All about making whisky
New Zealand Whisky is a brand that was created by Greg Ramsay, an Australian business man and whisky enthusiast, to bring together all the most recent bottlings of single malt whisky from the closed Willowbank distillery. Founded in 1974 in the town of Dunedin, this distillery initially produced blends such as Wilsons and 45 South. Purchased by Seagrams, it then began making its first single malt, Milford. The brand’s whiskies are now available in several ranges: ‘Doublewood’, consisting of blends aged in two different barrels; ‘South Island’ for old whiskies and ‘Cask Strength’, for vintage-dated cask strength bottlings.
Founded in 1974 by the Baker family in the town of Dunedin (in the Otago region, better known for its wines), on the site of the old Water of Leith Brewery, the Willowbank distillery was purchased in the 1980s by Seagrams. This international company, with distilleries in Scotland, Canada and the United States, created a range of single malts under the Lammerlaw brand. However, production was stopped in 1997 and the distillery was sold to Fosters, who closed it in 2000 and sent the stills to Fiji to make rum. Abandoned for several years, with small sales of the Milford brand, the remaining stock – some 600 casks – was bought by the New Zealand Whisky Company and stored in a specially adapted warehouse in the historic little town of Oamuru about 100 kilometres north of Dunedin, on the west coast of the South Island.