Dec 2 2013

Aged Rye Whisky released

Tasting notes by Nicks Wine Merchants

Belgrove Distillery 100% Rye Whisky (500ml)
ABV: 42.00%

Peter’s rye whisky has now spent several years in barrels ranging in size from 50 litres to 200 litres. This is his inaugural release, along with a cask strength version. The whiskies have not been chill filtered.

Tasting note: [Batch bottled 2.9.2013] Bright gold appearance. Immediately appealing and distinctive with its dill / pickle opening scents. Second pass offers chamomile tea, hints of boiled lolly, cedary oak and peppermint. A light, silky entry follows through to a super smooth and quite delicate profile featuring medium dry flavours of chamomile tea, sour dough bread and unusual notes of dill and caraway. Dry, mildly tannic finish. Aftertaste is subtle but shows good length. 42% Alc./Vol. ”

Belgrove Distillery 100% Rye Cask Strength Whisky (500ml)

ABV: 59.00%

Tasting note: [Batch bottled 14.8.2013] Bright gold appearance is flawless and pure. Subdued at first. Subsequent sniffs build the aromatic intensity revealing semi sweet scents of honeycomb and peppermint. Second pass finds unusual ‘green’ notes (dill / sweet mustard pickle?) then the honeycomb / peppermint returns. What a sensational mouthfeel – the balance is quite something. A gently bittersweet delivery opens before filling out with flavours of sponge cake, followed by more intense, mildly bitter mustard seed-like notes. The sponge cake sweetness recovers and closes the profile, finishing intense, warming and mildly tannic at the fade. Rye seems to have a remarkably diverse repertoire – this is one of its more unorthodox expressions, though none the worse for that. 59% Alc./Vol.

Winespider Evaluation: Spirit

Nose:Aroma 9 , Intensity 9
Palate: Concentration 9 ,Complexity 9 ,Length 9
Alcohol: Mouthfeel 10 ,Reduction 8
Finish: Balance 10, Aftertaste 9
Faults 10

Score: 94 points

May 15 2012

Tasting notes by Julia Nourney, international spirits judge

Tasting notes by Julia Nourney, Germany,  international spirits judge

Belgrove White Rye 40% abv

Nose-   Grainey, dried fruit, spicey—very typical

Taste-   Peppery, slightly smokey (surprisingly)Dried mango,
dried berries, dough, creamy mouthfeel
Molasses in the aftertaste

Great taste! Stunning!

Could expect an even better taste with a bit of wood

Barrel aged Rye, 8 months 50 litre barrel 57% abv

Nose-  ripe apple, toffee, crème brulee, bitter orange peel

Taste-   Bitter grapefruit, nougat, creamy, toffee, hazelnut,
dried plum, slightly spicey

With water it develops more creamy, nutty, nougat, more spicey, lots of dried fruit

Recommendation: Transfer for the last ageing period to a more or less neutral cask. For ageing and oxidation.

Feb 8 2012

Rye Cocktails

These two cocktail recipes are by a member of the New York Bar Tenders Guild

Tasmanian Julep
60 ml. Belgrove White Rye
15 ml. Demerara or simple syrup (1:1 sugar:water)
4-5 mint stalks

Put syrup, rye, and 8-10 mint leaves into a rocks or julep glass. Muddle gently, just to release the oils. Fill with crushed ice, mounded over top of glass. Insert 2 mint stalks into ice. Insert drinking straw into ice next to mint. (Make sure drinking straw is cut so that your nose is immersed in the mint while drinking.)

Belgrove Sour
60 ml. Belgrove White Rye
22.5 ml. fresh lemon juice
22.5 ml. Demerara or simple syrup (Demerara is better)
1 egg white

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice and shake for 30 seconds to emulsify. (This is called a dry shake.) Fill shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

Jonathan M. Forester


These comments are from a “mixologist” at the Henry Jones Art Hotel Tasmania

I’ve had a small chance to have a bit of a play with your
fantastic spirit, but what it created was fantastic.

I used it in two absolute classics cocktails, the
“Manhattan”, and the “Old Fashioned”.

The Manhattan is a classic American cocktail created at
the turn of the Prohibition, using bourbon whiskey (preferably a Rye Bourbon
whiskey), sweet red vermouth, a couple dashes of bitters, stirred over ice and
strained into a glass, garnished with a slice of orange rind and a marachinno

Never having used a full Rye whiskey before, it was a
fantastic twist on the classic, one of which I could probably prefer more than
the classic.

Secondly the Old fashioned (My Favourite). I found that
with a couple tastings that cinnamon reacts really well with the Rye, so on
that discovery, the old fashioned is made with a generous double nip of Rye
Whiskey, cinnamon sugar syrup, a couple dashes of bitters, stirred continuously
over ice and garnished with a burnt orange rind.

This was my particular favourite, and in excitement I
handed it around the bar to a couple customers for their opinion, and to their
delight, it was their favourite too.

I would love to take this product on board and put it on
the cocktail list, its has great potential to create some fantastic drinks – as
well as appreciated on the rocks, or preferably neat.

If you could send me a conformation email that you have
received this email, next weekend I will get one of my staff members filming me
making both of the drinks and I will send you a copy.

Thank you again peter for allowing me the opportunity to
taste your whiskey, its a fantastic product, and I wish a world of abundance
for its growth.

Kindest Regards,

Jake Snepvangers

Oct 11 2011

“GREENEST” distillery

Dominic Roscrow who writes for Whisky Magazine and Malt Advocate, visited my distillery earlier this week.

