PROFILE: Black Gate Distillery, Mendooran

Mendooran’s Black Gate Distillery is a boutique operation which was established by husband and wife team Brian and Genise Hollingworth in 2009.

The first of its kind in Central West NSW, the distillery has a tranquil bushland setting where a range of Single Malt Whisky and Dark Rum is made using traditional methods and high quality ingredients.

Producing 3000 litres of whisky and 1000 litres of rum annually, the original intention of the Black Gate Distillery was to use 100 litre Sherry and Port barrels, filled with malt spirit and peated post malting using a smoker made from an old Ajax wool press.

There was a shift to heavily peated spirit production a couple of years ago and the distillery is now moving to larger format, 200 litre ex-Bourbon barrels. The early rums were done in 100 litre Port and Sherry barrels and 230 litre Port barrels and are moving to 230 litre Shiraz barrels.

Direct-fired copper pot stills of 630 litre and 300 litre capacity are used to produce spirits that are on the richer end of the flavour spectrum in a climate conducive to aggressive spirit maturation.

The Black Gate Distillery does not use filtering, colouring or additives in its product, using integrity and transparency to let the spirits speak for themselves.

The company relishes its accessibility for tourists and celebrates their ability to provide locally-made spirits to their customers.

They sell to small bars and independent bottle shops around Australia as well as to the general public either online or through market days and events. World Whisky Day is marked annually with an onsite event.

So far, they have featured in a range of specialist publications including Gourmet Traveller, Country Style magazine and the Australian Spirits Guide along with articles in the Financial Review and Land newspaper.

In the future, they aim to continue producing quality spirits and to meet ongoing demand.