A new Tasmanian gin and whisky will debut tomorrow under the label Further South Spirits.

They are the result of a collaboration between McHenry Distillery and celebrity chef Matt Moran.

Seeking a signature drink to pair with his signature dishes meant Moran was looking for unique spirits that could also be applied flexibly to a variety of dining experiences.

Armed with a sense of the flavour profiles he was looking for, the chef set about looking for the perfect distillery partner.

Founded over decade ago by whisky lover Bill McHenry, the Tasman Peninsula distillery was the one.

“As a chef, restauranteur and farmer, everything is about the flavour,” Moran said, “but it goes beyond the food.

“When you come to one of my restaurants, the dining experience is about so much more –– it’s about the food, sure, but it’s also about the service, the ambience, and — very importantly — what you drink.”

“The real reason behind this collaboration is Bill,” admitted Moran, who has developed a healthy respect for the distiller’s exacting process. “I love his ethos — it’s all about quality and flavour. And I’ll tell you what, he’s got the best water in the world to be making gin and whisky with!”

Moran and the McHenry team set about a process of crafting the chef’s dream whisky with ‘just the right amount of smokiness’, and a ‘dry, citrusy gin’ that could meet the high expectations of his customers. He tasted sample upon sample to find the best representation of his desired flavours and aromas in search of the ideal spirit.

McHenry describes working with an experienced chef like Moran with an air of excitement,

“As distillers, we’re always working with and thinking about alcohol, whereas someone like Matt brings an entire wealth of relevant experience from food,” he said. “And we just loved the idea of bringing those two things together.”

But the master distiller also had another mission: to change the way Australians look at gin.

“Gins have always been seen as a drink you might have before a meal, rather than with a meal,” explained McHenry. “But we think gins –– gin and tonic, or other gin cocktails –– can actually be equally enjoyed with a meal.”

The result of the collaboration is the two new spirits Moran’s No. 9 whisky, and Moran’s Blend 299 gin.

Editor’s note: image as supplied by publicist.

The producers describe them as “a dry gin perfect for cocktails and martinis, while the No. 9 offers a rich experience for the whisky aficionado and first timer alike.”

“Starting with a rush of malt, stone fruit and nuts on the nose, my signature No. 9 whisky offers a warm palate with more nuts and maple, green plum and mild, peppery heat,” commented Moran. “Roasted sugar and ground coffee notes round out a smooth finish.”

McHenry is enthusiastic about Moran’s Blend 299, which he describes as a dry gin with a strong burst of citrus. Citrus notes from the Geralton wax flower leads the botanical elements, followed by the aroma of lemon thyme and rosemary across the palate, all making for ‘a refreshing, summery gin’.

“It’s really a modern London-style of gin, with a nod to the cooks pantry and it’s going to be just perfect for cocktails,” the distiller said. “It’ll go well on its own if you like a classic dry martini, or it’ll work just as nicely in something with a lot of fruit.”