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Karu Distillery - the art and science of the distillation process.

What first incarnated six years ago based on the vision of a husband and wife duo to create quality spirits centred around meticulous attention being paid in equal parts to the art and science of the distillation process, has evolved to become of the most awarded distilleries on terra australis.

With the focus set on quality over quantity as far as its portfolio of offerings is concerned, Karu Distillery has not only accumulated accolades for the way the Juniper formality of its gin range takes one on a ride through a rich burst of flavours across the palate, but has recently lived up to the fearless qualities of the distillery’s spirit animal, i.e. the bear, by pushing the boundaries with the release of its Morita Chipotle Vodka.


Inspired by an inherent love of Mexican cuisine and clocking in at 42%ABV, this little number is a liquid celebration of the Chipotle chilli varieties Meco and Morita and while it might sound exotic in nature, it could not be further removed from novelty territory as it proves to be a unique spirit that lends itself well to both sipping as well as a key ingredient for innovative cocktails by adding a facet of je-ne-sais-quoi.

Based on the same distillation methodology Karu Distillery uses for its gin, i.e. using its plate column still and vapour to infuse fresh and dry ingredients into Australian wheat spirit, the distillate is then cut down with mountain rain water that has been sourced from the natural surrounds of the rural location that is The Devils Wilderness.


By deseeding the Mecco and Morita chillies, the upfront vapour heat is carefully calibrated to be situated on the mild end of the spectrum with a beautiful warm nose, which is counterbalanced on the flavour front by coriander seeds, green capsicum, lime and agave syrup, resulting in creamy mouthfeel with savoury, smoky and nacho spice nuances that dance against a backdrop of zesty and naturally sweet highlights.


What we love about Karu Distillery’s Morita Chipotle Vodka is that it lends itself perfectly well to be served neat.


Demonstrating that Karu is not a one-trick single category pony when it comes to its ability to channel its distilling alchemy in the creation of big, thick and juicy flavours is its aptly named Outcask Rum expression.

Being a pure single rum in nature with the molasses sourced from the Northern region of NSW and the new-make spirit aged in Australian Whiskey barrels, upon approach aromas of crisp green apple, mild banana, pineapple and candied brown sugar tickle the nostrils.


What materializes on the top of the mouth is a tour de force comprised of chewy crème brulee, sultana, honey and baked good flavours, with the clean, delicate buttery finish reverberating with a pronounced sticky sweetness that leaves one lusting for another sip.


While having started with gin offerings, with its recent Morita Chipotle Vodka and Outcask Rum releases, Karu Distillery has proven that they effortlessly excel shifting gears across the claviature of spirit genres with creations that pop with flavours.


Given the quality of Karu Distillery’s offerings and the team’s intrinsic motivation to constantly improve, one can only hope for a whiskey expression to soon emerge under the banner of the brand named after the Estonian nomenclature of "bear".


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Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Karu Distillery.

Photos courtesy of Karu Distillery.

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