Spirit Thief Belgrove Distillery French Oak Mataro

$185.00

In stock

This is something we have never released before – a Whisky from an Australian Independent Bottler (with a difference)! An exclusive Cask Strength expression for The Single Malt Whisky Club, we are proud to offer the Spirit Thief Belgrove Distillery French Oak Mataro –  a BEAST of a whisky that will never be repeated.

From independent bottlers, Spirit Thief who specialise in red wine cask maturation, brewed at Last Rites Brewing Co in Cambridge, Tasmania, this Whisky was then distilled on-site at Belgrove Distillery where the pot stills are charged by direct flame, adding a signature charring to the flavour profile. 

Fully matured in 1st fill French Oak Mataro casks for 2 and a half years and aged in the Spirit Thief bond stores. This whisky explores maturation in an oft-overlooked historical workhorse of an Australian red-wine varietal; Mataro (also called Mourvédre or Monastrell by the Spanish). Forget about fruit. This is scorched peanuts and dark chocolate decadence, married with quince paste and a few drops of truffle oil and you have the perfect accompaniment to a Mediterranean charcoal-grill.

OUR TASTING NOTES

The result is a whisky unlike any I’ve tried before. Full of peanut brittle and scorched almonds, yet noticeably bereft of fruit on the palate.

Colour: Deep copper-brown

Nose: Sweet espresso with hazelnut syrup but also a pleasant whiff of leather in the background.

Palate: A brief burst of charcoal-like notes (definitely NOT peat though – this is a much ‘crunchier’ flavour) and mild spice proceed a delicious roasted peanut brittle with toffee, scorched almonds and delightful overall toasted nuttyness.

Finish: A long luscious and yes, chewy, finish with spice, nuts, coffee and chocolate all taking a turn at the wheel!

  • Bottle Size : 500ml
  • ABV : 63.5% (Cask Strength)
  • Region : Australia
  • Peated : No
  • Chill Filtered: No

 

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Description

This is something we have never released before – a Whisky from an Australian Independent Bottler (with a difference)! An exclusive Cask Strength expression for The Single Malt Whisky Club, we are proud to offer the Spirit Thief Belgrove Distillery French Oak Mataro –  a BEAST of a whisky that will never be repeated.

From independent bottlers, Spirit Thief who specialise in red wine cask maturation, brewed at Last Rites Brewing Co in Cambridge, Tasmania, this Whisky was then distilled on-site at Belgrove Distillery where the pot stills are charged by direct flame, adding a signature charring to the flavour profile. 

Fully matured in 1st fill French Oak Mataro casks for 2 and a half years and aged in the Spirit Thief bond stores. This whisky explores maturation in an oft-overlooked historical workhorse of an Australian red-wine varietal; Mataro (also called Mourvédre or Monastrell by the Spanish). Forget about fruit. This is scorched peanuts and dark chocolate decadence, married with quince paste and a few drops of truffle oil and you have the perfect accompaniment to a Mediterranean charcoal-grill.

Not content to just buy and mature unaged spirit – the Spirit Thieves describe themselves as ‘Gypsy Distillers’:

We value and seek highly-integrated collaborations with our industry and our peers, it’s how we began our journey.

In short, these guys have been tutored, mentored and supported, encouraged and plain egged on by some of the biggest names in Australian whisky (Peter Bignell, Casey Overeem and the Adam’s boys to name a few).

Spirit Thief Distilling put just as much love and effort into their casks as they do their spirit. You see Spirit Thief specialise in red wine cask maturation, you won’t see any port or sherry cask matured whiskies from these guys. The Spirit Thief portfolio is all about exploration in varietal-specific red-wine casks. Individually profiled red wine barrels are hand-picked from renowned wineries – each producing terroir-typical, best of varietal and region wines – carefully shaved then toasted and charred to Spirit Thief’s specification.

This month’s Members Extra – Spirit Thief Belgrove Distillery French Oak Mataro is a shining example of how Spirit Thief match specific spirit to specific casks. Peter Bignell’s flame heated stills add a charcoal quality to the Belgrove spirit and this is soundly matched to the nuttyness the ex-Mataro cask adds to the whisky.

The Mataro variety of grape was one of the ‘workhorses’ of the Australian wine industry for many years. Originally a Spanish grape, Mataro came to Australia in 1832 and has been grown in nearly every Aussie wine region since then. It saw a huge increase in use from around 1890 to 1950 due to it’s suitability in fortified wine production. The decrease in fortified wine consumption combined with the ‘discovery’ of the quintessentially ‘Australian Red’ – the Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz – in the late 50’s saw the start of the decline in Mataro production in Australia. It has survived in Australia, however. In fact, the Barossa still has some of the original plantings, including the oldest Mourvèdre (the Spanish name for Mataro) vineyard in the world, planted in 1853 by Johan Friedrich Koch.

OUR TASTING NOTES

The result is a whisky unlike any I’ve tried before. Full of peanut brittle and scorched almonds, yet noticeably bereft of fruit on the palate.

Colour: Deep copper-brown

Nose: Sweet espresso with hazelnut syrup but also a pleasant whiff of leather in the background.

Palate: A brief burst of charcoal-like notes (definitely NOT peat though – this is a much ‘crunchier’ flavour) and mild spice proceed a delicious roasted peanut brittle with toffee, scorched almonds and delightful overall toasted nuttyness.

Finish: A long luscious and yes, chewy, finish with spice, nuts, coffee and chocolate all taking a turn at the wheel!

FROM THE DISTILLERS

We are honoured to set aside the last of our Mataro matured single malts for The Single Malt Whisky Club. This was such a wild Frankenstein-project for us, that we really had some fun with it. We asked head-brewer of Last Rites Brewing Co, Phil Zakaria to brew a wash for us, specifically for this batch to be distilled at Belgrove.

As Belgrove famously use all produce from the farm, we knew this would be different right away. Original co-founder Jarrod Brown (now Hobart Brewing Co) was assistant distiller at Belgrove at the time, so together with assistance from Peter Bignell, we made some deliberate funky cuts to the spirit. Mataro wine is much harder to come by these days, but a winemaker friend of Brett’s from Adelaide had some freshly decanted, so we jumped on them and there was no question as time went by that we would have to releases this at cask-strength.

It’s a Beast of a whisky, that we’ll never get to do it again, but for some reason it reminds me of my time in Greece (pre-covid) when all the flavours were charcoal bbq vegetables and octopus and long afternoons dining in tavernas and drinking coffee. But here’s what we said on the label:

Brewed at Last Rites Brewing Co in Cambridge, Tasmania, this whisky was then distilled on-site at Belgrove Distillery where the pot stills are charged by direct flame, adding a signature charring to the flavour profile.  Fully matured in 1stfill French Oak Mataro casks for 2 and a half years and aged in the Spirit Thief bond stores. This whisky explores maturation in an oft-overlooked historical workhorse of an Australian red-wine varietal; Mataro (also called Mourvédre or Monastrell by the Spanish). Forget about fruit. This is scorched peanuts and dark chocolate decadence, married with quince paste and a few drops of truffle oil and you have the perfect accompaniment to a Mediterranean charcoal-grill.

Additional information

Weight 1.15 kg
Dimensions 6 × 9.5 × 23 cm

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