Many distilleries are at the site of a pure water source, and our water is some of the purest in the land, it flows from the headwaters of the Anatoki valley under our organically farmed property. It is the backbone of our farm and for our single malt.
This is a simple break-down of our process, so you can understand how we make our single malt.
Our spirit starts from humble beginnings. We use specially sourced organic barley. That, with our water from the aquifer, converts to fermentable sugars, dissolving into a sweet barley wort. The wort is drained, cooled and transferred into a fermentation vat. The spent grain is then fed to our livestock.
When the pilsner yeast is added, the fermentation begins, sugar is converted to alcohol throughout a couple of weeks. In addition to alcohol, yeast generates other compounds called congeners. These include higher alcohols and contribute to the final flavour of our single malt.
Distillation is the ancient technique of heating a liquid to separate its component substances. First, we capture our spirit after it's been vaporised in our pot still via the condenser, we then cut the heads and tails of the second and third distillations. triple distillation being a technique attributed to Irish whiskey.
Our first batches of triple distilled single malt have been aged in virgin American and French oak casks. They have been charred to caramelise the sugar in the wood and to open the oak’s flavour. It lends sweetness and colour to our final product. Casks mature quickly in New Zealand’s hot climate and by absorbing Golden Bay’s fresh air, we found that our virgin oak casks mature from 18 months onwards.
When the spirit is deemed mature by a panel of esteemed tasters (ourselves of course), it is blended with our own distilled well water to achieve the right alcohol by volume for each barrel. The finished product is then hand-bottled and signed on site.