The Australian whisky industry needs no introduction. Its distilleries and bottlings are consistently winning awards and accolades around the world. Much has been written about Bill Lark and his efforts so many years ago to have Tasmanian legislation amended and to set out on the journey that, ultimately, has led to the vibrant and dynamic industry which now exists.
But in distilling the Australian whisky industry into words, attention naturally focuses on the distilleries, because this is where the action is at. This is where the whisky is being made; it’s where the whiskies are crafted and matured; it’s the story of adversity, hard yakka, passionate individuals, and – eventually – bottled spirit.
Notwithstanding this, the Australian industry has grown to a stage where it can now sustain a number of independent bottlers. These are the enterprising types who acquire the casks of whisky from the distillery and then bottle it under their own label. But if there is one enterprising person who has risen above the pack and forged completely new ground (let alone a whole new way of thinking), it is surely Tim Duckett – the man behind Heartwood.