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A Tale of Spirits and Heritage: Old Kempton Distillery

Australia, a land with a history not etched deeply in time, occasionally reveals hidden treasures that trace their origins back to the 1900s. One such gem is Old Kempton Distillery, nestled in the colonial mansion of Dysart House, a serene haven located between Hobart and Launceston.


Yet, this is not merely a story of an "Old" Kempton usquebaugh relying on its heritage; it is a tale of craftsmanship and excellence that transcends time. Originally rooted in the production of single malt whisky, Old Kempton's attention to detail and commitment to quality resonates in its current operations. With a new site and a newfound global reputation, the distillery has emerged as a formidable player in the world of premium whisky distillers.

Step into a realm of unparalleled whisky artistry with The Old Stables, a masterful creation designed to enchant and delight the senses. Bottled at a humble 40.5% ABV this small batch release beckons as the perfect introduction to the Old Kempton whisky range, inviting friends to gather and share the magic of a dram-filled evening.


As the golden elixir caresses the air, a beautiful symphony of scents emerges, weaving together notes of fruit and nut chocolate with gentle malt highlights. The aroma dances playfully, teasing the senses and setting the stage for an exquisite tasting experience.


The palate unfurls with sweetness, a delightful cascade of flavours that culminate in a creamy toffee malt, leaving a lasting impression on the taste buds. The journey is nothing short of extraordinary, as the flavours linger, inviting you to savour every moment of the decadent experience.


The finish is a grand finale, delivering a warm and satisfying glow, harmoniously balanced with malt spices that leave a lasting impression on the palate. It's a perfect union of elegance and depth, capturing the essence of The Old Stables in a single sip.


Old Kempton’s Classic Pinot beckons with delicate and lifted floral notes, gracefully entwined with the sweet essence of cherry, a hallmark of Pinot Noir ageing. As you take the first sip, a clean and sweet explosion of flavours embraces the palate, enchanting with a medley of stone fruit and floral elements. The taste journey evolves, settling into a warm and delicately delicious mixture, a captivating ode to the pinot cask oak tannins.


The finish is a symphony of sensations, graced with lingering chocolate and toffee sweetness, perfectly complementing the crisp pinot cask oak tannins that define the dram's elegant appeal.


Prepare to be whisked away on a luxurious journey with the Classic Tawny, a whisky dominated by sweet and fruity elements, accentuated by the enchanting undertones of rum and raisin chocolate. With every sip, the soft yet wonderfully warming spirit welcomes you, caressing the palate with deep dark fruits and pantry spices, an exquisite dance of flavours that can only be delivered by a tawny cask.

The grand finale is gracefully supported by the gentle arrival of soft oak tannins, accompanied by hints of dark chocolate and coffee grounds. The finish lingers, leaving a lasting impression of the rich tapestry of flavours that define the Classic Tawny.


In every expression, Old Kempton Distillery weaves a tale of artistry, craftsmanship, and passion. The Old Stables, the Classic Pinot, and the Classic Tawny stand as testament to the distillery's dedication to creating whisky masterpieces that ignite the soul and awaken the senses. Whether enjoyed in the company of friends or savoured in solitary indulgence, each drop tells a story of elegance, complexity, and the pursuit of whisky excellence.


The dedicated team of Old Kempton takes pride in their hands-on approach, pouring their hearts into research, development, distillation, production, and sales. Pristine water, world-class local barley, and a sense of community converge to create nothing short of spectacular whisky.


The Distillery Course at Old Kempton is an extraordinary journey that beckons all whisky enthusiasts and curious minds. Designed as a hands-on learning experience, it caters to beginners seeking to explore the world of distillation, as well as seasoned distillers who wish to fine-tune their craft. With a focus on personalized attention, the Distillery School accommodates a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 participants, fostering an intimate environment that encourages questions, discussions, and individual growth.


The magic unfolds as the doors of the distillery open, revealing the intricate workings of a genuine artisan haven. Immerse yourself in the captivating art of coopering casks, witness the brewing of wash, and unveil the secrets of distilling processes that have stood the test of time. Beyond whisky, Old Kempton also masters the craft of gin and liqueur-making onsite, embracing a wealth of knowledge to ignite your distillation aspirations, regardless of your chosen spirit.


The essence of sustainability runs deep within the spirit of Old Kempton Distillery

Old Kempton Distillery thrives on transparency, welcoming you to capture every moment of your journey. Embracing their artisanal roots, the distillery steers away from computerized processes, allowing you to grasp the mechanics of distillation with a tactile and visceral understanding.

A sensory symphony awaits within the cellar door, where you'll discover Old Kempton's exquisite range of whiskies, gins, and liqueurs. The Juniper Room and The Barley Room, lovingly restored dining spaces, provide the perfect ambiance to savour home-cooked treats from the cafe menu. The Cask Lounge beckons with comfy chairs, adorned with a stunning cask and botanic wall - an oasis of relaxation where you can indulge in a dram or two.

The delights continue with daily tours and tastings, offering a rich array of experiences for visitors. The cellar door becomes a treasure trove of Tasmanian produce from small businesses, culminating in delightful hampers, perfect for gifting cherished memories to loved ones.


Joining the exclusive Old Kempton Whisky Club unlocks access to once-in-a-lifetime releases, an unparalleled privilege for the whisky connoisseur. With the promise of quality over quantity, Old Kempton Distillery brings forth an exquisite selection of whisky expressions - Classic Port, Pinot and Sherry, The Old Stables, Tasmania's first Solera Cask, and an array of distinguished cask strength releases.


However, if whisky isn't your libation of choice, Old Kempton thoughtfully offers a range of gin, each lovingly named after William Ellis - the innkeeper with a fascinating past and the creator of Dysart House. Embezzler Gin, Six Shillings Gin, and Barrel Aged Gin offer a delightful alternative for those seeking different spirit experiences.


The grand tale of spirits at Old Kempton finds its delightful conclusion in their exquisite liqueurs, reflecting the essence of Tasmania. The Apple Liqueur, crafted with Tasmanian apple cider, and the Lavender Malt Liqueur, infused with lavender from Port Arthur Lavender Farm, tantalize the senses and immerse you in the unique flavours of the island.


From sustainability to craftsmanship, history, and tantalizing spirits, Old Kempton Distillery is an experience that kindles the soul, leaving you with cherished memories and a renewed commitment to the planet. It beckons you to embark on a journey of sensory delights, inspired by a profound love for nature, distilled into every drop of passion and expertise that graces each bottle.


As whispers of significant distillery upgrades ripple through the air, it is clear that Old Kempton's story is far from over. The journey continues, and we eagerly await the future chapters of this timeless tale.


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Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Old Kempton.


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