Cradle Mountain 17 Years Old Pure Tasmanian Malt Whisky

Cradle Mountain 17 Years Old Pure Tasmanian Malt Whisky

$1,400 AUD

43% ABV 700 ml

This was the very last cask filled by The Small Concern Company whilst it still had ownership of the Cradle Mountain brand and was, at the time of bottling, the oldest Tasmanian whisky ever to enter the market. It is a serious piece of Tasmanian whisky history and is now extremely rare.

The new owners of the brand have restyled it Tasmanian Australian Heritage Collection and reiterate that it is said to be Tasmania’s oldest commercially produced single malt. This was aged in barrel 7321 in November 1997 for 17 years and bottled at 43 per cent strength.

Tasting notes: Bright gold. Opening scents of cup cake and shortbread build after several minutes aeration. The second pass emphasises rock lolly (think Castlemaine Rock) with peppermint freshness and barley sugar combined. Final inspection finds hazelnut milk chocolate, salted caramel plus hints of dates added to the aromatic merry-go-round. An engaging, dessert styled sniff. Generous, creamy, rock lolly and barley sugar delivery shows fabulous purity; mid palate accents fruit mince pie and showcases the sweet-yet-fresh malt; excellent persistence and balance; Finish is borderline rum-like as creamy vanilla, cup cake and hay feature in the aftertaste with cocoa, fruit mince pie and a lingering viscous sweetness that you'll be licking off your teeth minutes after the first sip. (Nicks Wine Merchants)

It is a pale straw colour with fresh leather, waxed fruit, perhaps lemon-grass, and hay in the aroma. Very soft body with a smooth palate which is clean-tasting (no doubt deriving in part from the local water).  Fruit-skins, citrus and lemon-grass in the palate.  Fruity acidity in the finish, then a surge of mustard and pepper.

(The late Michael Jackson).

This product is located in Australia.



Cradle Mountain Whisky has a long and colourful past of over 30 years, with several name changes, and variations in shareholdings and locations. The constant element, however, is the Cradle Mountain Whisky brand, which first became popular for a time under the ownership of The Small Concern Whisky Distillery Pty Ltd.

Cradle Mountain claims to be the first commercial whisky distillery in Australia of the new era, dating its foundation at Ulverstone in the Northwest of Tasmania, back to 1989. It was then known as the Darwin Distillery, a creation of Brian Poke, the well-known distilling consultant, who subsequently played a vital role in the distillery’s rebirth nearly 30 years later. The name was changed, briefly, to Franklin Distillery after the local barley strain of that name, before becoming The Small Concern, backed by a few local investors. The company again changed ownership and name when the Lahra family purchased the company “lock stock, websites and barrel”. After a chance tasting of the 17 year old Single Malt whisky while travelling overseas, Joe Lahra, now master distiller of the new era Cradle Mountain, declared that “the whisky was so good we immediately had to buy the company”.

Truth to be told, so good was the early product that in true coals to Newcastle fashion, one of the team of original investors had the temerity to turn up with samples of the spirit at the long-establish Scottish whisky house of Wm. Cadenhead (owned by Springbank Distillery), who quickly pronounced it fit to carry their very distinguished label.  Frankly, this was a remarkable achievement.

That is all in the past and we celebrate here those pioneering days with some of the oldest locally bottled Tasmanian whiskies, plus a selection of the Cadenhead bottlings, the scarcity of which has been enhanced by the Cradle Mountain brand having been relaunched, albeit at its new location in the Tamar Valley, and using new equipment, but undoubtedly continuing the traditions of its original founders.