As regular readers will know, I’ve a bit of a soft spot for Aussie whiskies at the moment. Most of the good stuff is coming from Tasmania – the island made famous by Taz, the Tasmania Devil – including one of my favourite whiskies of recent years, Sullivan’s Cove French Oak. So you’ll imagine my delight when an Aussie friend presented me with a bottle of Overeem whisky has an early wedding present.
Overeem hails from the Old Hobart Distillery, located in the south of the island. It was founded by Casey Overeem, whose passion for distilling was fired when staying with a relative in Norway in the early 1980s, although he’s picked up plenty of tips from the masters of malt after visiting 15 different Scottish distilleries. I took until 2005 to acquire a distilling licence, with production not starting until 2007.
As a family run operation, this is whisky production on a tiny scale, with only one 100-litre barrel filled each week. The majority of casks are reconditioned sherry or port casks which have been cut down to size, but my bottling is from a rare ex-bourbon cask release which resulted in just 170 bottles. And I’m delighted to have a secure a bottle of it, as it’s bloody fantastic!
The nose is very clean, fresh and crisp, mixing grass and green apples, with the combination of malt, vanilla and honey sweetness you’d expect from an ex-bourbon cask. Things really come to life on the palate, with a big hit of icing sugar sweetness at the front, along with a zing of lemony-citrus. Things settle down as the whisky progresses over the palate, but there are still big malt and apple flavours present, along with an earthy bite to finish.
Although I’m recommending the Overeem Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt to try on World Whisky Day, I’ll be honest and admit you might struggle to find it. For those of you who manage though to find a bottle though, you’re in for a right treat!