For the final month of our ‘Waratah Wonders’ series we have a never to be repeated, collectable piece of Australian distilling history – 2 distilleries Single Malts, blended from 5 barrels (Bourbon, Tawny, Red Wine, Chardonnay and Apera ) for a one time only experience for the Single Malt Whisky Club members, all for a price that will make you smile!

We asked two of NSW (and Australia’s) leading craft distilleries, Corowa and Craft Works to create one awesome friggen blend of Single Malts for the Club and after much (much!!!) drinking and testing they delivered – the ‘ Waratah Blend’. Single Malts from 5 separate barrels, expertly blended and bottled at a perfectly balanced 46%.

  • 5 year old Bourbon barrel
  • 5 year old Tawny barrel
  • 3.5 year old Jacobs Creek ‘double barrel’
  • 3 year old ‘Super Cask’ (Sherry seasoned Barossa Shiraz cask)
  • A ex-Scottish Whisky Cask from an unnamed distillery

Our Malt of the Month for July, is the amazing ‘Waratah Blend’. A sublime blend of the best of craft single malt whiskies from Corowa and Craft Works Distilleries.

Loch Lomond Single Grain Scotch Whisky

A blended malt offering from the SMWC is a rare occurrence. This is only the third blended malt we’ve offered the club in nearly 18 years! The Waratah Blend is a sensational whisky celebrating the best of NSW craft distilling – and a limited-edition collectable to boot! Plus at only $115 – you can’t afford not to grab one!

The ‘Waratah Blend’ was blended by Dean from Corowa Distillery using no less than 5 barrels from Craft Works and Corowa Distilleries. This is a blended malt from a number of barrels including a 5 year old Bourbon barrel, 5 year old Tawny barrel, a 3 .5 year old Jacobs creek ‘double barrel’ and a ‘Super Cask’ (sherry seasoned Barossa Shiraz cask with a heavy char from Andrew Young and the YN Oak cooperage two months shy of 3 years old). They are all based on NSW grown Voyager Craft Malt, malted, mashed, fermented, distilled and matured in NSW.

For those members new to malt whisky, a ‘blended malt’ is exactly that – a blend of single malt whisky from two or more distilleries. As distinct from a ‘blended whisky’ – which contains a percentage of single malts and is topped up with ‘grain alcohol’ which may not be distilled from only malted barley, nor does this added alcohol need to be matured in oak. A ‘blended malt’ (formerly known as a ‘vatted malt’) contains NO grain alcohol – ONLY single malt whiskies.

Here’s how the ‘Waratah Blend’ happened. Sometime between midnight and 4am, at a campground at Capertee, around a bonfire (crowned with a burning old, rotten barrel!) Crafty Field, Todd (his mate and ‘apprentice’) and I came up with the idea of a blended malt containing all the NSW craft distillers as the finale of the ‘Waratah Wonders’ series. Oh, and how we rejoiced in drunken splendour at the idea. With expressions of ‘why didn’t we think if this earlier?’ repeated several times, many toasts made to the plan.

On waking in the cold hard light of 9am it became pretty obvious that the project was pushing it for time to be ready by August (and logistically impossible). ‘Why didn’t we think of this sooner?’ became a much less jovial thought since we’d laughed about it only hours ago, and so we (bleary eyed and holding our coffee around the embers of the same fire) decided to downsize the plan…We decided to make it a 2 distillery, multi barrel project so the three teams (Corowa, Craft Works and the Single Malt Whisky Club) could focus, blend, test and have the time to create the very best Single Malt blend possible for our members.

And so, we are all very proud to present ‘Waratah Blend’. A limited-edition blended malt from two of NSW’s many, excellent, craft distilleries. A blend of Tawny, Red Wine, Chardonnay and Apera matured, NSW single malts for your drinking enjoyment.

Loch Lomond Single Grain Scotch Whisky

OUR TASTING NOTES

Nose: A striking nuttiness (and rather pleasantly unexpected at that) right off the bat, but closely followed by an musty-earthy note. Then sweet candied fruit (or is it marmalade?) and mix peel with a vanilla twist thrown in for good measure.

Palate: The nuttiness flows right through to the palate and introduces rich stewed fruit with more of that vanilla, and biscuit spices all wrapped up in a lovely Crème Brule with caramelised sugar.

Finish: It starts quite sweet, but the finish definitely dries out. The sweet marmalade quality of the palate morphs to a bitter marmalade – almost dry. The vanilla resurfaces periodically as you chew on it and there’s also a trace of espresso coffee there too.

  • PRICE : $115

  • ABV : 46%

  • BOTTLE : 700ml

  • REGION : AUSTRALIA (NSW)

  • PEATED : NO

  • CHILL FILTERED: NO

Starward Solera

FROM THE BLENDER

After many whiskies, discussing all things NSW and how good the whisky coming out of NSW is, the idea of starting a NSW blended whisky was born. As a start it is Craft Works and Corowa Distilling Co with the want to expand it out to the broader distilling community in the future. While we are proud New South Wales distilleries we are also supporters of the NSW grown and malted Voyager Craft Malt and the ability to craft such high quality whisky right here in our regional pocket.

We will admit that mistakes get made but sometimes they result in creative genius. While we were blended the casks together the head blended picked up a barrel that was destined to be a single barrel which was the typical bourbon barrel that we have all come to love and adore rich vanilla custard, balanced oak and gentle bourbon finish. This has shown through the blend with the big vanilla custard in the middle palate, proving that not all mistakes are bad news.

As for the rest of the barrels we were able to blend tawny, red wine, bourbon chardonnay and apera. This is a flavour bomb rich in fresh fruits, confided berries, an earthy char from the barrels, vanilla oak, green banana and spices that remind me of apple strudel.

ABOUT CRAFT WORKS DISTILLERY

ABOUT COROWA DISTILLERY

By the banks of the Murray River, Corowa’s Flour Mill built our town from the ground up. Exporting grains across the country and around the world, she was a powerhouse. Until her doors shut in 1970 and the building was left to decay. It was the end of an era and our whole town felt it.

When two men with a love of footy and a passion for whisky meet, something beautiful happens: an idea to turn the town’s abandoned flour mill into a world-class whisky distillery. Ambitious? Yes. A little nuts? Maybe.

In every drop of Corowa’s finest, you’ll get a taste of true Australia. And that’s the way it should be. From the grains we source from local farmers, to the water we pinch from the Murray River, and our copper stills handmade right here, we’ve always supported local.

We’ve travelled across the world to master our craft and train under top distillery experts. From the Scottish highlands to the Tasmanian mountains, we’ve brought back their secrets and made it our own. Looking at this ancient craft through fresh eyes, we’ve captured its essence and created new processes for a refreshingly new take on whisky.