Single Malt, New Zealand, 70cl, Ref: 17570

A must have LMDW

We first discovered this single malt almost 20 years ago. Formerly known as Lammerlaw, it was originally sold as a 10 Year Old. Twenty years later and the now dismantled distillery brings us a 15 Year Old version finished in French oak barrels that once contained very fruity New Zealand red wine. This highly original whisky from the other side of the world is disappearing fast, and is exclusively imported and exported in Europe by La Maison du Whisky.

Incredibly creamy and full-bodied, this singular 15 Year Old version is in a category of its own in the world of New Zealand single malts. Easily accessible, it literally coats the entire palate. Midway between a sherry and a bourbon, it offers tasters a number of different interpretations. Far from disrupting the harmonious atmosphere that reigns here, this dual aspect to its personality serves to heighten it.

Following the closure of the Willowbank distillery in 1997 and its dismantling in 2000, The New Zealand Whisky Company bought the 600 casks that were stored in its warehouses. It offers a single malt aged for 6 years in American oak barrels followed by an additional 9 years in French oak barrels that previously contained gourmand (vanilla, chocolate) and floral (lily) red wine. Profile: deep, refined. Chocolate, walnut, incense, cherry. Vanilla, crème fraîche, spices (white pepper, camphor) and charred wood. Apricot and yellow peaches, peony.

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This bottle is no longer available


However, according to research of our experts, some rare bottlings may one day be back in stock.

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Product details


Gold Medal, Wizards of Whisky Awards 2014

Best Australian/New Zealand Blend, World Whiskies Awards 2013

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013

Tasting note

  • Appearance : amber old gold.
  • Nose : full-bodied, refined. The sherry and bourbon are evenly represented here. Chocolate, nuts, incense and cherries are immediately apparent, while vanilla, crème fraîche, spices (white pepper, camphor) and charred wood emerge after. Notes of apricot and very subtle peat gradually move to the forefront.
  • Palate : assertive, exuberant. Despite incorporating the dichotomy found in the nose, it ever-so-slightly prioritises the sherry. Yellow peaches, peony, ash and a delicate cocoa-infused liqueur take over the palate. The vanilla-inspired whole finishes on a note of freshly-cut grass.
  • Overall : long, silky. Its aromas and flavours of heady flowers (rose, peony) add a touch of drama. It then quietly coats the entire palate with a delicate menthol and praline liqueur. The sherry clearly comes through strongest here, confirmed by a roasted retronasal olfaction and a beautifully woody, spiced finish in the empty glass.
The brand

The brand

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.

The distillery

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.

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