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This Month's featured whisky distillery

Old Kempton Distillery

About Old Kempton Distillery

The Distiller’s Collection’s February 2021 release is from the Old Kempton Distillery. Originally based at the Redlands Estate (the former home of George Read, the exiled illegitimate son of George IV) and known as Redlands, the distillery moved and changed names in 2016.

Now located in the picturesque farming town of Kempton, half an hour north of Hobart (and just up the road from our January release’s Belgrove Distillery), the Distillery is situated in Kempton’s grand coaching inn, Dysart House, built in 1842 by convict embezzler turned-innkeeper, William Ellis. Built in Georgian style, this was one of the finest inns on the road from Hobart to Launceston where weary travellers and their horses could rest overnight. The convict brick stables, once home to 22 horses, now houses Old Kempton’s Tasmanian-made 600L and 900L copper stills, as well as its bond store (although a new purpose-built distillery is under construction next door to eventually take over from the stables building). Dysart House itself has a restaurant, a tasting room, the cellar door and an elegant courtyard used for events. The Distillery offers daily tours, so if you are in the area, make sure to get in contact!

Old Kempton’s signature taste and quality comes from it using fine local Tasmanian barley and pure Tasmanian water to make a smooth, caramel and spice-infused single malt whisky.

While its still a small, artisanal distillery, the special quality of Old Kempton’s whisky has been demonstrated by all the awards the distillery has started to win over the last few years. In 2019 they won a silver in the Australian Distilled Spirit Awards, a bronze in the 2020 World Whisky Awards and most impressively, an Old Kempton pinot noir cask won best Australian single malt aged 12 years and under at the 2018 World Whisky Awards.

The Whisky

Old Kempton has partnered with the Distiller’s Collection to create an exclusive vatting of port and pinot noir casks for us. The release is from a marriage of 100L pinots and 20L port casks.

The resulting Old Kempton Special Release is a whisky that is rich in both taste and colour. It’s the first port/pinot blend we’ve ever release and it’s also one of the most approachable whiskies we’ve done. This is an easy drinker while maintaining complexity and is destined to be a crowd pleaser. We were particularly keen to get those pinot elements in our Old Kempton release, with their 2018 World Whisky Award proving they know how to make a cracking pinot release.

Each bottle is 43% ABV, 500ml and 17 standard drinks.

Tasting notes

Nose: deep richness, plum-pudding, florals and maltiness
Palate: soft mouthfeel, light fruity notes mixed with marzipan
Finish: smooth and balanced.