Hellyers Road 21 Year Old Single Cask
October 2023

Hellyers Road 21 Year Old Single Cask

Hellyers Road has released the oldest official bottling of an Australian single cask to date with this extraordinary 21 Year Old Single Cask, bottled at natural cask strength of 62.4% ABV, in a milestone achievement for Australian whisky. 


Colour Light butterscotch

Nose An abundance of tropical fruit and citrus. Grapefruit and marmalade lean into vanilla custard, light spice and a soft nuttiness.

Palate Orange blossom with those delicious tropical fruits again dominating, lychee, pineapple and dragon fruit alongside thick butterscotch and a malt undertone.

Finish Showcasing its length of time in cask, this is decadently long and sublime, with ginger snaps, vanilla cream and white chocolate with a balance of aged ripe fruits.


Fine-tuning the art of the single malt whisky since 1999, Hellyers Road Distillery are no stranger to an impressive age statement. And this October, their 21 Year Old Single Cask is coming to the Club – so you can have your very own slice of this remarkable historic milestone from the oldest continually operating whisky distillery in the country.

Fully matured in American Oak cask (number #2157.05) and filled on 6th June 2002, this single malt was distilled by one of the founders of the modern Australian whisky industry before Australian whisky was even a thing, hot on the heels of Lark and Sullivans Cove.

A little over two decades later, cask #2157.05 was bottled non-chill filtered with natural colour at its impressive natural cask strength of 62.4% ABV. In testament to its extraordinary years in cask, this single malt is smoother than silk and positively bursting with flavour. First on the nose are delicious aromas of marmalade and vanilla custard. Then take a sip to reveal the tropical fruits and orange blossom that simply rupture out of the glass, alongside waves of thick butterscotch and soft nuttiness. A decadently long and creamy finish completes the phenomenal tasting experience, showcasing the age and balance of this fine dram. 


"First, the juice in 2157.05 is absolutely delicious, and I understand why this cask was set aside early during its life for longer maturation. I am very fortunate to be beneficiary of the foresight from Pokes and Halpin who earmarked casks for extensive maturation early on, allowing us to live up to our position as Australia’s oldest continually operating whisky distillery.

2157.05 was laid down on June 6 2002, and has matured beautifully in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels for over 21 years and 2 months. The liquid is remarkably bright for a whisky of this age, and incredibly delicate for a cask strength expression at 62.4%."

-Fiona Coutts, Head Distiller (acting), Hellyers Road Distillery 


This is an amazing achievement for Australian whisky and such a collectable piece of Tasmanian whisky history. In honour of this, Hellyers Road has appropriately encased their showpiece in none other than precious Tasmanian timber boxes, hand-crafted in Northern Tasmania by Master Woodworker Rob van Tholen. Huon Pine, Myrtle and Celery Top Pine are seamlessly formed together, with a secret locking mechanism cleverly hidden in the design to keep your treasured single cask safe (and instructions on how to open it).

Historically significant age statement whiskies don’t blow in every day, especially not one with such strong attention to detail in its making. When Sullivans Cove first released their “former oldest Australian whisky” it was $1800 and can now be found on the secondary market for upwards of $5,000, solidifying the significance of Australia’s founding whiskies distilleries. At $1,350 for 700ml, the Hellyers Road 21 Year Old Single Cask is an absolute steal. 

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Price: $1,350.00

Age: 21 Years Old

ABV: 62.4%

Maturation: American oak Single Cask

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Hellyers Road's History

As far as distillery histories go, Hellyers Road’s is one of the most charming. The distillery was established in 1999 by a group of whisky-mad dairy farming families from the wild and windswept northwest of Tasmania, and today remains firmly and very proudly in the hands of these same families. The story actually begins way back in 1956 when the previous generation gathered to talk business. Faced with the typical challenges of dairy farming, these hard-working generational men and women of the land wanted greater control over the pricing and distribution of their milk. The discussions culminated in the sensible conclusion that strength lies in unity, and the formation of the Betta Milk Cooperative, now Tasmania’s leading milk producer.

All was well (as well as it can be with dairy farming of course) until 1994 when Australia’s Dairy Industry was deregulated. Faced with the new challenges and uncertainty presented by the open market, the Betta Milk families did what all good farmers do and diversified. Except instead of following conventional wisdom and going into things like cropping or meat they took a massive leap of faith left-field and made single malt whisky… and it’s paying off in spades. 

Located in prime dairy farming country on the North West Tasmanian coast, Hellyers Road Distillery was named after Henry Hellyer, a legendary surveyor from the Van Diemen’s Land Company who made his name mapping northern Tasmania. His greatest achievement, other than having a distillery named after him of course, was digging out the Old Surrey Road – an enormous job with a handful of men and only the most basic tools. And you’ve guessed it, Hellyers Road Distillery is located on Hellyer’s very own Old Surrey Road. 

The first spirit flowed through the Hellyers Road stills 22 years ago on January 29, 1999 and seven years later in 2006 the first whisky was bottled. A lot changes in 14 years and as far as a good punt goes, the decision to make whisky has been as good as gold because today the Tasmanian whisky industry couldn’t possibly be in a better place. 

