Malt Mileage Rating: ★★★★★
Type: Single malt
Origin: Tasmania, Australia
In 1825 Englishman Henry Hellyer set food on Tasmanian soil. He was in Tasmania as Chief Surveyor for the Van Diemen’s Land Company, and he explored the then rugged and wild Tasmanian lands. Unfortunately, he committed suicide in 1832 – it is believed that he suffered from depression.
In modern Australia, his legacy lives on. The Betta Milk Company chose to expand its drinks portfolio, naturally, to include whisky. Betta named the whisky Hellyers Road.
In keeping with old Australian charm, of which honesty is a big part, the whisky which Hellyers Road produces is not only consistently excellent but it is reasonably priced; some even have age statements. That is why, for me, Hellyers Road stands head and shoulders above other Australian distilleries as my favourite Australian malt – it is just genuine and superb tasting whisky.
Hellyer’s Road Pinot Noir Finish is aged in ex-bourbon American Oak barrels, and then “finished” in ex-pinot noir French oak barrels.
The nose presents with vanilla, oregano, vine tomato, forest undergrowth, lemon and orange citrus peel, cherries, soft floral notes, pear, and a crisp winy acidity common to Pinot Noir. On the palate the whisky has a silky mouth-feel, with mild supple wood tannin, vanillas, buttery biscuit, cherries, raspberries and developing citrus peel. It is also mildly tarry and earthy with mushrooms and mild wisps of smoke; the Pinot Noir barrels have certainly poured all their lovely flavours into this whisky! The finish offers lingering citrus, with gentle French oak driven spices encased in cherry and blackberry jam.
Hellyers Road Pinot Noir Finish pairs nicely with a mild-medium strength cigar, cheese (whether goats cheese or brie), cured meats (such as prosciutto) or some seafood. Its flavours should leap out at any avid Cognac or wine drinker (and Italophile foodies).