Release Radar: whisky aged in red gum, Mexican-inspired gin, & Penfolds’ new Champagne

February 16, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Archie Rose Heritage Red Gum Cask Single Malt Whisky:

The eleventh Archie Rose Distilling Co. limited edition release, the Red Gum Cask Single Malt Whisky celebrates the dynamic nature of Australia’s whisky industry, both paying homage to a long-standing family history and championing the innovation for which Australian whisky is now known. The red gum timber casks are believed to be from the 1930s and were previously used over numerous decades for the maturation of apera fortified wine.

“I have a clear memory of my dad passing on stories he heard about fortified wine barrels being made from native eucalyptus timbers in the 1930s, which inspired me to use them in production,” said Archie Rose Master Distiller, Dave Withers. 

“Many years later, I heard from one of our coopers about a small parcel of casks that had an oddly red colour to the timber. I called my dad right away and told him what I had discovered”. 

The Archie Rose Distilling Co. Heritage Red Gum Single Malt Whisky was created by further ageing its original Single Malt Whisky in the rare casks, resulting in a single malt brimming with distinctive regional character and charisma. Expect a nose of sun-dried raisins, bush-honey, apricots, eucalypt, sandalwood, and hazelnut butter, followed by flavours of bush-honey, incense, and rich malts. 

Only 3,950 bottles were released, each bottled at 46% and retailing at $219.99. The Archie Rose Heritage Red Gum Cask is available from the Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door and from its online store

Four Pillars x Afloat Melbourne Pink Gin:

Four Pillars and Afloat’s annual limited edition gin release for 2024 draws direct inspiration from Mexico. By making use of habanero chillies, Mexican oregano, agave nectar, finger limes, and dried bitter orange, Four Pillars have created a complex pink gin that balances spice, savouriness, sweetness, and citrus. The product is completed by a label inspired by the Mexico’s Lucha Libre wrestling. 

“Just like the Lucha Libre wrestlers, we love a challenge, and the goal with this release was to bring the unique flavour of Mexico to Aussie gin,” said Cameron Mackenzie, Four Pillars Co-Founder and Distiller.

“We’re really happy with the result, with this pink gin balancing the savoury notes from Mexican oregano with the freshness of local botanicals. But make no mistake, the gin packs a punch.”

The gin has an RRP of $85 and can purchased from Afloat Melbourne, either of Four Pillars venues, or from its website

Penfolds new Champagne Thiénot: 

Penfolds have announced a new Champagne in collaboration with Champagne Thiénot. The Champagne Cuvée Brut will retail at $79, and marks a continuation of the partnership between Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago and Champagne Thiénot’s Chef de Cave Nicolas Uriel. 

The two wine producers first released wine together at The Ritz Paris in 2019 with the inaugural global release of three 2012 vintage Champagnes.

“Penfolds is proud to be in the Bordeaux Hall at Vinexpo Paris this week. What better way to kick off our 180th anniversary celebrations than with the introduction of the Champagne Cuvée Brut, made in collaboration with our friends at Champagne Thiénot and the expansion of our distribution with La Place de Bordeaux,” said Tom King, Penfolds’ Managing Director.

“Penfolds has a longstanding connection to France and we’re excited to continue to bring our innovation to complement France’s incredible winemaking heritage.” 

Other new releases:

Also arriving to the Australian market this week was Rewild’s bagnums, which provide an affordable option to eco-conscious consumers, and the news that Paramount Liquor has partnered with Noot cocktails to greatly increase national distribution.

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