Whisky-tasting, a new experience in Oamaru

When visiting Oamaru during the holiday season, take a walk through the heritage precinct and drop into the Cellar Door in the Loan & Mercantile building, and catch up on the exciting new areas that have recently been opened.

Whisky connoisseurs will be delighted to find that within the Cellar Door premises there is an area where people can decant their own bottle of whisky. They then seal the cap, and put on the Oamaruvian Whisky label, or if they prefer they can bring their own label to put on, explained manager Debbie Preston.

‘‘The area was set up to coincide with the opening of this year's Heritage Celebrations, and is proving to be a great success,'' she said.

The Oamaru Whisky Company's latest single malt is 24 years old, the year of the first Rugby World Cup, and was launched during this year's Rugby World Cup. It was an unmitigated success, especially with overseas visitors, many of whom were surprised that New Zealand made its own whisky.
The Oamaru Whisky Company has 12 different whiskies - two blended from the Wilson stock, one of which has been finished for four years in red-wine barrels, which gives it a lovely ‘‘red tinge'' and mellow taste. These South Island malts have been aged in barrels for 10, 18 and 21 years - the longer they are in the barrel, the more intense the flavour. ‘‘Whisky is part of the history within the Otago region. It has its own special flavours and having it available here in Oamaru is most exciting!''

The single-malt whisky is still ageing in barrels that are stored in a room in the centre of the building that sits at 8-12deg all year round, the optimum temperature range for ageing. Tasting, decanting and whisky sales are available seven days a week. ‘‘There is always someone in the Cellar Door who can help customers. Drop in during the holiday season and see what is available,'' Debbie concluded.

14-16 Harbour St, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand 

03 434 8842 

Website: http://www.thenzwhisky.com/