We believe there are four keys to creating a great single malt:
Whilst Head Distiller & Co-founder Rob Polmear’s experience is deep (ex-Overeem Whisky, ex-Lark Distillery), it’s his years in science (Masters of Antarctic Marine Science, UTAS) that you see throughout his work creating whisky. Yes, it’s an understanding of why he designed the fermentation as it is. Yes, it’s the knowledge of why the particular elements within the spirit act in certain ways. But it’s also the understanding of where science meets art to produce the exact whisky he set out to.
Our in-house lab allows us to experiment with culturing our own yeasts to create particular flavour profiles to pair perfectly with selected casks.
Each element of our distillation process, from making our own wash, to the shape of our custom designed stills, to the sensory driven cut points in our spirit, has an effect on our whisky and has been designed to create a spirit that is identifiably ours.
The salty terroir, air and climate of the far east coast of Tasmania plays an important role in the maturation of our whisky. Salt pervades every crevice of our building. Some would see rusting barrel rings and corroded stills as a hardship but we choose to not only embrace but welcome the maritime climate of Waubs Harbour. In fact, it’s the very reason we’re here.
The unique micro climate of Bicheno combined with the oceans natural ability to stabilise temperature, means we don't experience extreme fluctuations like frosts or high degree days. Another gift to our whisky from our ocean provenance.
We’re incredibly blessed not only to be located in Tasmania where pristine water is the standard but particularly so on the remote east coast. The water used to create our single malt hails from the beautiful Apsley River, only just up the road from the distillery.
Our signature spirit is fermented with the highest quality distiller’s yeast. Head Distiller Rob’s inquisitive nature, natural resourcefulness and background in microbiology also drives his experimentation into cultivating his own fresh yeast strains. We’re continuously trialing, testing and tasting how different yeasts create different flavour profiles and which will become evident in our limited release series.
A truly Tasmanian single malt comes from truly Tasmanian ingredients. We source malted Tasmanian barley from around the state. It's naturally oily and rich flavour is essential to creating our distinct maritime Tasmanian flavour profile.
True to the provenance of the Tasmanian coast, we’ve been experimenting with a peat only found here on the east coast of Tasmania, just a few kilometres down the road. Instead of the classic sphagnum moss style peat of the highlands, this organic peat is made of decayed coastal reeds, the local melaleuca tree and salt bush. It’s a completely different smokey flavour on the barley and set to be a very interesting and limited release down the track for Waubs Harbour.
There is a lot to be said for the influence of the cask. Many would say the cask can be up to 60% or more of the influence on the end product. Just as there are a huge amount of variables that can be changed with the spirit, there is equally a lot you can do with the cask and here at Waubs Harbour we are big believers in that. Barrels are not just barrels. The quality of a cask seasoned with sherry for 6 months is no where comparable to that of a cask that’s held premium sherry for 20 years.
We work hard to source only the best casks that we back to create the rich whisky we set out to. French Oak Tawny (Australian Port), French Oak Apera (Australian Sherry) and American Oak Bourbon are some of the casks we use along with a selection of amazing rare and limited casks we’ll reveal as they mature in years to come.
The one thing that underpins our methodology, is knowing why we’re doing what we’re doing.
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional owners of this Land and respect their culture and identity which has been bound up with the Land, Sea, Waterways and Sky for generations.
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