“Trans Tasman Tour” – Willowbank Doublewood 10 Year 40%

Next up on our Trans Tasman tour is another Kiwi whisky from the closed Willowbank distillery – this time a 10 year old matured in “double wood” in other words two different sets of casks – bottled by the New Zealand Malt Whisky Co. Ltd.

Our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai sampled it one fine March evening… and here is what we thought…

New Zealand Willowbank Doublewood 10 year Blended Whisky 40%

  • Nose – Salty caramel popcorn, candy toffee, heavy vanilla, cotton candy, cognac, salt water taffy, shifted to grapes and raisins, then into perfume nose and quite beautiful
  • Palate – Almost wine-like in the region of prosecco, then a bit mineral, shifts back to toffee coffee like a coffee liquor or an instant coffee, then almonds
  • Finish – Strangely, there was an almost red vermouth quality

We found this much more enjoyable than the 22 year old and, dare I say it, the Hellyers Road Pinot Noire.

The colour was exceptional – a bright red that clearly showed off its time spent finishing in ex red wine casks.

What more do we know?

This whisky is a  blend of 70% malt and 30% grain, spent 6 years maturing in Bourbon casks before spending 4 years finishing in French oak barrels which previously held red wine. It was distilled at the closed Willowbank distillery in Dunedin on the South Island, then was released by The New Zealand Malt Whisky Company.

So what else made it into our Kiwi and Taz explorations?

Curious about more “Trans Tasman” drams? Check out the Australia and New Zealand section in the Asia Pacific whiskies page.

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

“Trans Tasman Tour” – Willowbank 22 year (1989) 52.8%

The Wilson’s Dunedin or Willowbank Distillery was established by the Baker family in 1974 on the South Island of New Zealand. It had the remarkable distinction of being the most southerly distillery in the world and produced the Milford and Lammerlaw Whisky brands. It closed in 1997 with The New Zealand Whisky Company owning the remaining stock, stored in a seaside warehouse in Oamaru.

Thanks to a purchase in the UK, the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai had the pleasure of trying not one but two bottles. We began with the older one – the 22 year cask strength whisky.

New Zealand’s Willowbank 22 year (1989/2012) Barrel No 58, Bottle No 25, 52.8%

  • Nose – Surprisingly fresh, doesn’t feel like 22 year, mint, herbs, one even mentioned lettuce leaves! Then lemon balm, garden fresh, cucumber, yet chased with something a bit piquant
  • Palate – Very smooth, spices, pencils, Bull’s eye candy, a bit khkatta, some tannins
  • Finish – Mint candy yet has a burn too
  • Water – Nutty water, fruit and spice, some bitter fruits, nuts, some chokecherry or aamla Indian gooseberry

I don’t think anyone knew what to expect with this whisky. And I don’t think we quite knew even when having it. We certainly didn’t anticipate a 22 year old to be quite so “young” seeming…

Water certainly made a difference. For some, the found it much better with water. Another mentioned it reminded them of Malvani fish curry. Not what one would normally associate with whisky!

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: