Dish - - Review -

“Our higher pur­pose for Thom­son Whisky is to see New Zealand suc­ceed on the world stage with a New Zealand style of whisky,” says head dis­tiller Mat Thom­son of Thom­son Whisky. “If we were do­ing the busi­ness just for the sole ben­e­fit of our­selves we wouldn’t have come this far. For us there’s a much higher pur­pose and it’s sort of build­ing it­self with the mo­men­tum of peo­ple who sup­port it.” The “we” he’s re­fer­ring to is him­self and wife Rachael – the pair ini­tially started as in­de­pen­dent bot­tlers but have tran­si­tioned to fully fledged dis­tillers. It was a steep learn­ing curve and a jour­ney they’re still on. “I’d rather see us in­no­vate, stay fresh in our mind­set and con­tinue to grow and learn con­stantly than stag­nate,” says Rachael. Their ap­proach to only use New Zealand-grown malted barley and rye and forge their own flavours, rather than replica other peo­ple’s styles, is pay­ing div­i­dends with more than five gold medals in the bank at the San Fran­cisco World Spir­its Com­pe­ti­tion in the past few years. “[The awards] show that a bou­tique New Zealand dis­tillery can come out on top in a blind tast­ing with the world’s sharpest dis­tillers – we’re proud of that,” says Mat. “For me, whisky is more than just a drink. It’s more pow­er­ful than that – it’s a cul­mi­na­tion of the land and the peo­ple and there’s some­thing mag­i­cal about it.” Hav­ing sipped a neat glass of their Manuka Smoke Sin­gle Malt, we can def­i­nitely attest to that. thom­son­

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