By Emma Briones
Hellyers Road is one of the distilleries in the up and coming Australian whisky scene. The distillery, located in the north-west of Tasmania, produces the best-selling locally crafted Australian whisky and exports over 20 countries.
Founded in 1999 by a group of dairy farmers, nowadays it produces 8 regular expressions and 3 limited editions. The distillery honors the explorer and cartographer Henry Hellyer because, as he, the farmers also have the patience and tenacity to persevere.
Hellyers Road Slightly Peated is made by using local malted barley though, to give the spirit a peaty touch, they use an intriguing method. Hellyers Road imports peated grain from Inverness that they later distill. Afterwards, they immediately distill the Tasmanian barley, so it can pick the peaty flavors. It has been aged in ex-bourbon barrels. It is non-chill-filtered and it has been bottled at 46.2% ABV (92.4 proof).
Hellyers Road Slightly Peated is straw-colored in the glass with long tears. On the nose, it is light and sweet, with some butterscotch and vanilla notes. The aromas are classic Hellyers, with strong hints of pears in syrup and a gentle touch of orange zest. Afterwards, hints of the gentle smoke blended with toasted malt notes.
On the palate, is fresh with a light body. Again, we find some sweet classic Hellyers notes. There are vanilla and little hints of honey, followed by notes of pears in syrup and a gentle touch of orange zest. Later there is a spicy touch with nutmeg and ginger notes, followed by a peppery touch that finishes with a pleasant smoky touch. The smokiness continues at the end of the dram, with a finish that is short and light.
Hellyers Road Slightly Peated is an easy whisky with some touches of smoke. It is fresh, a little complex and smooth. It is a nice dram that highlights its spicier touch leaving the peat in the background. Though it reminds Hellyers Road Original Roaring Forties, it lacks a little bit of the latter’s character. There are better whiskies to look for in its price range (and also smokier ones).
In the UK it’s retailed around £70, with prices in the rest of Europe going from €71 to €85 depending on the country. You may find it in the US for $86, in Australia, it is priced around A$65.