G’day guys. Mitch here. I’m here with some more Australian malt, and this time it’s whiskey! In an effort to try to bring you more independent Australian labels as best I can I’ve gone out of my way to search for more bottles likewise. So I Googled around until I found a few bottles, and I used a website I’d never used before called Nicks that set me up with this bottle and shipped to me in an impressively short period of time. Not a paid promotion, just customer feedback. So here’s the new domestic whiskey. Oh, and I went to a Christian high school so I may get some of this.
They call themselves The Gospel. A Melbourne-based distillery, “set in the backstreets of Melbourne’s eclectic Brunswick neighbourhood”. Like the internet says, “whiskey is God’s way of showing us he loves us and wants us to be happy”. That’s what the sticker I bought off RedBubble says at least. It reads as some kind of sick twisted humor when hungover. Their website opens reminding us of how whiskey came to be for medicinal use by Monks. Whiskey came about as a curer of ailments in Ireland, as eaux-de-vie did in France, after the practice of distillation was brought back home after being observed in Eastern Europe in the early thirteenth century. So clearly we’ve seen where they’ve drawn inspiration for their name. From the annals of the healing faith of the church, to the pub. Unless churches actually still do have whiskey for the sick or injured, I don’t actually know, I haven’t been to church since I left high school, and I wasn’t old enough to drink. In which case, the next time I hurt myself you can take me back to that nice place opposite my old school. I’ll have a drink, take my mind off my leg being broken in two places.
This whiskey is born as a tribute to the invention of the original whiskies of the United States by migrants, settling and cultivating the region. Going on to say that they used rye, as did the early Scots and Irish in the area. As the barley used traditionally to make our favourite Scotch whiskies and Irish whiskeys did not grow well in the New World. Rye whiskey, not to be confused with high-rye bourbons, that are brewed with mash bills bias towards rye over wheat to tweak the palette more towards spice than sweet. Rye whiskey is made entirely from rye. This bottle of theirs – the Solera is their baseline bottle and their first bottle produced. All of their bottles, as they proudly proclaim are all made from one hundred percent Australian rye grains. Made from a mash bill of a hundred percent Mallee Rye “Grown in one of the driest regions of the driest country in the world”. They could easily stop here, any Australian whiskey is a good thing, especially in this case where it’s not the usual Scotch style that every other Australian whiskey has chosen to adopt. But they have fallen into the trap of going mad with their creation for the sake of representing the flag. But at least this whiskey only cost me seventy two dollars Australian, so ambition did not cost it popularity. Being a solera, the aging process is the product of a number of separate factors. In this case, they’ve gone with the combination of aging their whiskey with new American oak barrels, and used red wine barrels. Which does explain it’s deep red colour.
A robust and stout bottle. The nose is deep, fruity and sophisticated. Scents of licorice, vanilla, and smells reminiscent of a Nero d’Avola or a Cabernet Sauvignon. Poured over ice, the nose becomes creamier and sweeter. Noses of honey, caramel, and a more pronounced scent of vanilla. The taste – An exceptionally sweet, open and generous taste. The combination of rye whiskey aging in red wine and American oak barrels creates a taste that can be best described as the lovechild of Kentucky straight bourbon and domestic brandy. A sweet caramel texture transitioning into a smooth, later to become spicy taste of strawberry. A confectionery flavor, crossing through to fruitiness, ending with an oaky toastiness.
So to summarize, exploration in wines and spirits is justified. Matthew Flinders knew it, Theodore Roosevelt knew it, Napoleon Bonaparte knew it, now I do and reading this hopefully so too do you; exploration is the key to uncovering new treasures. This is exactly the sort of previously unknown liquor I was looking for. And it is nothing short of great national pride that a liquor such as this hails from Australia. A definite whiskey to try. Love it. Cheers