One of the first distilleries to confirm for Sydney Whisky Fair 2016, we’re delighted Limeburners making the long trip across this wide land to showcase once again at The Oak Barrel.
Award Winning Whisky From The Wild West
One of the great appeal’s of whisky is the sense that a spirit can taste like the place it came from. That the environment in which it was produced has had an fundamental impact on the finished product – one that you couldn’t replicate anywhere else or remove it from itself, even if you wanted to.
Limeburners is one such whisky. It can be high octane, spice-filled, diesel-laden, challenging and delicate – sometimes all at the same time. What else would you want from far-flung regions of Western Australia? A proud state built on the sweat and industry of a resources boom but with culture and community woven into its very fabric.
Founded in 2004 by Cameron Syme Limeburners, the first WA distillery to legally distill a single malt whisky, has been a quiet constant on the Australian whisky landscape in the past half-a-decade. They’ve evolved from their now-mythical early casks (“this is diesel fumes and Weet-Bix – amazing!”) to their current range of expressions and cask variation.
As well as the Limeburners single malts, their ‘American-style’ Tiger Snake Whiskey (note the “e”) is a batch-released sour mash distilled from corn, barley and rye. It was the first (legal) whiskey of its type in Australia.
Their primary Great Southern distillery is located in Albany, a seaside city in the south of the state, although Cameron opened the doors on their second distillery in the wine and tourist-rich Margaret River region November 2015. Located not far north east from Albany (by WA terms – it’s still a four-hour drive), and also on the coast, the Margaret River Distilling Company has a Tassie-made copper pot still, just like the Albany location.
Their spirit has always been firmly unique.
Their barley is sourced from the farming rich south west of the state and their barreling involves some very old casks – some dating to 1930s bourbon houses. Their water comes from nearby limestone aquifers and filtered rain water, blown over from melted ice caps Antarctic.
The vast majority of their output is single cask releases, which yield no more than a few hundred bottles. There is a solera vatted release now available in chain stores, but Whisky Fair will be focusing on these unique single cask releases.
As previously announced, Great Southern Distilling Company (the company behind Limeburners and Tiger Snake) founder Cameron Syme will be presenting a Fair Masterclass Monday 18 July (the first Fair Masterclass of the six-week run-in) showcasing a couple of their as-yet-released expressions.
When the Fair comes around you can expect their Port and Sherry expressions, alongside their award-winning peated whisky.
The nature of the single cask offerings mean that the releases will always differ slightly.
The whiskies we tried at last year’s Fair are different to the ones we’ll have at this year’s. For the counters out there, the highest number cask we have on the shelf currently is M215. The double-digit casks must surely be acquiring some real value by now.
This list of awards bestowed upon various expressions from Limeburners is extensive. Perhaps the most notable one are their recent recognitions: Champion Australian Distiller and Champion Australian Whisky/Small Batch Spirit (Heavily Peated Cask M226) at the 2016 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards. Their Heavily Peated also won the Champion Trophy for the same awards in 2015. The Tiger Snake was named Australia’s best Blended Whisky at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards. There’s a slew of gold and silver medals, which would be a bit extensive to list here, as well.
We gleefully welcome back Limeburners and Tiger Snake to the 2016 Sydney Whisky Fair and also look forward to a very intimate tasting with Cameron to taste what the future holds for those from out in the wild west.
– Scott Fitzsimons
Top image of the Albany distillery