Archie Rose unveils high-tech whisky and gin distillery

Archie Rose unveils high-tech whisky and gin distillery

Custom designed production elements, a patented whisky production process and a research lab are all part of Archie Rose Distilling Co's innovative new distillery in Sydney.

Launched this week, the Banksmeadow facility was built to support a significant expansion in the production of the distiller's award-winning whiskies, gins, vodkas, rums and other spirits.

The site features some state-of-the-art features enabling Archie Rose to transition to "cold distilled" botanicals for its gin and vodka ranges, as well as a patented whisky production process that has been in development for more than four years.

"In terms of production scale this new distillery is a significant step towards fulfilling our ambition of showcasing Australia's incredible ingredients and innovation in distilling globally and giving more people the opportunity to drink quality, local spirits," Archie Rose founder Will Edwards (pictured right) said.

"The innovation and flexibility we have therefore built into the new distillery is, as far as we know, unprecedented at this scale, and allows us to absolutely commit to techniques and processes we've spent the past six years delving deep into at our Rosebery distillery."

This design has resulted in Archie Rose evolving from a traditional full lauter mash tun setup to a mash filter (one of only a handful in the world used in distilling) to better process and extract flavour from each of Archie Rose's seven malts, including specialty roasted local malts and heritage varieties grown for Archie Rose exclusively.

The distiller has also installed two new copper pot whisky stills with cooling jackets allowing the team to adjust the reflux and style of spirit in a way that could typically only be achieved by altering the physical shape of the still.

By deploying this innovation Archie Rose can produce customised spirits, refined to accentuate the flavour of the malt and suit the nominated cask type and size.

For its patented malt technology, Archie Rose has devised a new whisky making process whereby each malt in the six-malt mash bill is milled, mashed, fermented, distilled and matured separately.

This allows the distilling team to tailor every step of the process such as yeast selection, cask type and maturation conditions, rather than having to settle for "average" conditions that suit the whole mash bill.

For its gins, Archie Rose has installed 500-litre and 3,000-litre copper pot/column hybrid vacuum stills, the only example of their kind in the world.

This allows for a "cold distil", eliminating the damaging impact of heat on botanicals.

The distiller has also built a dedicated research lab in which desktop fermentations, distillations and sensory analysis can be carried out with precision.

Archie Rose's R&D centre will be used to trial rum production techniques and bolster the improvement of currently distilled whiskies, gins and vodkas.

"When we started designing this distillery, we had the opportunity to look at how we were distilling and what excited us with fresh eyes," Edwards said.

"From our time at Rosebery, we were able to test and pressure check many of the traditional methods of production, and found that in many ways they didn't make sense or didn't produce the best result."

The site also features a number of advanced energy efficiency measures, reducing power, gas and water usage from Archie Rose's Rosebery site, with all spent grain, botanicals and pot ale being recycled into livestock feed or natural fertiliser.

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