World-renowned fortified wine maker, Morris of Rutherglen, is launching two new Australian single malt whiskies this month.
Morris Australian Single Malt Signature Whisky and Australian Single Malt Muscat Barrel Whisky are made from 100 per cent local ingredients before being finished in Morris fortified wine barrels to help further develop their flavours.
The Morris family has brought together a team of highly regarded whisky experts, who have been working on these spirits since 2016. John McDougall, a widely-respected whisky maker who has experience with Balvenie, Laphroaig and Springbank is consulting exclusively to Morris in Australia as Master Distiller.
The late Dr Jim Swan, was also a key member of the original Morris whisky team, and worked with McDougal to design the barrle maturation program and guide the team with special and unique barrel toasting regime.
Darren Peck (ex-Diageo) has been appointed as Morris Head Distiller and has worked under the tutelage of McDougall for the last five years to craft the whisky.
“We are creating a unique Morris Whisky style that speaks to our home in Rutherglen,” Peck said.
“Made with Australian barley malted at the family brewery and pure, filtered water from the Snowy Mountains, Morris Whisky reflects not only the world-class fortified barrels but also its regional Victorian provenance.
“As part of the process, we apply double distillation through our hybrid copper pot and column still and mature in a combination of French and American oak barrels sourced from family-owned wineries in the Barossa and Coonawarra regions.
“These barrels are all prepared by hand at our private cooperage to a specific method, which imparts the unique Morris of Rutherglen flavour profile. Coupled with the local climate of hot summer days and cool nights, these conditions are perfect for ageing and creating the unique and distinctive Morris Whisky taste.”
Vanguard Luxury Brands has been appointed the exclusive Australian distributor of Morris Whisky, securing ranging in premium bars, retailers and restaurants across the country, commencing in June 2021.
“We’re thrilled to work with the Morris team on the launch of Morris Whisky. It’s an outstanding Australian product that ties together the heritage of the world’s best fortified wine producers and the current demand for premium Australian spirits,” said James France, Founder and Director of Vanguard Luxury Spirits.
He added: “Morris whiskies provide an unbeatable combination of provenance and quality at an affordable price – something unseen thus far in the industry here. Whisky lovers will be delighted to see whisky of this quality starting at prices under $100 for a 700ml bottle.”
The initial focus for Morris Whisky will be to establish itself in the Australian market before exploring opportunities in international markets such the US and the UK, with the aim of raising the profile of premium Australian spirits, in particular Australian whisky.
Morris said it is making a long-term play to develop the Australian single malt whisky category with further innovation in the pipeline leveraging access to an unrivalled collection of fortified wine barrels, some of which are more than 100 years old.
Morris Whisky will be available from June 2021 in leading liquor retailers with the Signature Whisky at 40% ABV and Muscat Barrel Whisky at 46% ABV.
This article first appeared in The Shout