Stories from the Bond Store #003
Image: The new Spirit Thief bottle on display at Tasmanian Whisky Week. Photo: John Jarvis.
“Five years ago I was asked to be the co-producer of the inaugural Tasmanian Whisky Week together with Jane Overeem, and our intention was always to create a series of whisky events whereby the consumer could get up close and personal with the whisky makers. So it was quite a thrill to present a preview of two Spirit Thief releases to an intimate room during an alternate Tas Whisky Week due to Covid times.”
Brett Steel, Director and Distiller.
In March of this year it was determined that the annual Tasmanian Whisky Week would be unable to go ahead in its usual format due to border restrictions and the restraints on tourists into Tasmania. Instead a virtual online event would take its place. However closer to the date the organising committee realised that two local-only events could proceed for small group tastings (max 50 persons) and the new guidelines forged a brilliant new format, which became the perfect setting to introduce our newest whisky.
The event was called ‘Straight From the Barrel’ and as guests were not permitted to move around the room, the format of the event worked much the same as ‘speed-dating’ whereby tables of 8 had a spare seat reserved for the distiller. Each distiller would have 17 minutes to present, discuss and answer questions before moving onto the next table. The format worked extremely well. So with a literal interpretation of the title, we chose to share two drams; our work-in-progress 18 month old French Oak Tempranillo single malt at natural cask strength approx 64.1% abv and our soon-to-be-released Coastal Peated Belgrove single malt finished in Cabernet casks. Two polar-opposite whiskies.
Image: Bill Lark addresses the room. Photo: John Jarvis.
With Bill Lark as the eminent host and MC of the evening, it was a privilege to share the room with a number of established and brand new distilleries. Hunnington Distillery were showcasing their triple distilled single malt whisky, which had only been made available online days earlier. Furneaux Distillery from Flinders Island were pouring tastings of their brand new peated expressions including from barley that had been 100% peat-smoked with Flinders Island peat.
Pattex Distillery who are neighbours with Sullivans Cove, were previewing their 9-month old small cask release, distilled from traditional Portuguese stills. And joining the line-up were Old Kempton Distillery with their latest solera release and Lark introducing their first commercially blended malt called Symphony No 1. All-in-all a hugely diverse array of tastings on offer on the night and further testament to the broad-church that is Tasmanian whisky.
Above is a preview of our forth-coming independent bottlings of Belgrove Peated on the left and our New Zealand Pinot and Bourbon marriage on the right in our new proprietary bottles. We await labels and boxes and will begin bottling these first two releases in the coming weeks. We’ll be sending out details of our first events and how to secure tickets in our September newsletter with first priority going to our Vanguard members.
Yours in spirit,
& THE SPIRIT THIEF TEAM.
Together, we are the Vanguard.
Guard your honour… honour your spirit.
WARNING Under the Liquor Licensing Act 1990 it is an offence: for liquor to be delivered to a person under the age of 18 years. Penalty: Fine not exceeding 20 penalty units for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase liquor. Penalty: Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units. Please enjoy Spirit Thief responsibly. Liquor Licence: 91004