This story was originally published at Martini Whisperer on 15 March 2020.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of taking the road less travelled whilst driving about Tasmania. The tiny hamlet of Ouse in Western Tasmania only has a few hundred souls, but not far from there is the beautiful working farm and distillery Lawrenny situated on the banks of the Derwent River.
Owned by the Mace family, this long established farm, turned to creating paddock to bottle spirits just a couple of years ago.
Debuting with a very polished brand and two gins, the Van Dieman’s and 1818 Settlers along with their Saint Clair Vodka, the spirits take inspiration from it’s location, local waters and botanicals they went on to win awards at San Francisco and American Distillers Awards among others.
A Whisky is also in barrels waiting to be released, using their own barley and water from the nearby Derwent River.
The talent behind the spirits is Joe Dinsmoor (ably assisted by distillery dog Cooper) who started his distilling career at the renowned Lark Distillery. The distillery itself is as attractive as the estate and well laid out with several stills, plus a seperate barrel ageing warehouse.
I happened to visit on the day when they were bottling and labelling the brand new Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, so naturally I had to buy some and others!
Since then, they have expanded the range to include a Highlands Gin and just recently (late 2019) the Meadowbank Pink Gin. If there is one thing that is consistent across the range is both the finesse of the spirits, and a delicacy and often a subtlety in the way the botanicals are presented. When I present the spirits at a gin tasting or event, they are always well received.