Whisky amongst the Kangaroos
In the March issue of “Malt & Spirits” I wrote about whisky tourism, and the various options for undertaking such trips around Asia Pacific. Recently I managed to practice this myself, when (on a very brief trip to Australia) I was treated to a private tour of the Joadja Distillery, about 2 hours South West of Sydney in the New South Wales Southern Highlands.
Joadja isn’t a name most whisky enthusiasts will have heard of, and that’s because they haven’t actually released their whisky yet. They have however produced whisky (Australian whisky only needs to be aged for 2+ years to be legally called “whisky”), and it’s due for release this year.
There are over 30 different whisky distilleries currently operating in Australia, but Joadja are unique for a few reasons:
They’re based in the beautiful NSW Southern Highlands , set deep in the “bush”surrounded by trees (and yes, kangaroos)!
The distillery is based in the historic (ghost) town of Joadja, which was previously home to Scottish miners (and illicit distillers) from as early as 1870
Owners Elisa and Valero Jimenez have Spanish heritage (as their surname suggests), and a direct family connection to Jerez in Spain, from which they’re able to source high-quality ex-PX and Oloroso 32L casks – an increasingly difficult task for whisky distilleries, particularly younger “New World” distilleries!
The distillery uses an 800L spirit still housed in a sandstone and iron shed, and matures the spirit in the same location, in those aforementioned 32L Sherry casks. Whilst the distillery waits to release its first whisky, they do sell the Pedro Ximenez Sherry which came from these casks, and it’s very tasty indeed. As is common for younger distilleries, they also produce and sell unaged spirits, including “Outlaw” (a malted grain spirit at a “healthy” 63.55 ABV), Dry Gin and Anis.
I was lucky enough to try the still-maturing whisky from the very first barrel (at 60.8% ABV), and after only two years it was already delicious, with lots of rich fresh sherry notes (Christmas Cake especially) and some fascinating earthy notes, not to mention a lovely deep (natural) colour. It will be fascinating to see what the final product is like – hopefully we don’t have to wait too long!
Joadja Distillery might not be the first choice of whisky tourism for those visiting Sydney, but considering everything else in the surrounding area (world-class restaurants, several wineries, great cafes and historic towns), not to mention the historic tours that Elisa and Valero also run of the Joadja township, it certainly makes for a compelling 1-2 day trip from Sydney (I can also vouch for the nearby Joadja Winery, which produces some beautiful wines).
在Malt & Spirits3月月刊我曾介紹威士忌旅遊業和亞太區各種廣泛威士忌體驗行程。最近我嚐試親自計劃一個私人旅程在Joadja蒸餾廠，其位置是新南威爾斯南面高地，在悉尼西南部花2小時車程便到達。
廠主Elisa和Valero Jimenez擁有西班牙血統和與西班牙Jerez區的家族成員有直接聯繫，所以他們能搬尋高品質舊式PX和Olorosso 32公升橡木，要尋找這些橡木對很多威士忌酒廠，特別是年輕新世界酒廠來說是一項越來越艱難的工作！
對於悉尼觀光旅客來說，Joadja Distillery可能不是他們威士忌旅遊業的首選，但當考慮到它周邊環境擁有世界級餐廳、不同酒莊、優美咖啡廳和古蹟，更何況Elisa和Valero同樣在Joadja鎮舉辦historic tour，所以很值得從悉尼之旅抽取1至2天行程來參觀。我更擔保附近的Joadja酒莊同樣釀造品質優美的酒。