Thursday, August 21, 2014


New Zealand distiller, Thomson Whisky has this week started to produce what is believed to be the world’s first manuka smoked single malt whisky.

Made using barley grown in New Zealand’s South Island and kilned using New Zealand manuka wood, the whisky imparts a smooth natural smokiness reminiscent of peated Scotch, yet entirely unique to New Zealand with its distinct manuka notes.

Thomson's hand-beaten copper pot still

Craft brewing supplier Gladfield Malt are working closely with Head Distiller Mathew Thomson to perfect the spirit, and have designed and engineered a custom smoker to impart the best manuka and smoke flavours into the finished malt.

Commenting on the news, Mathew Thomson said: “A very good measure of passion and innovation has gone into this whisky and we’re excited about the possibilities that can result from it. As one of only a handful of commercial whisky distilleries in New Zealand, Thomson is proud to be producing an original and world first whisky in our home country.”

The distilling of the unique spirit is taking place at Thomson Whisky Distillery, based at Hallertau Brewery in North West Auckland, where the brand is laying down barrels of single malt for maturation using a traditional copper pot still.

Thomson manuka smoked single malt whisky will mature in ex-bourbon barrels for three to five years adding to its depth of flavour, and will be available once matured.

The craft distillery was launched in April this year to support future demand for the company’s single malt whisky. The brand won Gold and Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014 for its 21 year old and 18 year old single malt, independent bottlings.

Source: Thomson Whisky