COROWA Distilling Company will release its first whisky on Friday night after an eight-year journey.
The company was founded in 2010 as part of the Corowa Whisky and Chocolate redevelopment.
Corowa Distilling Company head distiller Beau Schilg, better known as the “Dreaded Distiller”, said he was happy with the first release, which was barrel-aged for “bang on two years”.
“It’s quite complex,” he said.
“It’s 63.1 per cent alcohol, which is quite high for a whisky.
“The temperature and the environment affect it; the North East and Border has a high fluctuation in temperature between summer and winter.
“We’re happy we’ve got something that’s a bit different from everyone else.
“We’re excited to see what the public thinks on Friday night.”
Twenty bottles of Corowa Distilling Company’s first-release whisky will go up for auction on Friday night. The first and second-release whisky will be available to the public at Corowa Whisky and Chocolate on Saturday.
The Corowa whisky journey began in 2010 before the first batch was distilled in March 2016; it is double distilled to produce a lighter, fruity and grain-driven drop.
Mr Schilg said Corowa’s own single malt whisky was sourced from local barley and made in copper stills, manufactured at Griffith.
He said the spirit matured in wine barrels from Rutherglen and the Barossa Valley.
“The whisky gets 70 to 80 per cent of its flavour from the barrel and 100 per cent of its colour from the barrel,” Mr Schilg said.
“Fortified wines and port will give it its characteristics.”
Corowa-born-and-bred Mr Schilg said he was studying to be a draughtsman when the chance came up to work for Neil and Dean Druce, who were establishing Corowa Whisky and Chocolate in the historic Corowa Flour Mill.
At 20, he was thought to be the youngest distiller in Australia at the time.
“Dean and Neil taught me about the job,” he said.
“Then I went to Scotland off my own bat and Tasmania for a bit too.”
Neil Druce coined the brand, the “Dreaded Distiller”, which has found a following on social media.
“There are Dreaded Distiller hoodies with T-shirts and hats to come,” he said.
“I might offer a pair of budgie smugglers as well for a bit of fun.”
Limited tickets are still available for Friday night’s launch, which has a cocktail/1920s theme.
Bookings are via Corowa Whisky and Chocolate or trybooking.com/399485.
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