NZ Whisky chief executive Greg Ramsay said distilleries in New Zealand were “now popping up all over,” in stark contrast to the rather dire situation a few decades ago when there only a couple of larger producers. By 1997, we had none. He believed that New Zealanders were following the world wide trend of taking more interest in high-quality whisky.
New Zealand last year became the first nation outside Japan and Europe to mature and release a 25-year-old single malt whisky. Ramsay said “we are so grateful for the international support of the world’s whisky community over the last four years, which has given us the confidence to launch our 25-year-old. We are already humbled by the pre-orders and glowing feedback of those who have taken their first sips.”
The New Zealand Whisky Company is planning on starting distilling early in 2015. Thomson Distillery is up and running, and recently produced probably the world’s first manuka smoked whisky. New Zealand whiskies have done well at recent international awards and, when it comes to food and drink, Kiwis seem to have lost their “cultural cringe” reaction that foreign products must necessarily be better. Instead, more are embracing the chance to drink locally and that can only be good news for our recently resurgent whisky sector.