Rare Hare Spirits Releases Tasmanian Whiskey: The Tempest


May 9, 2024

Rare Hare Tempest Box

Rare Hare Spirits, the ultra-premium collection of rare and unique whiskies from around the world, announced its latest limited release from the island of Tasmania: “The Tempest.”  

If you didn’t know that Tasmania has a storied history of producing outstanding single malt whiskies, you’re not alone. This small, rugged island south of mainland Australia and east of New Zealand is more renowned for its pristine microclimate and unique wildlife than its distilleries.

But for whiskey aficionados, this island harbors a special secret: it’s a veritable Eden for small batch whiskies. Chances are, you are not going to find a Tasmanian whisky on the back bar of your favorite watering hole or even at your local purveyor of fine spirits. With only a handful of craft producers scattered across the island, the quest for Tasmanian whisky requires exploration. 

Tasmania experienced its own prohibition, from 1830 until the 1990s, stifling all production until a scotch-loving land surveyor, inspired by a fishing trip in the Tasmanian highlands, successfully lobbied the government to reverse the ban. Centuries-old production methods have emerged from hibernation and are now being recognized and awarded at spirits competitions around the globe. 

In its quest to deliver its fourth ultra-premium release, Rare Hare partnered with one of the pioneers of Tasmanian whisky making, the acclaimed Hellyers Road Distillery, one of Australia’s oldest and most revered distilleries. Hellyers Road Distillery is Tasmania’s first single malt whisky producer to emerge during this renaissance, and its aged expressions are only now becoming available in this post-prohibition era. The name “The Tempest” is a nod to Shakespeare’s tale of nature’s power and deliverance. 

The Tempest is smooth and mellow yet delivers a tour de force of flavors and a long finish to savor. It is the embodiment of Tasmania’s temperate maritime climate, where hot summers, short cold winters, abundant sunshine, and low humidity create the perfect storm for producing exceptional single malt whiskey. 

Hellyers Road Distillery employs a centuries-old pot still distillation process that spans three days, followed by a secondary slow still distillation to yield a whisky of unparalleled quality and character. The air currents that bring rain to Tasmania’s western shores originate in Antarctica, traveling thousands of miles across the open ocean before reaching the island.

The resulting water source is akin to soft rainwater, a unique characteristic not found in other regions producing single malt whiskies. The malt and barley used to create this small batch elixir are locally sourced and benefit from the rich soil and unique Tasmanian climate.

While most Tasmanian whiskies are aged in small barrels to accelerate maturation, Hellyers Road Distillery aged this whisky for seventeen years in standard-size bourbon casks, and then aged it for another three years in port casks. 

Rare Hare’s Tempest will retail at $999 and is available for purchase online at RareHareSpirits.com and purveyors of fine spirits nationwide.