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Headlands Distilling: Willy Wonka Down Under with a Dram for Every Fancy.

Forget mass-produced hooch, this is Aussie craft distilling at its finest. Headlands Distilling in Wollongong isn't your average basement operation. These folks are like Willy Wonka with a copper pot still, transforming Aussie grain into liquid sunshine (and a whole lot less chocolate).

Their story starts with a love for precision. They source barley locally, tracing each kernel back to its farm like a detective with a serious oat obsession. It's not just traceability, it's about respecting the earth that nourishes their spirits.

Headlands doesn't disappoint when it comes to variety. Take their Single Malt Apera Cask, for example.

Imagine a citrusy jam session erupting on your taste buds. Tangy marmalade and chewy candied fruit take center stage, their zest and sweetness harmonizing in a burst of sunshine. But then a rich, bassy melody kicks in, played by a band of toasted oak like a didgeridoo warming up for a desert rave. Just when you think it can't get any more interesting, a perfectly baked pear,dressed to the nines in a fancy waistcoat (think Downton Abbey formal), saunters in and adds a touch of elegance.

But fear not, this ain't stuffy opera.

By the second chorus, the pear ditches the waistcoat, throws on some boardies, and joins the party with a flourish of vanilla. It's a flavour adventure that's both sophisticated and down-to-earth, leaving you wanting more.

Muscat Cask: Whisky Nirvana for Beach Bums

This Aussie masterpiece starts its life in a fancy ex-bourbon cask, previously blessed with the title of "World's Best Single Barrel Bourbon." Then, it takes a victory lap in a French oak cask seasoned with a 15-year-old Australian treasure: Seppeltsfield Rare Muscat. Imagine, a whisky that's basically bathed in sunshine and aged wisdom.

Headlands doesn't just throw some barley in a vat and call it a day. They're whisky scientists, obsessing over every detail.They found the perfect barley strain, the ideal fermentation process, and the most magical casks to create a spirit so smooth it'll make your taste buds do the samba.

Clocking in at a cool 46%, this whisky is a flavor bomb waiting to explode. Aged in Seppeltsfield barrels, the kind of place where only the most luxurious fortified wines get to hang out, the resulting flavours will have your taste buds doing the tango.

On the palate, lychee, that tropical fruit that tastes like sunshine and good vibes, joins forces with creamy vanilla for a sweet, smooth duet. A hint of charred oak adds layers of depth, adding a subtle smoky note that's like a campfire in the background, keeping things interesting. It's like your Grandma's fruitcake got a makeover by a Michelin-starred chef – unexpected, but oh-so-delicious.

Tidal Lines Plum Gin: Beyond Your Average Gin & Tonic

We all have our favorite drinks, but Headlands' Tidal Lines Plum Gin is a game-changer.

Aged in French Oak barrels for a year, this gin boasts a complex flavour profile that needs no mixers to shine.

This Aussie gin starts with a classic recipe, but then takes a wild detour into the heart of the rainforest. Here's where things get interesting: they throw in a whole bunch of Illawarra plums, a native Aussie fruit. Unlike those European sloe gins with their blackberries, Illawarra plums are bursting with antioxidants and add a unique twist that can't be replicated.

The Illawarra plums join forces with a whole orchestra of other botanicals: fresh juniper for that classic gin kick, a touch of rainforest lime to add some zing, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and angelica root for a touch of warmth.

Tidal Lines is a chameleon of the gin world. Sip it neat for the full flavour experience, or mix it up with soda and a squeeze of lime for a refreshing highball. Feeling adventurous? Try it in a cocktail like a sloe gin sour, but with a way more exciting Aussie twist.

Summa summarum, Headlands Distilling is on a meteoric rise. Their dedication to quality, innovation, and sustainability is paving the way for a new era of Australian spirits. So, do yourself a favor and get on board early. This is a journey you won't want to miss.


Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Headlands Distilling.


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