Morris whiskies

The exquisite flavours of Morris Whisky come from the same barrels which have held internationally award-winning fortified wines, lending them a truly special flavour profile. Our exclusive release Morris Tokay Barrel was awarded Double Gold medal at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, an unheard-of debut for an Australian whisky. Join the Club now and don’t miss out on the next exclusive Morris whisky.

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Morris Whisky’s History:

North-Eastern Victoria has long been considered Australia’s capital of fortified wine. It all started with the influx of people to the banks of the mighty Murray River in the 1850s for the Gold Rush. Gold mining’s thirsty work, so it didn’t take long for the lush, rolling hills around the town of Rutherglen to be filled with vines, and today there are 17 wineries in the area. One of them, Morris, was started by the eponymous family in 1859, and six generations on it’s in the hands of head wine maker David Morris and is one of the world’s most acclaimed fortified wine producers. 

With a population of just over 2,000, Rutherglen takes its name from a town just outside of Glasgow in Scotland, so it’s only fitting that whisky be made there. Of course, it helps that the climate is perfect for aging whisky, with hot summer days and cool nights helping the casks work their magic. The endless supply of pure, filtered water from the Snowy Mountains is also a bonus. 

In 2016, Morris of Rutherglen set up their own whisky distillery at the winery. While Morris Whisky is one of the newer kids on the block, the distillery is also one that combines over 160 years of tradition, a unique vintage still, ancient fortified casks and some of the most experienced whisky makers in the country to create a truly Australian whisky.

As luck would have it, Morris just happens to have one of the oldest copper stills in the country. Built in the 1930s by Whitehill Limited in Adelaide it was installed where it sits today in 1941. A copper hybrid pot/column still, it was originally used to distil spirit for the fortified wines but had sat dormant for decades. In 2016, the still was reawakened and modified for whisky production. Following the restoration, it was named Aurora, after the princess in Sleeping Beauty.

Aurora has recently been joined by a sister still, also made in the 1930s and almost an identical twin, just a quarter inch or so smaller in diameter. Found languishing in a sister winery that Morris owns, it’s been given the love it needed and aptly been named Ella, after Cinderella.

A pair of Scottish industry legends were brought in to oversee the construction of the distillery, along with Aurora’s recommissioning; the late Dr Jim Swan, known as the ‘Einstein of Whisky’, and John McDougall whose CV shows 25 years’ experience at distilleries like Balvenie, Laphroaig and Springbank. Head Distiller is Darren Peck, possibly the most experienced person in the international drinks industry in terms of category and geography. He’s done it all, having made liquor on every continent except Antarctica.

The still’s filled with wash made in a family-owned brewery from a blend of 100% Australian malted Westminster and Gairdner barley, which is distilled to 78% before being filled into both French and American oak wine barrels, sourced from Morris family-owned wineries in South Australia’s Barossa and Coonawarra regions, and prepared to their own spec at the in-house cooperage. 

The stars of the show of course are the incredible fortified wine barrels in the Morris of Rutherglen portfolio, many of which have held some of the world’s most highly awarded fortified wines for decades. 

With Australian whisky fast becoming popular amongst whisky drinkers, Morris is now in contention to be one of the best Single Malts produced in the country, with dedicated focus and a delicious spirit backbone that’s further enhanced by the exquisite barrels they have access to from their winery. 

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