Aviation and whisky do not typically go hand-in-hand, but at Launceston Distillery they are intertwined. The distillery resides in Hangar 17, the former Ansett facility at Launceston Airport in Northern Tasmania, and is a fully functioning malt whisky distillery in the Scottish tradition. Its location makes it a natural gateway to the Tasmanian Whisky Trail if you are starting in the North, or the last place to visit if you are exiting the island through Launceston Airport.
Launceston Distillery was the initiative of a group of entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds, including former brewers and distillers. They have a clear vision of producing only whisky whilst reflecting the rich aviation heritage of their location as part of the visitor experience. An open floor plan allows the Head Distiller’s Highland terrier, Angus, to scour the hangar while production is running at full capacity. Chris Condon has a background in pharmaceuticals but then turned his attention to brewing (at Boag’s – where else) and ultimately to distilling, becoming founding distiller at Nant (from 2008 to 2011) before returning to his hometown to help found Launceston Distillery.
Launceston whisky is a handcrafted, small batch product using traditional ingredients and experienced craftsmanship. Everything happens under the roof of Hangar 17 – even the maturation. This is single malt whisky which has been matured in Bourbon or Australian port and sherry casks and reduced to 46% ABV although there are also occasional special releases at cask strength.