Hospitality Business Magazine

Manuka smoked whisky breaks new ground

Head distiller Mathew Thomson

Head distiller Mathew Thomson

A small Auckland distillery believes it has created the world’s first Manuka smoked whisky although it will be three to five years before anyone gets to a buy a dram.  Thomson Whisky has produced New Zealand’s first commercial batch of Manuka smoked whisky which will eventually showcase a smooth natural smokiness reminiscent of peated Scotch, but which will be entirely unique to New Zealand with its distinct Manuka notes.

Well known craft brewing supplier Gladfield Malt of Canterbury is working closely with head distiller Mathew Thomson to perfect the brand new Manuka smoked malt for both the brewing and distilling markets.  Gladfield have designed and engineered a custom smoker to impart the best Manuka and smoke flavours into the finished malt.

Using a traditional copper pot still, the distilling is taking place at Thomson Whisky Distillery based at Hallertau Brewery in Kumeu.  Thomson Manuka smoked whisky will mature in ex-bourbon barrels for three to five years adding to its depth of flavour.  Beers made using smoked malts were once virtually unknown in New Zealand but are now becoming popular with craft brewers.  Demand for the new malt is likely to be brisk.

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