New Zealand Whisky – Herrick Creek Distillery

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New Zealand Whisky

New Zealand Whisky - Defined

As of February 2021, the Distilled Spirits of Aotearoa group has agreed on and implemented guidelines for the definition of what New Zealand Whisky and New Zealand Single Malt Whisky can be. As a member of this group, we have decided to accept the definition laid out and change our processes to eventually be compliant with it. 

Herrick Creek Whisky

Our brand was founded on providing great and unique whisky for New Zealand, that isn't pretentious or over-priced. 
We're focusing on two main styles of whisky: The first is a Bourbon-style spirit using classic Bourbon mash bills and ageing techniques, which includes over 50% corn and ageing in small new American oak barrels. As small barrels like this don't allow us to age for two years without become over-oaked (tannic), we won't be able to call this New Zealand Whisky based on the new definitions. We will be calling it an aged grain spirit, for now. 

Our second whisky style will be a New Zealand Single Malt Whisky, using only malted barley from here in Canterbury! This whisky is a mix of three malted barley variations that is copper pot distilled and will be aged for at least two years, as per the new definitions. Our test batches have found this to be a classic Scotch-style spirit with a strong smoke influence that has a classic New Zealand twist. 

Finally, occasionally we will be doing Corn Whisky, something that remains undefined here but in America must be at least 80% corn and aged in used oak barrels. To classify this as a New Zealand Corn Whisky, we still need to abide by the ageing rule of at least two years in the barrel, which is our goal. These whiskies will use different corn varieties and be very limited, potentially one-off batches. Keep an eye on social channels for more!

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Hopefully, we will be able to increase our whisky production capacity in the future and the new rules won't be as much as a hurdle for us smaller guys, but for the moment, we're really glad that New Zealand Whisky has its own definition and looking forward to the future of the industry.