Me and my mate Jarrod from Aussie craft spirit distributors Nip of Courage are about to witness something rare and beautiful: the grand opening of a distillery. Whipper Snapper in Perth, WA, is about to start turning out top grade Australian moonshine: it’s crystal clear, potent yet smooth and tasty. Get ready Australia!
Moonshine. Even the word is kind of exciting. I didn’t really know what it meant or even really what it was until now, but I’ve always wanted to try some.
And now, here I am, talking to Alasdair Malloch, owner of the newest whisky distillery in the country, and whisky expert Frank McHardy, whose 50 years’ experience in the business is something to be marvelled at. I’m way out of my depth.
Thankfully I’ve got an ace up my sleeve: I can drink!
Even more thankfully, Whipper Snapper’s moonshine ‘Crazy Uncle’ (an awesome name) makes my ace easy to play. It’s good neat and even better in a cocktail. Jarrod and I get to work and soon I’m not feeling quite so out of place.
There are still a couple of hours before the opening, so Jarrod and I are treated to a tour of the distillery. Even though I’ve seen a few of these now, I still find myself dazzled, astounded and confused by how complex and delicate the process is.
And I’m always struck by how lovely a copper still can look.
At the opening ceremony (yup, that’s me with Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi!), we try the excellent espresso martinis that take on the moonshine’s flavours and use them to their advantage.
We also enjoy the moonshine apple sours and the moonshine mules, where the ginger beer gives the whisky an unexpected but delicious zing. Jarrod and I also get to try the Whipper Snapper prototype barrel-aged moonshine too, which has even more flavour and a beautiful golden glow. This stuff will be on the market soon too, so keep your eyes peeled.
Best of all, very soon, Whipper Snapper will be releasing their bourbon-style whiskey, which needs to be aged for at least two years. I reckon that’s going to be superb.
So keep a lookout for Whipper Snapper in your local bottle shops and small bars, and head over to Nip of Courage, Whipper Snapper’s distributors.
Whipper Snapper Distillery
Distillery tours: 10.00am – 5.00pm (bookings essential)
Coffee shop: Mon-Thurs 7.00am – 5.00pm, Fri-Sun 7.00am – 6.00pm.
139 Kensington St
Western Australia 6004
Have you ever visited a distillery? What do you think of when you hear the word ‘moonshine’? Tell us in the comments.