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Cape Byron Distillery: Crafting Gin and Whisky Excellence with a Sustainable Heart.

Nestled in the serene landscapes of the Northern Rivers, Cape Byron Distillery is essentially a tribute to the art of distillation and a deep-rooted connection to nature. Founded by Pam and Martin Brook in 1988, the distillery's journey began as a humble effort to restore a neglected dairy farm into a thriving sanctuary for wildlife.


Today, Cape Byron Distillery stands amidst over 40,000 subtropical rainforest trees, a testament to the Brookes' commitment to regeneration and environmental stewardship. The rainforest not only serves as a picturesque setting but also provides an array of unique botanicals that shape the distillery's signature spirits.


Exploring the botanical wonders of the region, Cape Byron Distillery captures the essence of each season. From the delicate notes of Native Raspberries in Spring to the robust flavors of Jerseyana Davisonia Plum in Summer, every sip of CBD's creations tells a story of nature's bounty and the changing landscape.


Beyond crafting exceptional spirits, Cape Byron Distillery is deeply involved in conservation efforts. Martin Brook, fondly known as Brookie, plays a pivotal role as Vice President of the Big Scrub Rainforest Conservancy (BSRC), advocating for the preservation of Australia's dwindling subtropical rainforests.


Through their partnership with BSRC and commitment to sustainable practices, Cape Byron Distillery embodies a harmonious blend of tradition and environmental consciousness. It's not just about spirits; it's about honoring the land, embracing nature's gifts, and nurturing a greener future.


Cape Byron Viognier Cask


The collaborative effort behind this Australian variant of a renowned Scottish whisky goes beyond just blending flavors; it represents a deep-rooted connection to the land and a shared passion for exceptional craftsmanship. Jim McEwan's expertise as a Master Distiller from Scotland converges with Eddie Brook's innovative approach. This convergence of expertise and vision is what makes this whisky a standout in Cape Byron's portfolio.


The choice of Viognier wine casks from Inkwell wines adds an intriguing layer to this whisky's story. Inkwell wines, known for their organic and sustainable practices, bring a touch of Australian winemaking excellence to the maturation process. These casks, having housed premium Viognier wine, impart nuanced flavors and aromas that intertwine seamlessly with the whisky's character, creating a truly unique profile.


The limited edition nature of this bottling, with only 1,100 units available, underscores its exclusivity and desirability among collectors and enthusiasts.


As for the tasting experience, the whisky unfolds like a veritable polyhony on the palate: The initial notes of stewed apple and spice set the stage for a journey of discovery. Subtle hints of buttered croissant add a layer of richness, while the interplay of cappuchino, hot chocolate and sweet-tarty papaya adds depth and complexity. The finale, characterized by subtle hints of char, pepper, sweetness and tartness, leaves a lasting and reverberating impression, inviting contemplation and appreciation of its intricacies.


Clocking in at 46.0% ABV, this expression strikes a borderline perfect balance between potency and refinement. It's not just about the alcohol content but the harmonious blend of flavors and textures that elevate the drinking experience to new heights. In essence, this little number is a narrative woven from the threads of collaboration and craftsmanship.


However, if you happen to find yourself on a quest for the quintessential Australian gin experience, you'd be hard pressed if you'd look further than Brookie's Byron Dry Gin.


From the first whiff that tickles the nostrils, you're greeted with aromas that evoke the essence of the Australian wilderness, i.e. citrus notes dancing alongside hints of mint and cinnamon, against a backdrop dominated by a tantalizing raspberry undertone.


What sets Brookie's Byron Dry Gin apart from the myriad of other local gins is its meticulous craftsmanship: Hand-crafted and distilled with 26 botanicals, including 18 native treasures sourced from the Byron Bay Hinterland, this genever is a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation.


As you indulge in Brookie's Byron Dry Gin, you'll discover layers of complexity that unfold on the palate: Fresh spearmint and pine give way to a medley of cooking spices, culminating in a warm embrace of oak-infused juniper backbone - a true reflection of Australia's gin-making prowess.


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Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Cape Byron Distillery.

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