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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Southern Distilleries Ltd was formed by Malcolm Willmott and Peter Wheeler to consolidate the distilling operations of their two companies, leaders in boutique distillation in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific for the past 25 years.


Located in Timaru, South Canterbury the new distillery complex takes over all the Hokonui Moonshine production previously centered in Otago and combines the rum and corn whiskey production from the North.


The MacKenzie 40% ab/vol Blended Malt Whiskey

Whiskey was the preferred drink of the run holders, shepherds and shearing gangs and a bottle was often the bonus for a job well done. All this whiskey was imported, the casks of Scottish malt being blended and cut in bond stores up and down the coast. The best of these are recalled being light, fragrant and ‘held onto the glass’


In recreating a whiskey from a century ago Southern Distilleries have produced a blend that retains a high percentage of single malt to give good aroma and flavour. This blend of grain and malt whiskey is then oak aged. The MacKenzie is not chill filtered and has no colours added.


The MacKenzie 40% Blended Malt Whiskey Tasting Notes: 

Colour Light golden amber

Nose Simple grain, light caramel, oak

Flavour Light, refreshing

Finish Smooth, clean

Bottle Size 750ml and 50ml


The Coaster 40%  Single Malt Whiskey

At Southern Distilleries they employ the traditional driftwood /seaweed fuel to scorch the malted barley and char the oak. The single malt that ages with this oak absorbs an unique character making it ideal to drink alone or with a drop of water.


Coaster Single Malt Whiskey is produced from malted barley including South Island grown grain. The rich peat and smoke wood used in the barley and oak conditioning process is of West Coast Origin. The whiskey is not chill filtered nor does it contain any colouring.


The Coaster 40%  Single Malt Whiskey Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep Golden Amber

Nose: Grain, smoke and peat notes

Flavour: Full, Rich whiskey, smoky, caramel

Finish: Smooth, Lasting

Bottle Size: 750ml and 50ml


POITIN  Illegal Whiskey "THE STUFF" 40% Alc/Vol

The Story of Poitin...

POITIN is woven into the fabric of Irish culture. It has been distilled illegally for centuries and remains part of everyday country life, but well away from the gardai.

This poitin is handmade in small stills and is faithful to the best traditional barley and treacle recipes of Ireland.

After distillation the neat spirit (150) proof is tamed with treacle juice bringing a little sweetness and colour in to the blend.

Distilled from Malted Barley & Treacle


Old Hokonui Whiskey Liqueur or Moonshine

The famous Old Hokonui label used today appears to be a composite of several moonshiners own labels and its design has been attributed to many including a schoolboy whose father was a local milkman delivering more than just milk and a local newspaper editor with a particular liking for a drop.


 While original McRae Hokonui was never labelled, the term ‘passed all test except the police’ is family legend and the resulting composite label utilising this phrase, along with the skull and crossbones and term ‘Ergo Bibamus’, can be traced to twice convicted Timpany’s distiller Gerald ‘The Major’ Enwright. It is thought that two of his customers, Dr C. Anderson (of Invercargill Hospital) and wool merchant A. Wilson assisted in the clandestine mass production of the label.


This combined label now features on the new Hokonui whiskey. True to McRaes formula the wash is fermented from malted barley, sugar, liquid malt with yeast and water. Also true to tradition is the single 100 gallon copper headed pot still used to produce all Hokonui Whiskey. Special batches are distilled for the museum, while whiskey for the wider market is now finished in Canterbury. May the story continue.


Old Hokonui Whiskey Tasting Notes 


Light with a smokey finish. Simple and smooth.

Traditionally very pale with a distinct whiskey aroma. Very light oaking.

The liqueur is a simple blend of Hokonui Whiskey with wild Southland manuka honey and mint. It is unfiltered and the light haze comes from the pollen content of the honey.


The Southerner Aged Malt Whiskey Liqueur

In the shadow of new Zealand's Alpine peaks Southern Distilling handcrafts a unique Single Malt Whiskey. After extended aging in charred oak casks a portion is selected for Southern Liqueur.


The selected malt whiskey is vatted with Southern grown Mint, a portion of wild Manuka Honey and Tropical Ginger then allowed to age natrually. This ageing is essential for the individual flavours to marry and develop.


The Southerner is an exceptionally smooth and contented liqueur with the hint of honey sweetness and the aroma of wild mint. The liqueur's softness is highlighted by a ginger freshness.


Perfect by itself, delicious over ice with a drop of soda


The Southerner Creme

NZ Malt Whiskey Liqueur blended with cream Wild honey and herbs


The special blend allows the character of the single malt to develop fully into a fine whiskey cream – smooth and rich, with a distinctive whiskey flavour.

New Zealand Southern Distilleries ltd

The MacKenzie 40% Blended Malt Whiskey

The Coaster 40%  Single Malt Whiskey

The Southern Distilling Company Ltd

Stafford Street, Timaru,

Phone: 03 6866515


Please contact the distillery before travelling

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