But it wasn’t always so rosy. Back in 1838 Tasmania was home to no fewer than 16 legal distilleries and countless illegal ones, and with a growing population of thirsty locals the industry boomed. At least it did up until the point Lady Jane Franklin, wife of Tasmanian Governor John Franklin, said “I would prefer barley be fed to pigs, than it be used to turn men into swine”. Needless to say, Tasmania ended up with a lot of happy pigs and no shortage of bacon, but sadly no more local whisky after Lady Jane had her way and laws were introduced that forced the closure of all Tasmanian distilleries at the time. 

The drought was broken in 1991 when a chap by the name of Bill Lark went trout fishing in Tasmania’s Highlands with his father-in-law, Max. Enjoying a dram in a park in Bothwell, Bill questioned why nobody was making whisky in Tasmania – after all, not only is the climate perfect, but there’s also an abundance of crystal-clear water, locally grown barley and peat bogs. It just seemed logical. So, Bill being Bill set out to have a go, but upon applying for a license discovered Lady Jane’s law was still in place. Undaunted he contacted his local MP, the law was abolished, and Lark Distillery was formed in 1992, paving the way for the Australian whisky industry as we know it. Hot on the heels of Lark came Small Concern Distillery (1992), Sullivans Cove (1994) and Hellyers Road. 

Together these distilleries forged ahead and were joined along the way by others including Nant, Overeem, Belgrove and McHenry, and in recent years Old Kempton, Shene, Spring Bay, Fannys Bay, Adams, Launceston and Killara to name only a few of the sixty or so (that’s more than Speyside!) distilleries that make Tasmania the whisky isle of the South. 

Tasmania has become a whisky region in itself, the name being used in the same breath as the long-established Scotch regions like Speyside and Islay, and there’s been no shortage of awards either – with Sullivans Cove, Belgrove, Lark, Overeem, Nant and of course Hellyers Road all achieving international accolades. 

Today Hellyers Road Distillery is not only Australia’s biggest selling local whisky but can be found all across Europe, as well as Japan, China and the United States. In 2017 it was named Tasmania’s Exporter of the Year.

Of course, as a fledgling industry, the recognition that comes from winning major international awards is a massive boost and Hellyers Road is no stranger to the podium. Awards include being named Australia’s Best Whisky in 2010 by the Malt Whisky Society of Australia, Best New-World Whisky at Whisky Live Paris in 2013 while the Slightly Peated scooped up both Gold and Champion Single Malt status at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, a Gold at the 2018 World Whisky Awards, Best Australian Single Cask at the 2020 World Whisky Awards and most recently following that up with Category Winner for Australian Single Malt, No Age Statement with the Hellyers Road Henry's Legacy Freestone Cove at the 2021 World Whisky Awards.

Topping it all off, Visitor Centre manager Sharon Dean was named a ‘World Whisky Icon’ for her outstanding work at the distillery. One of the original team members, Sharon has seen the distillery’s Visitor Centre grow from a few thousand visitors a year to becoming one of Tasmania’s most popular tourism destinations with over 40,000 visitors a year, many making the pilgrimage from overseas to visit the home of their favourite malt.

In 2019 the Betta Milk Cooperative sold the milk side of the company off, to be able to completely focus on and expand the Hellyers Road Single Malt brand.

Mark Littler, former CEO and Master Distiller, has had a long history with The Whisky Club, being one of our very first Members, and created a series of historic and fanatically popular malts specially for his fellow Members over the years. Our March 2021 malt, Hellyers Road Aged 16 Years Pinot Noir Cask Finish, was his very last project at Hellyers and needless to say holds a very special place in the Club's hearts and whisky shelves.

One of the biggest distilleries in Australia, Hellyers Road has been at the centrepiece of Australian whisky since the first spirit was laid down in 1999. With a capacity of 120,000L when they first started, they were able to hit the ground running and put down a constant stream of casks in those early years. Their trademark fruity notes and rich malt characteristics are two of the many reasons Hellyers Road is the biggest-selling Australian whisky. 

Using predominantly Tasmanian barley, malted just down the road at the local malting house at Joe White, they import a very small amount of peated barley from Scotland to help with the production of their peated products. 

Hellyers Road Distillery boasts not only the biggest stills in Australia, but their stills are also actually bigger than any currently in Scotland. The size of these stills helps give Hellyers Road a unique and distinctive flavour profile that works extremely well in the heavily charred ex-Bourbon casks they use to mature their whisky in for the better part of its life. With less reflux in their massive still, the spirit has been designed to spend a longer time in cask than most Australian whiskies. As a result of this, Hellyers Road sits on the largest aged stock of whisky in the country.

Hellyers Road 21 Year Old Single Cask Hellyers Road 21 Year Old Single Cask

Distillery Facts

Region: Tasmania

Origin: 153 Old Surrey Rd, Havenview TAS 7320

Founded: 1999

Water Source: Romaine Dam

Stills: 1 wash and 1 spirit

Capacity: 120,000 litres per annum

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