Anchor Distilling Company, LLC and its products and services are not affiliated with Anchor Brewing Company, LLC.

Anchor Distilling

Anchor Distilling

The New Zealand Whisky Collection

Oamaru, New Zealand

Whisky Comes to New Zealand

Whisky distilling in New Zealand was born with the arrival of Scottish settlers in the 1830s. Many Scots settled in the Otago region and the industry flourished here until the 1870s, when onerous government regulations effectively shut it down.

A distilling industry gradually re-emerged in the 1950s, and in 1974 the Baker family opened the Willowbank Distillery in Dunedin, producing such popular whiskies as Wilsons and 45 South.

Willowbank is Mothballed

The world’s largest distiller, Seagrams of Canada, bought Willowbank in the 1980s. The distillery thrived under Seagrams, and its single malt, Lammerlaw (named after a nearby mountain range), was highly regarded.

In 1997, Seagrams sold Willowbank to Australian brewer Fosters, only for Fosters to mothball operations and send the stills to Fiji for rum production. In 1997, Willowbank, the last whisky distillery in New Zealand, was closed down.

A Chance to Taste History

In 2009, the hundreds of barrels of Cask Strength whisky were auctioned off, and Greg Ramsay, who had recently managed the development of Nant distillery in nearby Bothwell, was intrigued. He evaluated the 443 barrels of matured Willowbank whisky and made arrangements to purchase all of the remaining stock.

The stocks were moved to seaside warehouses in Oamaru, and Greg teamed up with colleagues Tom Holder and Troy Trewin to revitalize the brand and make these old sticks available to whisky enthusiasts once again.


Products:

High Wheeler 21 Year Old Blended Whisky
High Wheeler 21 Year Old Blended Whisky

40% ABV

  • 70% Willowbank single malt
  • 30% premium grain whisky (pot-distilled unmalted barley)
  • Matured for 21 years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels
  • Silver Medal - San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2017
  • Silver Medal - WSWA Tasting Competition, 2017
  • 95 Points, Liquid Gold - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, 2014
South Island 25 Year Old Single Malt Whisky
South Island 25 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

40% ABV

  • Willowbank Distillery
  • 100% malted New Zealand barley
  • Matured in ex-bourbon American oak barrels for 25 years
  • Double Gold - San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 213
  • Liquid Gold - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible
Dunedin DoubleCask 18 Year Old Blended Whisky
Dunedin DoubleCask 18 Year Old Blended Whisky

40% ABV

  • Willowbank Distillery
  • 70% Willowbank single malt
  • 30% premium grain whisky (pot-distilled unmalted barley)
  • Matured for 18 years (6 years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels and finished for 12 years in French Oak barrels previously used for New Zealand wine)
  • Silver Medal - San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2017
  • Silver Medal - WSWA Tasting Competition, 2017
  • Gold Medal - Wizards of Whisky, 2014
Oamaruvian
Oamaruvian

Cask-strength, approx. 58-62% ABV

  • Special selection of casks of Dunedin DoubleCask with exceptional character
  • Willowbank Distillery
  • 70% Willowbank single malt
  • 30% premium grain whisky (pot-distilled unmalted barley)
  • Matured for 18 years (6 years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels and finished for 12 years in French Oak barrels previously used for New Zealand wine)
  • Gold Medal - Wizards of Whisky, 2015