Monday 29 October 2012

Tasted #1: Hellyers Rd (Tasmania, Australia) - Original and Peated

Hellyers Rd - Original and Peated
Hellyers Road Distillery, based in Tasmania, Australia, bill themselves as "Australia's largest distiller of Australian single malt whisky". Part of a growing and highly praised Australian whisky industry, Hellyers Road (like a lot of other Tasmanian distilleries) produce a number of whiskies, liquers and even vodka.

It's the whisky we're here to taste today though - specifically the "Original" and "Peated" varieties.

It could be said that the bottles, labels (and names for that matter) aren't the most original, but consistency has to count for something, and besides - it's what's inside that counts right? So on with the tasting...

Original (46.2% ABV, 700mL, $80.50AUD)
I've always found Australian whiskies to have a unique taste. It's hard to put my finger on, and it's not something I've ever noticed in whiskies from any other region (except NZ), but it's a sweet, distinctive taste which (to me at least) instantly identifies an Aussie whisky. Coconut perhaps? Anyway, to me Hellyers Rd has that taste in spades (not dissimilar to the standard offerings from other Australian distilleries like Lark and Sullivans Cove).

The ABV content feels spot on - not overpowering, but not underwhelming either. A nicely balanced, easy-drinking whisky. If you've never tried Australian whisky before (and I suggest you do!), it would be an excellent place to start.

Rating: 88/100.

Peated (46.2% ABV, 700mL, $86AUD)
The Peated variety, on the other hand, has none of the standard "Australian" taste mentioned above. It's almost like they've taken out that taste (whatever it is), and replaced it with smoke/peat. Not to an overpowering extent, but peat is definitely the dominant characteristic.

I found this one to have a relatively short finish, unlike some Islay peat monsters which can linger around long after the dram is gone. If you enjoy a cigar with your whisky, this would be a match made in heaven (Dalmore's Cigar Malt Reserve was actually developed with a particularly short finish to allow it to be enjoyed with a cigar. I found this somewhat similar.)

If you're a fan of Islay whiskies (which I very much am), you'll probably really enjoy this. It's the right balance of flavour, smoke, and it's great to see an Aussie distillery mixing it up a bit.

Rating: 92/100.

 - Martin.


  1. I figured if I were to leave a comment I'd start at the very beginning. Fantastic site by the way, particularly enjoying the Australian/Tasmanian/Burnie whisky reviews. Have you tried the new Hellyers Road 12 year old? myself and my co-whisky writer at Whisky Waffle, Ted are going along to the official launch tomorrow night and are really excited about the tasting it!
    =D - Nick
    Whisky Waffle

    1. Hi Nick, thanks for getting in touch! Glad you like the site - slick site you've got yourself. Haven't tried the 12yo HR, but I do have a bottle of single cask HR (released for the Australian military) on the way, which I'm keen to try!