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Pōkeno Whisky: Crafting Distinctive Kiwi Elegance in Every Sip.

Embarking on a mission to redefine New Zealand's presence in the global whisky scene, Pōkeno Whisky, under the stewardship of industry maestro Matthew Johns, emerges as a passion project dedicated to the pursuit of crafting unparalleled single malt whiskies.

In a deliberate departure from mass production, the distillery, nestled in the heart of New Zealand's enchanting Pōkeno region, boasts a meticulous on-site production process, meticulously guiding the spirit through every stage, from fermentation to slow spirit runs.

The essence of the New Zealand spirit, a fusion of culture and climate, is at the core of Pōkeno's philosophy. This intangible force catapults Kiwis onto the global stage, inspiring the distillery to push the boundaries of flavour and create world-class, distinctly different single malts. The journey is not merely about whisky; it's an exploration of Aotearoa New Zealand's soul.

Situated in a misty valley, sheltered by volcanic hills that provide pristine spring water, Pōkeno unveils itself as a hidden treasure in the remote and beautiful New Zealand landscape.

The state-of-the-art distillery is a testament to their commitment to crafting one of the world's great single malts. Batch production, prolonged fermentation, and slow distillation set them apart as craft distillers, prioritizing quality over quantity.

Pōkeno meticulously selects only the finest casks, and the warm sub-tropical local climate accelerates the maturation process, allowing the angels in Pōkeno not to wait. The result is single malt whisky with an exceptional body and flavour, capturing the pure spirit of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Embarking on a journey through Pōkeno's Origin single malt expression is akin to unveiling the masterful artistry of maturation: On the nose, the exclusive nurturing within first-fill bourbon casks imparts a velvety essence, creating an exquisite harmony of sweetness.

Your senses are awakened to a symphony of flavours— with a bouquet informed by a refreshing tanginess and bright fruitiness, herbal earthiness, and honeyed sweetness to a succulent balance of tartness, nuanced notes of caramelized sugar, and buttery, creamy undertones with a subtle hint of vanilla.

This complex journey culminates in a multifaceted and enduring conclusion, showcasing Pōkeno's unwavering commitment to imaginative ingenuity and the ceaseless exploration of flavour nuances.

Reaching unparalleled heights in their craft, Pōkeno presents the Totara Cask—a celebration of New Zealand's native tree, which within the confines of New Zealand's sole operational Cooperage is meticulously handcrafted by Cooper Mike Tawse into the world's premier 200-liter totara barrels, imprinting via a light toast and char an unparalleled essence onto the whisky's maturation journey.

Immerse yourself in an opulent symphony that tickles the nostrils with a creamy natural sweetness with a hint of nuttiness, the aromatic allure of sweet-scented sap, the juiciness of floral and honeyed peach notes, and the earthy freshness of newly hewn wood. On the top of the mouth, a sensory odyssey traverses realms of tangy bitter lemon, succulent stone fruit, and elusive hints of dark chocolate harmonizing into a protracted and sweet crescendo. This unveiling marks Pōkeno's dedication to pushing the boundaries of creativity and flavour exploration.

Pōkeno Whisky's artistry lies in creating high-quality, subtle single malts, infusing them with flavour and creativity by aging in different types of used barrels.

With a commitment to quality, innovation, and the spirit of Aotearoa New Zealand, Pōkeno Whisky emerges as a trailblazer, inviting enthusiasts to savour the essence of Kiwi elegance in every sip.


Words by AW.

Illustrations courtesy of Pōkeno Whisky.


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