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Callington Mill Distillery's Blue Lake Lodge.

Callington Mill Distillery: The Fusion of Past and Future in Tasmanian Whiskey

Five years ago, against the backdrop of MONA's annual Dark Mofo spectacle, a chance encounter unfolded. It was during a Laphroaig tasting at Hobart's Evolve Bar that I first crossed paths with John Ibrahim and Rizk Mawass.

Ibrahim's journey into the world of whiskey began with the acquisition of Dysart House in Kempton, a site that would later become the home of Old Kempton Distillery, a place we've previously explored in this series. This venture, however, would be set in motion through a serendipitous connection with none other than Bill Lark, a legendary figure in the world of Tasmanian whiskey and a maverick of trailblazing proportions.

In the years that followed, the distillery underwent a metamorphosis of unprecedented scale. Nestled within the confines of Oatlands, a village steeped in history and tradition, Callington Mill Distillery emerged as a symbol of innovation and a herald of a new era for Tasmanian whiskey.

Ibrahim's dedication to this vision materialized through an impressive line-up of eight releases, known collectively as the Leap Of Faith Series. These offerings delved into the intricate world of double and triple distillation and maturation processes, and they stood as testaments to the collaborative spirit that defined Callington Mill's journey.

As the dust settled, anticipation mounted as the time had come for Callington Mill Distillery to unveil its unique identity through its inaugural releases.

Callington Mill Distillery represents a pinnacle in whiskey production. It integrates Tasmanian technology, sources pristine highland water locally, and relies on locally farmed barley. It's an emblem of craftsmanship and innovation that ushers in a new era for Tasmanian whiskey.

However, Callington Mill Distillery is more than just a production facility. It's a journey, an immersive experience. Visitors are welcomed with captivating tales of the local area, brought to life through audio and video interactions. For those fascinated by the art of whiskey-making, guided and unguided tours of the distillery beckon, offering a chance to craft a personalized blend.

For the adventurous, the Callington Mill Blue Lake Lodge VIP experience awaits. It's a fusion of whiskey, wilderness, and trout fishing. Helicopter rides, gourmet dining, and angling days with the legendary Bill Lark form a remarkable experience.

At the heart of it all is Arthur's Lake, nestled 1,042 meters above sea level. It is one of the pristine water sources that breathes life into Callington Mill's single malt whiskey. The tranquil setting of Arthur's Lake, home to Callington Mill Blue Lake Lodge, provides a borderline ideal environment for whiskey maturation, with casks left to age outdoors, absorbing the untamed essence of the Tasmanian wilderness.

The most recent result of this unique setting is Callington Mill’s aptly named Blue Lake expression, i.e. a formidable little number that defies expectations with the captivating environment weaving a unique tapestry of flavours.

Imagine a whiskey that is both complex and accessible, a liquid daydream that woos your senses. With each sip, it unveils a luscious nougat finish that seems to stretch into eternity.

Viscous and rich, the Blue Lake Lodge expression is a liquid ode to nature's refusal to be tamed.

Layers of nuttiness, nuanced sweetness, and depth meld to craft a flavour profile that is truly distinctive. Honey waltzes with butterscotch, white flowers burst into bloom alongside hints of coconut and whispers of vanilla. The journey culminates in a mesmerizing nougat finish—an embrace that lingers on your palate and leaves one lusting for another sip.

In essence, this whiskey is a celebration of the wild, a maturation process nurtured by the pure air and untamed waters of the Tasmanian highlands and one that makes one even more excited about how Callington Mill will channel its alchemy in the production its future releases.


Words by AW.

Photos courtest of Callington Mill.


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