Baldwin Distilling Company; fighting for a chunk of the bourbon whiskey market

The Whiskey Roadshow is a chance to take whiskies from all over the world for a spin. There will be loads of amazing whiskies to try and buy along with free masterclasses. If you’re a whisky enthusiast or even new to the world of whiskies then this show is for you.

Taking place on the fifth and final day of an extended Sydney Bar Week this year on Wednesday the 20th of September, the Whiskey Roadshow will be held at The Clock Hotel. For only $55 entry it’s your chance to take whiskies from all over the world for a spin, sampling the best stuff from around the world and gaining access to free masterclasses. A dedicated bottle shop with all the brands on show will also be set up on the night so you don’t have to go home empty-handed. Get your tickets here.

To give you a bit of insight into the kinds of brands that will be on show, we will be profiling a bunch of brands and distilleries over the coming weeks. So first up we have Baldwin Distilling Company out of Canberra, who wanted to claim back a chunk of the bourbon market for locally produced products. We asked CEO and distiller Anthony Baldwin a few questions about his booze.

Give me a little bit of background on your brands and what prompted you to start them.
For me, starting a bourbon-style distillery in Australia was always going to be a challenge but being a bourbon drinker, my passion was for the classic American-style spirit. In addition, bourbon is the biggest selling spirit in Australia albeit monopolised by Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Wild Turkey. Add all this up with the industry’s “craft distillery” surge, the opportunities are there for us. We added a moonshine to the range in 2016 as essentially it is an unaged bourbon and with the recent surge in popularity in the US, we are very well placed to make inroads in the Australian market with our “Shines”.

What products do you have in your portfolio?
Three bourbon-style whiskeys: Premium Whiskey, Caramel Whiskey and Rye Whiskey. 

Tell us a little bit about your distillery and your distilling process.
Our distillery was built with expansion in mind. We didn’t want to get past three years and need to upgrade again. Our maximum output is 700 litres of spirit at 90% ALC/VOL per week so we have room for growth. When we do need to expand, we already have the infrastructure to double in size. Our process follows the traditional method of making bourbon; we do a stepped 450kg mash of corn, malted barley and rye then cool and add the yeast. We then pump it into a fermenter where the yeast do their thing for up to five days. After that, the wash is about 8% alc/vol and we then pump it into our still. Distilling the wash takes approximately 14 hours and from there, the spirit is left to air then cut using filtered Canberra water to 65% alc/vol and pump into American oak barrels for ageing.

Tell us some of the highlights of a day in your life making booze.
The main highlight of any day is our customers. Nothing compares to sharing our processes, passion and products with interested customers.

The spirits industry has changed a lot in the last five years, making way for events like the Whiskey Roadshow. Why do you think this is?
Australian Spirits are lifting the bar on quality. Couple this with customers looking for a better quality product and right there is your growth. When any Australian tastes a local product versus an overseas one, our product comes out on top. Our go to market is based on craft quality with volume sales. It is one thing to have better products but the price of those cannot be more than 20 percent above the competition.

Where do you see the craft spirits industry heading in the next ten years?
The industry will see some serious growth from Australian producers with many new distilleries opening up. This will bring in the obvious cowboys but Aussies soon see through these types of rubbish products. We all should be asking “did you actually manufacture that spirit”?

What do you think will be the hot new trend in the drinks world in 2018?
Moonshine has hit some serious sales numbers in the US in the last 3 years and I expect to see the JD’S jumping on the band wagon. As Australia closely follows the US, I believe we are getting set for a year when the product is considered a great drink followed by great sales.

The team from Baldwin Distilling will be launching their whiskeys to the market at Whiskey Roadshow. So make sure you head online and book your tickets. Click here.

To learn more about Baldwin Distilling Company, click here.

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