Welcome to 2021! The Single Malt Whisky Club has a superb year of whisky, whisky and more whisky lined up for our members and what a way to start it than with a pleasantly peated pour of potable perfection straight out of Hanger 17  – the home of the Launceston Distillery. The Launceston Distillery Special Edition!

For our January whisky, we are proud to offer the Launceston Distillery ‘SMWC Peated Special Edition’ – Bourbon and Tawny Cask Matured. A mildly peated release and very approachable whisky, in keeping with the Distillery’s style. We’ve had fantastic responses to the Launceston Distillery offerings we’ve tried in the past – but this peated expression adds a whole new layer of complexity to their fruity offerings.

As the name suggests, an exclusive bottling for The Single Malt Whisky Club – from peated malt aged in bourbon and tawny casks (at approx. 80:20 ratio) and bottled at 46%. It’s a delightfully complex whisky that balances the smoke/sweet ratio nicely.

Made from unpeated Tasmanian and peated Scottish barley. This peated Launceston Distillery Special Edition has none of the tarry, asphalt or medicinal/iodine notes that are often associated with peat – more a mild sweet smokiness over a sweet and fruity base. Whilst it seems to contain about the same level of peat that last year’s Kilkerran 12yo had (slightly less maybe – I’m out of the Kilkeran to compare it to as I write this) – the lack of any sort of savoury or salty notes makes this a completely different whisky. Much more fruit-driven.


To be honest I found this whisky a little challenging to write notes for. This is one of those beguiling drams that seems to metamorphize in the glass over time. Pour a nice size dram and savour it over 20 or 30 minutes and you’ve got an olfactory journey in a glass. For example, the first sip I didn’t get much peat influence at all on the palate (despite what the nose told me) – the second and third sip the peat seemed to build.  So, I guess my notes this week are an ‘average’ of that ride.

Colour: Midway between copper and rose-gold

Nose: Dusty antique furniture, sweet orange marmalade and a fresh, floral – almost minty – note.

Palate: Nicely coats the mouth with a light oiliness at first. A medium level of peaty-mustiness cuts through a sweet honeyed crumpet with a splash of vanilla and spice on the side.

Finish: A lengthy rollercoaster of smoky and sweet notes. Nice, long, warming and chewy!

Launceston Distillery Special Edition
  • PRICE : $145

  • ABV : 46%

  • BOTTLE : 500ml



Launceston Distillery Special Edition
Launceston Distillery Special Edition


The team at Launceston Distillery are excited to bottle this limited-edition single malt.

Our copper pot stills, and the traditional process employed at Launceston Distillery are all geared towards producing fruity, floral, refined whiskies. This mildly peated release is an approachable whisky, in keeping with the Distillery’s style.

The spirit was distilled from unpeated Tasmanian malted barley and heavily peated Scottish malt. A combination of 20 litre American oak bourbon casks and French oak tawny casks were used for maturation. A variety of peated and unpeated casks have been selected and married together with the aim of producing a well-rounded single malt, using the sweeter characters from the tawny and bourbon casks to compliment the earthy peated malt barley.

Our peated expressions are some of our favourites. The balance between sweetness and subtle smoke makes for a richly flavoured, enjoyable dram. At a warming 46% ABV, and produced exclusively for The Single Malt Whisky Club.

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Golden
Nose: Light and engaging. Vanillas, beeswax and orchard fruits, are followed by subtle aromatic peat after a rest and swirl of the glass.
Palate: On delivery a pleasant oily mouthfeel; with initial sweet notes of honey, pears and spice; followed by gentle waves of smoky peat.
Finish: Smooth and lingering with mellow peat and spice.


Launceston is no stranger to whisky production. Back in 1824 the Caledonian Whisky Distillery was built there and quickly became one of Australia’s leading spirit producers. Sadly, in 1839, the Distillation Prohibition Act was enacted – outlawing the distilling of spirits across the island, including Launceston’s Caledonian. The Launceston Distillery is the first [legal] distilling to be carried out in Launceston since the Prohibition Act was passed.

Since the Act was overturned in 1992, as we all know, Tasmania’s whisky industry has gone from strength to strength winning countless international awards and becoming world famous for it’s whisky.

Situated at Launceston Airport, Launceston Distillery is located in historic Hanger 17. It’s worth mentioning because this hangar is Tasmania’s oldest surviving aviation building. Built originally by Tasmanian Aerial Services in 1933 – hangar 17 expanded over the years and host to some of the countries pivotal aviation companies – Tasmanian Aerial Services became ANA (Australian National Airlines) which later became Ansett. Hangar 17 could rightfully be said to be one of the homes of commercial aviation in Australia and pivotal in the development of our nation’s domestic airlines and airline routes.

In this historic building Launceston Distillery produces hand-crafted, small-batch whisky using traditional techniques and craftsmanship. Tasmanian malted barley and pure river water are combined to produce the finest quality single malt whisky. From grain to bottle everything happens under the roof of Hangar 17.

Established in 2015, Launceston distillery is headed by distiller Chris Byrne  who has quite the resume. A previous life as a pharmaceutical quality analyst well prepared him for his subsequent career in brewing and distilling. Previous to whisky, Chris was a brew team leader at Boags Brewery. After this he became the founding distiller at Nant in 2008, leaving in 2011 to begin establishing his own distillery.

Launceston Distillery