Does anyone know of another one?

That got me thinking, do I have the “greenest” distillery in existence?
I mean “green” in the context of the lowest amount of fossil fuel carbondioxide released per litre of alcohol produced
Any comments would be appreciated.

95 % of my energy comes from BIOFUEL made from WASTE fryer oil that I collect from a roadhouse next to my farm (renewable energy) and (minimal freight “food miles”)
The other 5% energy is Hydro electricity (renewable)
I grow and harvest the grain within half a Km of my distillery (minimal freight)
I grow ryecorn, which unlike most other grains, requires very little fertiliser or irrigation (avoiding contamination of waterways)
No insecticides or fungicides are used on the rye (no chemical contamination)
I use minimum tillage and trash retention  (sustainable farming)(locking up carbon in soil)
Tractor and truck fuel is biodiesel from fryer.
Spent mash is fed to my livestock (minimal freight) (nutrient recycling)
I malt my own grain and use it “green”. This saves a lot of energy because of no kilning.(reduced carbon emissions)
All cooling water is recycled or used for irrigation (don’t waste precious water)
All distillery water is captured on my farm. No government infrastructure.(no chemical additives, minimal pumping energy)
Waste heat capture and reuse is gradually being improved.
Except for my still and my tractor, most of my equipment is second hand. I believe it is generally accepted that most older second hand equipment has had its manufacturing carbon footprint already written off  (small carbon footprint)
My distillery is in an abandoned horse stable that needed very little modification (small carbon footprint for construction)

Sep 27 2011

Feedback from “Master of Malt” UK

N: Rich, very spicy, but with a sweet and slightly vegetal edge which leaves you in no

doubt that this is new-make. Hint of fresh-paint volatility too.

P: Initially very creamy mouthfeel, viscous. Good quality spirit.

An initial burst of Rye Spice subsides very quickly and develops into fresh

fruit and grape skins.

F: Spiciness (and earthiness) build exponentially to an absolutely enormous finish

complete with Cinnamon, Clove and more than a hint of paraffin-smoke.

O: Robust, and incredibly earthy. Whilst a far cry from the smooth,

spicy and voluptuous Ryes we know and love, this is definitely one of the more

complex new-make spirits I’ve tried. A must-have for anyone who’s a hardcore Rye fan.

We’d definitely take a case or two if it came into the UK.


Aug 23 2011

New York tasting

From: JMForester

Sent: Tuesday, 23 August 2011 10:18 PM

To: Peter Bignell

Subject: RE: Jonathan Forester from ADI

Pete- I tasted it to folks at the guild meeting yesterday. Some of the top bartenders and spirits folks in NYC. They LOVED it.
When I get a chance I am going to go meet up with a friend who is an award winning bartender and let him play with it in cocktails. I will get back to you with some suggestions.

Jun 16 2011

Media Spotlight – ABC

Rye whisky takes off on fish and chip oil
By Flint Duxfield from Hobart , TAS

Thursday, 23/09/2010

You’ve heard of making water into wine, but what about making whisky using old fish and chip oil?

That’s a challenge one Tasmanian farmer has taken up by building Australia’s first biodiesel-powered rye whisky still.

Peter Bignell has been growing rye for several years as a windbreak on his strawberry farm at Kempton in southern Tasmania.

After spending some time working on a nearby distillery, he decided to start brewing his own rye whisky.

After a quick welding lesson from a friend and a plan from a local still maker, Peter built his own still from scratch.

As well as being the only rye whisky still in the country, Peter’s operation will also produce some of the least carbon-intensive whisky in Australia.

The still is powered entirely on biodiesel which Peter makes himself from old fish and chip oil he collects from takeaway shops in Hobart.

Click on the video or audio link to hear Peter’s story. 

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Link to full article

Jun 15 2011

First Batch

All bottled up!

Jun 15 2011

Tasting Notes

Tasting notes – Nicks Wine Merchants – Melb

Belgrove Distillery White Rye New Spirit (11-5-2011 Distillation)

Crystal clear, silvery, slightly glycerous appearance. Initial nosings are captivating, fruity at first, then turning sweet gherkin-like. Aeration brings forward  sweet, crusty rye bread top note along with roast chestnut and a hint of toffee apple. A very inviting new make nose. The palate is gently spicy and more keenly grainy with an almost chewy texture (tastes faintly peaty). Finishes like quality fresh rye bread with with the crusty rye character re-asserting itself in the long, clean, dry aftertaste. Auspicious beginnings. 40% Alc./Vol. 

92 points

Read the full review here

May 10 2011

Media Spotlight – The Mercury

It brings a rye smile

GRAEME PHILLIPS   |   May 10, 2011 12.00am   |

YOU’VE probably seen him at events like Hobart’s Wooden Boat Festival. He’s the man who makes those amazing sand sculptures.

He is also the man who so beautifully restored the old water mill at Nant in Bothwell. And, until the drought hit, he used to grow and sell about two million strawberry runners to all parts of Australia each year.

He also collects waste cooking oil from a few cafes, puts it through a home-made Heath-Robinson set-up and turns it into bio-diesel to run all his farm vehicles, home central heating and hot water.

Most recently, he built himself a 500-litre copper pot still and has become Tasmania’s and, as far as I can tell, Australia’s first producer of rye whisky using the only home-made, bio-diesel-powered still in the country.

You could say Peter Bignell is a most talented and versatile man. And his rye whisky is, for me at least, a knockout.

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