different flavours in the different whiskies - especially when you consider that most of the drams presented during the night all came from the same barley, and many even came from the same fermentation process!

This is still a very young whisky. I know smaller barrels mean 'faster' maturation, but it's not an exact science, and there seems to be a law of diminishing returns - otherwise you could store a single dram (50 mL - which is a pretty generous pour) in a dram sized piece of oak for a day and have yourself an excellent mature dram (there are 20 lots of 50mL in 1L, so if it were a linear system one day in a 50mL oak container would be the same as 4000 days in a 200L container - which is more than 10 years).

That said, this is genuinely interesting and engaging, and still worth having a glass or two of. Hopefully the Nant Distillery can keep their heads above water by releasing these sorts of products, and in a few years we will start to see some really top notch mature products from them.

For those who are interested, the website for the Nant Distillery is:



jdcook commented

Hmmm. The title should be Nant 'Distillery' rather than Nant 'Disitllery' obviously!

13 years ago 0

LeFrog commented

Great review JD. Really good to hear about these lesser known distilleries in a bit more depth.

13 years ago 0

jdcook commented

Give it another 5-10 years and some of these Tasmanian distilleries will be getting real attention everywhere - the spirit being produced here has a bit of unique character, and a couple of distilleries (the Lark and the Tasmanian Distilleries) are starting to mature their products, and they are very actively encouraging others. It's a really positive atmosphere, and really exciting!

13 years ago 0