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From Autobahn to Aussie Dram: The Unexpected Harmony of Kraftwerk and Craft Works Distillery.

Updated: Jun 13

At first glance, you might think a German electronic band and a New South Wales distillery have about as much in common as a vocoder and a vat of fermenting mash. But look a little closer, and you'll discover a melody of shared innovation, meticulous craft, and a rebellious spirit that pushes boundaries. This is the story of Kraftwerk and Craft Works Distillery – two entities seemingly worlds apart, yet united by a powerful creative force.

The Alchemists of Sound and Spirit

In the early 1970s, Kraftwerk emerged from Düsseldorf, Germany, wielding synthesizers and drum machines like sonic scalpels. They weren't just crafting music; they were sculpting a future soundscape – a world of Autobahn rhythms and robotic melodies that challenged everything we thought music could be.

Fast forward to the picturesque Capertee Valley, where Craft Works Distillery brews its own kind of magic. Led by the visionary Craig "Crafty" Field, they're redefining Australian whisky. Here, tradition and innovation dance a waltz, with locally sourced ingredients and a 970-litre copper pot still working in harmony. Crafty's approach is as much science as it is art, each batch a testament to meticulous detail and a deep understanding of terroir – the unique fingerprint of the land that infuses every drop of their whisky, not unlike some of our favourite distilleries, i.e. Bruichladdich and Waterford.

The Beauty of Precision

There's a captivating minimalism in both Kraftwerk's music and Craft Works' methods. Kraftwerk's hypnotic soundscapes are built on repetitive rhythms and simple melodies, a starkness that pulsates with hidden complexity. Their live shows mirrored this aesthetic – geometric visuals and robotic movements that hinted at the vast potential of technology in artistic expression.

Similarly, Craft Works' process is all about precision. From the meticulous milling and brewing to the controlled heat of the distillation, every step is a deliberate note in the symphony of flavor. The resulting "flavour bombs," as Crafty calls them, are a testament to the power of simplicity, where each ingredient shines through, unadorned and bursting with the essence of the Capertee Valley.

Beyond the Surface

There's more to Kraftwerk and Craft Works than meets the eye (or ear). Kraftwerk's seemingly simple music often explored profound themes – the impact of technology, the blurring line between human and machine. These layers of meaning invited listeners to become active participants, pondering the future as they grooved to the beat.

Crafty's philosophy carries a similar depth. His mantra, "I am a Craft Worker therefore I am," speaks to a deep connection between the creator and the creation. It's a philosophy that celebrates terroir, the unseen hand that shapes every aspect of his whisky. This dedication to purpose resonates with whisky lovers who appreciate the artistry and story behind each bottle.

A Spirit of Collaboration

The influence of Kraftwerk's groundbreaking sound ripples through countless genres today, a testament to their collaborative spirit. They weren't just creating music; they were sparking a global conversation, fostering a community of artists who dared to push boundaries.

This sense of camaraderie runs deep at Craft Works Distillery. Crafty is a champion of the Australian distilling scene,readily promoting other NSW distilleries and even sharing resources, like well-seasoned whisky barrels, to create unique collaborations. This transparency and collaboration are the backbone of the distillery's ethos, building a community around a shared passion for the craft.

Kraftwerk and Craft Works Distillery may be worlds apart, but their journeys share a remarkable rhythm: innovation,precision, and an unwavering dedication to their craft. Both have redefined their fields by embracing technology, artistry,and a deep respect for their chosen medium. In the end, Kraftwerk's electronic symphonies and Craft Works Distillery's terroir-driven drams are more than products; they are experiences that resonate with the raw essence of creativity and craftsmanship.

And if that wasn't enough, the distillery's original logo throws in a not-so-hidden Autobahn reference for good measure. It's clear the founder has a serious case of Kraftwerk fever.

A recent favourite of the Craft Works portfolio is the I AM expression.

As the use of capital letters suggests, it's a declaration. A bold statement whispered on the first sip, a symphony of spirit and wood that unfolds with each subsequent taste.

For those familiar with the distillery, the "I AM" expression carries the signature DNA – a complexity that defies its young age. The first encounter might be a touch brash, a youthful exuberance demanding attention.

But wait, give it time.

Let it breathe in the glass, and a chorus of aromas begins to emerge. Hints of sweet rose petals mingle with the earthy depth of cigar leaf, a playful dance between delicacy and strength. Then comes the candied fruit, a burst of sunshine followed by a touch of dark chocolate, a whisper of the secrets the casks have imparted.

The palate is a revelation. An initial warmth, a testament to the cask strength, soon gives way to a captivating interplay. Baking spices waltz with toasted oak, a comforting familiarity punctuated by the unexpected – apricots and dates peek through, a touch of mint chocolate adding a refreshing twist. The musty notes from the nose reappear, this time as aged leather and damp wood, grounding the experience in a sense of history.

The finish is a testament to the masterful blending. The wine notes take center stage, lingering pleasantly on the tongue. It's a drying finish, but not harsh, a gentle reminder of the power this young whisky holds – "I AM Craft Works," and I am here to stay.

Craft Works' The Capertee expression isn't your grandfather's single malt. It's a rock concert for your taste buds, a flavour explosion that starts with sweet toffee and treacle notes, then swerves into a rum-soaked rhythm section with a hint of spicy heat for an unforgettable finish.

Think sticky toffee pudding dipped in dark rum, then blasted with a flamethrower (in the best way possible). That's the kind of intensity you're in for with The Capertee. The 100L ex-rum and sherry casks infuse this single malt with a depth that belies its easy-drinking nature.

Clocking in at a moderately high ABV of 47.1%, The Capertee packs a punch, but it's a smooth operator.

So, ditch the pretense and grab a bottle. Craft Works' The Capertee is a whisky that celebrates life's unpretentious pleasures: good company, delicious flavor, and a touch of Aussie swagger.


Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Craft Works Distillery.


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