|Casey & Jane Overeem|
Waking early from a previous evenings impromptu cider tasting, I hopped a bus to shoot out to the Old Hobart Distillery in Blackmans Bay from Hobart with an approximation of where to be. Old Hobart Distillery was not on the map, it made sense, it literally was a purpose built distillation shed on the Overeem family property. Really who wants crazy whisky aficionados rocking up for a tour and a cup of coffee at the family diner table? Calling Jane Overeem (head of Marketing & Distribution, sometimes distiller, and always daughter to Casey Overeem) I noted exactly where I was on the map right down to the house number. Curiously only moments before this call I swear I could hear Janes voice in close proximity. "Keep going up the road to number X, we have a long driveway. It was to be a classic case of accidental misdirection (or was it). I kept walking up the hill, I kept walking along the road, I walked until the houses stopped and the paddocks began. When horses started appearing out of the scrub I thought it was time to call Jane just to make sure where I was. "I think I sent you the wrong way, I'll send mum up to get you "Janes says. "...he's just laughing" was one of the last comments from Jane to an obvious listening audience before the sound of the phone clicked. So that is how my tour at Old Hobart Distillery began: local fauna and flora; horse paddocks; and a ride in the family car. "She's so blonde sometimes" quoted Jane's mother as we trundeled back down the road an up the drive way I was literally standing in front of when I made the initial call. Thanks Jane your the best! I needed a work out. Really it could not have been a better start for the day as the ice was broken and morning atmosphere was relaxed while chatting over coffee at the Overeem kitchen table. Other guests had arrived by the time I made my appearance, all of whom I would later see that night at the Overeem Malt Vault event.
As mentioned, what was the Old Hobart Distillery, was in fact Casey's shed on the family property. Purpose built for the task it was painted typical Australian generic garden green with 2 large burgundy doors, with a foot print at a maximum size of 35sqm that was legal for a hobby distiller. As small as the space was in turn this dictated the size and height of the stills to be installed which ultimately has influenced the flavours we so admired from an Overeem whisky.
|Upclose with the copper giraffes|
As the tour progressed, we turned our heads left, we turned our heads right (because if you swung a cat you would probably break something), drams from various Overeen expressions were offered for tasting including some exciting new make spirit. Casey was all to open to discuss any questions posed and we found our discussions diverging into all manner of discussion about whisky production. Probably one of the more interesting items of discussion related to how Casey mentioned he add a lot of water to the spirit run to slow down the distillation process noting that this was one of the characteristics that improves the spirit. At this point of the tour now knowing the distillery was moving I asked about water source. Casey simply pointed to the filters on the wall noting that it did not mater too much about the source on this site as their water was getting filtered prior to the distillation run. Also you should note Lark Distillery has always done the mashing of the malted barley for Old Hobart Distillery. This basically means there is no change to the malting and mashing for Overeem Whisky even with the site merger. Good news indeed.
|The ins and outs of Old Hobart distillery|
|Proud parent Casey Overeem and going into details about his product|
It was not the last I would see of the Overeem's that day, the Malt Vault Bourbon in the Bond Store event was only hours away, but let us leave that post for another day.
Thanks so much to Casey and Jane for the time. It was a swell time.