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Hellyers Road Distillery: Tasmanian Whisky with Time-Honoured Tradition and Modern Excellence

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Nestled amidst the breath-taking landscapes of Tasmania, Hellyers Road Distillery stands as one of the trailblazers in the world of whisky production on terra australis. With its unwavering commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and innovation, Hellyers Road has garnered international acclaim for its exceptional single malt whiskies.

Established in 1997, Hellyers Road Distillery draws inspiration from the pristine Tasmanian environment, which provides pure water and fine barley, resulting in whiskies of exceptional character. Hellyers Road embraces the region's rich heritage by crafting spirits that capture the essence of Tasmania.

At the heart of Hellyers Road's success lies its commitment to traditional whisky-making techniques. The distillery employs idiosyncratic stills, carefully selected oak barrels for maturation, and a meticulous aging process to ensure the development of complex flavours and rich aromas. Every step of the production process is handled with precision, allowing the spirits to evolve and mature under the watchful eye of master distillers.

Taking pride in using locally sourced ingredients that contribute to the distinct character of their whiskies, Tasmanian barley, known for its exceptional quality, forms the foundation of Hellyers spirits. The island's cool climate, pure water sources, and fertile soils imbue the barley with unique flavours and nuances, adding a sense of terroir to each expression.

While rooted in tradition, Hellyers Road embraces innovation and the spirit of exploration. The distillery has ventured beyond traditional whisky styles, experimenting with various cask finishes, such as American oak, French oak, and port casks. This exploration pushes the boundaries of flavour profiles, resulting in whiskies that captivate the palate with their complexity and depth.

Hellyers Road is deeply committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship by actively seeking ways to minimize its ecological impact, implementing practices such as water recycling, energy efficiency, and waste reduction.

An example par excellence for how Hellyers Road channels its alchemy is the captivating symphony of flavours that is its Double Cask expression.

Having undergone a carefully orchestrated maturation process that involves aging the whisky in two distinct cask types, the spirit initially rests in American oak barrels, which impart a gentle sweetness and delicate vanilla notes. It is then transferred to ex-port casks, adding layers of complexity and enhancing the whisky's depth of flavour. This double cask maturation process creates a harmonious fusion of flavours that sets its flavour profile apart by showcasing a remarkable balance between sweetness, spice, and oak influence.

The initial sip reveals notes of honeyed sweetness, caramel, and toffee, which intermingle with hints of ripe fruits and warm spices. The influence of the ex-port casks introduces a subtle richness and a delightful touch of dried fruits, complementing the inherent sweetness. The combination of flavours unfolds gradually, offering a multi-dimensional experience that captivates the palate.

The whisky exhibits a smooth and velvety texture that coats the tongue, providing a luxurious mouthfeel. The well-integrated flavours and the absence of any harshness or overpowering elements make it an incredibly approachable and enjoyable dram for both whisky connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

Hellyers Road’s Sherry Cask expression is part of their core range and, as the name suggests, is aged in ex-Sherry casks, which adds distinct flavours and characteristics to the whisky.

Sherry Cask maturation often imparts rich and fruity aromas. In this case notes of dried fruits, raisins, figs, and hints of Christmas cake are the name of the game, further accentuated by a touch of sweetness and spice.

On the roof of the mouth, a combination of sweet and savoury flavours materialize with dried fruit notes taking on a prominent role, accompanied by honey, caramel, toffee, and nutty undertones. A gentle spiciness adds complexity to the overall profile.

The finish is long and satisfying with lingering flavours of dried fruits, oak, and some mild spice and tannins from the sherry cask influence.

Hellyers Road The Journeyman expression is a delicate and complex little number.

Clocking in at an ABV of 46.2%, aromas of warm honey and wax merge with sweet jam and herbal notes of green leaf and orange blossom for a distinctly sweet and floral Single Malt, with the finish reverberating with slightly nutty, sweet, woody nuances.

Our favourite of Hellyers Road’s new releases, however, is the power and poise exuded by the Voyager Cask.

Having matured for sixteen years in American Oak before enjoying an additional three years in French Oak ex-liqueur cask, it constitutes one of Australia’s oldest single malt age statements.

The result is an example par excellence for an expertly calibrated harmony that meanders between rich fruit with noble wood and hints of citrus for a long and comforting denouement.

Courtesy of an ABV of 57%, a distinct warmth and depth captures the delicious flavour of seasonal Australian figs, backed by Lychee and Guava highlights.

What we love about the Voyager Cask expression is the richly textured sweetness as it dances against a backdrop of citrusy notes and a spicy taste reminiscent of a powerful punch of cloves, with the finish reverberating long and sweet with butter sweet biscuit nuances.



Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Hellyers Road.


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