long and wide, textured, fat creamy malt and another flood of kitchen spice and dried fruits. And so damn easy to drink…
Adelaide Hills Distillery 78 Degrees Batch 2 South Australia Whiskey
Young, innovative, technically sound and not afraid to experiment. Meet Adelaide Hills Head Distiller, Mr Sacha La Forgia and his latest malt whiskey. And yes, whiksey with an “e”.
For this malt, he’s used that famous Irish technique of using a small amount of unmalted barley in the mash. Bravo, I say, as it this in my experience, adds another layer of texture and flavour to the whiskey. But then it get’s even more interesting.
Fermentation then takes place with the grain still in mash tun. This where Dr P got nervous, “too many things can go horribly wrong here.” But as Sacha explained to us, “We ferment on grain, meaning that we don’t waste water on this step. This is more sustainable and the resulting liquid picks up more complexity as it draws phenols from the husks”.
A fair argument.
And then….the mash with the grain is then distilled, together, in a single shot, as the still is a hybrid pot still with a five plate column on top it. Much like Littlemill, Penderyn and I think Cotswold distilleries in the UK and numerous craft distilleries in the US.
And finally, oak. And here’s another surprise, from all his trials over the past couple of years, the best oak Sacha came up with for his new make is: re-worked French oak wine casks. Quite the surprise, again.
And so, to the the outcome?
Having tasted the new make, all I can say is that the spirit is rather splendid. Clean, crisp and fruity. Combine that with the subtly handled oak and you get a lush nose of sweet, malty caramel. But dig a little further and the oak spice and a subtle Autumn fruits, fruitiness pops up. On the palate, long and wide, textured, fat creamy malt and another flood of kitchen spice and dried fruits. And so damn easy to drink.