Big break for whiskey distillery

Patsy Bass says the selection is a huge honour. Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes
Patsy Bass says the selection is a huge honour. Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes
A West Coast tipple is the first in New Zealand to sign a multi-year contract to supply whisky to Edinburgh's Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Reefton Distilling Co, known for its award-winning gin, vodka and liquor ranges, has signed an initial three-year deal to supply casks of its Moonlight Creek single malt whisky to the Scottish organisation.

The society purchases individual casks from more than 150 malt whisky distilleries globally, bottles them and retails directly to its 40,000 members - Reefton Distilling Co is the first New Zealand distillery to be included in the organisation's offerings.

Distillery chief executive Patsy Bass said the selection was a huge honour.

"It highlights the quality of the new-make spirit we are crafting and exporting to the world, and we look forward to developing a long-term, successful relationship with the society and its members around the world," she said.

Bass said the whisky would be matured at the society's casks at their bonded warehouses in Scotland, with some also to be matured in Reefton, to allow them to compare how spirit develops at each location.

Each cask will yield a limited number of bottles, which will be released by the society under their own label exclusively to their members, she said.

The locally-grown barley and the West Coast climate, where the abundant rain levels result in plenty of clear water, play a role in producing fine whisky, she said.

Reefton's climate was comparable to Scotland and therefore ideal for maturing whisky.

The first batch of the Moonlight Creek single malt whisky was being prepared to leave New Zealand this month.