Introducing New Zealand’s Cardrona Distillery

Famous for its jaw dropping film sets, warming hospitality and now, its impressive small batch spirits, what isn’t there to love about New Zealand!

We recently got introduced to The Cardrona Distillery, who are producing quite simply, the most exquisite single malt whisky, gin, vodka and liqueurs.

The distillery is set in the snow-capped Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island in a place called the Cardrona Valley, which makes this one of the world’s most southerly distilleries.

In 2015, former farmer turned distiller, Desiree Reid, built her modern distillery at the foot of Mount Cardrona for its unspoilt tranquillity, crisp clean air and the availability of superb quality local ingredients, perfect for foraging across the seasons. But most importantly, it gave her access to the crystal clear, mineral rich waters of New Zealand’s highest alpine pass for production.

With the opportunity to start the distilling process from scratch, Desiree has settled for nothing but the very best in every aspect of production. The barley varietal was carefully chosen, as was the mill used to grind it. The five copper stills were imported from specialist suppliers around the world. A particular pick of seasoned oak casks were selected for maturation: ex-Pinot noir from New Zealand, ex-Oloroso from Jerez and ex-Bourbon from Kentucky. Each spirit is lovingly hand-bottled and labelled, designed and packaged with originality and luxury in mind.

Now with her incredibly talented team, the distillery creates award-winning products that ooze quality, character and charm. Lovely stuff!

Here’s what they produce:

The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky

‘Just Hatched Solera’: a special natural cask strength bottling marking the momentous occasion of reaching three years old. A marriage of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, revealing Cardrona’s underlying character of borage flower honey, vanilla and spice. 350ml, 64.4% ABV.

‘Growing Wings Solera’: a natural, cask strength celebration of five years in oak, bringing together whisky matured in select ex-Oloroso Sherry butts and ex-bourbon barrels. Notes of Pecan pie, loaded with treacle and vanilla bean clotted cream. 350ml, 65.6% ABV, natural cask strength

The Reid Single Malt Vodka

The best vodka you will ever taste, The Reid is a rich, luxurious vodka that took gold at the World’s Best 50 International Awards in New York). Delicately nuanced with notes of pear drops, lemon, toffee and malt biscuits, weighted and balanced. Exquisite neat, with water, or mixed into a crafted cocktail. 700ml, 44% ABV.

The Source Gin

Multi award winning ‘The Source’ Gin is forged by the four seasons that blow through the Cardrona Valley, Southern Alps, New Zealand. A natural mix of locally foraged rosehip, together with traditional juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, lemon and orange zest, vapour-distilled into our Single Malt Spirit. Non-chill filtered, 700ml, 47% ABV

Rose Rabbit small batch single malt liqueurs

Orange: hand-made with New Zealand orange peel macerated in rich Cardrona un-aged Single Malt spirit, perfect neat, over ice or mixed into a classic cocktail. 700ml, 47.1% ABV.

Elderflower: Wild Central Otago Elderflower from the Southern Alps of New Zealand, hand-picked by our Cardrona team, has been married with our rich Single Malt Spirit and lemon. Top with bubbles for the perfect refreshing cocktail. 700ml, 41.7% ABV. Butterscotch: made using a secret family recipe, decadently sweet, with toasty, buttery notes married with robust Cardrona single malt. 700ml, 43.8% ABV.

Watch this space, I predict BIG things for these guys!

Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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