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! Make way for the Waratah Blend.
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.
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.
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.