Nose: Fresh malted barley, fresh cut grass, Milk Arrowroot biscuits, cornflakes (the breakfast cereal), and creamed honey, and just a hint of lemon icing.
Palate: Malted barley, biscuits with lemon icing, vanilla slice, and cornflakes.
Mouthfeel: Quite thin, but it doesn’t feel delicate at all. The slightest tingle, but no burn.
Finish: Biscuits for days. The lemon icing turning more into lemon boiled lollies; faint traces of vanilla, and some bushfire smoke hanging around. Despite the lack of weight in the mouth, the finish is reasonably long.
In the spirit of complete transparency – although I have bought, and loved, whisky from Craft Works in the past; this whisky was provided as a sample by Craft Works.
Another young independent bottling from Craft Works, this time from Riverbourne spirit – at just over 2 years of age. This release was a single cask of single malt Australian whisky bottled with no chill-filtering and no added colouring at 53.8%.
This might be a young whisky, and be bottled at a reasonably solid strength, but it is definitely one of the more easy drinking whiskies that I’ve had lately. It is not a deeply complex whisky, but it does the basics very very well. I really hope Crafty has another one of these casks put away for a longer slumber – I would love to see this whisky with another couple of years under its belt!
As someone who has drunk quite a bit of Riverbourne whisky (they’re my local whisky distillery), it is truly amazing to note just how different the whisky can turn out under the gaze of an independent bottler compared to the official releases from the distillery.
Craft Works is a one-and-a-half man band distillery and independent bottler that is located behind the Royal Hotel in Capertee in New South Wales (Australia) – with Craig “Crafty” Fields being the owner, distiller, brewer, blender, and everything-else operator, along with his apprentice and side-kick; Todd.
The Grumpy Old Man release is a homage from Crafty to his good mate, the distiller of the spirit that makes the whisky, and owner of the Riverbourne distillery, Martin Pye. Martin is the oldest licensed distiller in Australia, and despite actually being very warm and friendly, can come across as a bit surly on first meetings – as the irreverent naming of this whisky is a testament to.
This is a superb whisky, and I would highly recommend grabbing a bottle for the summer – when it will go sublimely with a barbeque in the back yard! Sipping it in front of the heater or fireplace whilst dreaming of summer is also a perfectly reasonable way to drink it to, if you don’t feel like waiting a few months!