Redlands has gone though quite some change its early years. Initially set up in 2012 and located in a hop and grain farm in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley the distillery had to move in early 2016 to its current location - the Dysart House in Kempton (40k North of Hobart). That move is particularly relevant as it caused a temporary disruption of Redland’s much lauded ‘Paddock to Bottle’ program – where ingredients for their whisky were sourced right from the surroundings of the original distillery itself. The program will now be reinstated with the goal to source ingredients from around Kempton.
Redlands made a name in whisky-circles due to their thrive for excellence and with the help of Sullivan’s Cove spirit which was bottled under the Redlandsd ‘Old Stable’ label. It certainly helps to have Australia’s Godfather of Whisky – Bill Lark supporting the enterprise as investor and consultant.
For now production is still small-scale. Dysart's House convict-built stable doubles up as still-house and bondstore. It only has space for a small copper still setup. In the future expansions are planned for a 4000l still. Currently Redlands releases ‘Small Cask Matured’ Single Malts (at 43 % Vol/Alc as well as at Cask Strength). Muscat, Port, Pinot Noir and even Tokay barrel finishes provide the Redlands spirit with a distinctive character and bottles are typically very hard to come by (for those not fortunate enough to pick them up directly from the cellar door). Dysart House (which doubles up as a restaurant, cellar door/shop, and information centre, is brimming with activities and it provides the scenic background to the distilling that happens in the Old Stable next door.
On a recent visit the shop was well assorted with a great range of different whiskies, and Liqueur, Schnapps, and Brandy. Weekends are buzzing at Redlands and 20$ will get you into a guided Distillery Tour with an introductory video, followed by a visit to the Old stable containing the still and the bonded warehouse. Given the tight fit of the still in its current location, the spatial constraints of operating in an old stable become apparent. For the bondstore, the old stable architecture provides the perfect backdrop and it certainly counts as one of (if not) the most idyllic storage for whisky barrels anywhere in Australia. The guided tour offers ‘access all areas’ and our guide diligently filled us in with all the details. Similar to other distilleries, the presence the Redlands private barrel program is noticeable. As there are many name-tags to be seen among the 20/50/ barrels. Next to that, one can see a large number of 100l barrels and some 200l ones. We also got to see the ‘backroom’ that houses the decanted spirit getting ready for bottling. At the time of my visit, the last Derwent Valley Paddock-to-Bottle spirit was frocking in a number of containers. Can’t wait to (try and) get my hand on a bottle.