Australian Whisky Maker Does A Deep Rye Dive - The Whiskey Wash

Australian Whisky Maker Does A Deep Rye Dive

By Nino Marchetti / September 23, 2019

Rye whiskey is typically a category one thinks of here in North America, be it from the United States or Canada. There have been a few other region outliers, such as England, Scotland and Finland, but for the most part it’s a Western Hemisphere kind of whiskey. One Australian distillery is looking to add its voice to the conversation now, debuting what is said to be the first 100% Australia sourced rye expression.

The new The Gospel Distillers Solera Rye, according to those behind it, is being produced by a Melbourne-based distillery known as The Gospel Distillers. The distillery team there got their hands on what’s described as “single-source unmalted rye from the Murray Mallee region in South Australia,” grown “in one of the driest regions of the driest country in the world.” It has a 100 percent rye mash bill, being doubled distilled and then aged at the distillery.

The reason why this particular whisky has the word solera in its name is that it has been drawn from “a blend of multiple batches, processed through a bespoke [two story tall] Solera system in a combination of New American Oak and Australian Wine Barrels.” It is being done in what’s described as an American style at a distillery noted for being the largest whisky distillery in Australia due to a reported production capacity of “five barrels” of whisky blend per shift.

The Gospel Distillers Solera Rye

The Gospel Distillers Solera Rye (image via The Gospel Distillers)

“It has been a long road to creating The Gospel,” said said Ben Bowles, co-founder of The Gospel Distillers, in a prepared statement, “but the results speak for themselves. What we’ve created is a unique blend of American style combined with 100% Australian ingredients and production. It’s a particularly exciting time to be producing in Australia with the growing popularity and demand for rye spirits.

“With our Solera Rye, we wanted to create a “sessionable’ whiskey – something that can be enjoyed again and again and is available to everyone. We envision it as the drink of the summer, served with dry ginger ale and a slice of orange. The spice & creme caramel flavours work well in the bartender classics like an Old Fashioned or a Sazerac.”

As it stands now plans call for this whisky be what looks to be an Australian only release, bottled at 42.5% ABV. It will be followed early next year a straight rye whisky. Both are produced on a column and copper pot still, said to one of only a handful used in Australia. Limited official tasting notes suggest “caramel and spice on the nose, creme caramel on the palate.”